Predator Control

Back home we always worry a bit about predators coming into the sheep pastures. For us in Maine, the big concern would be for coyotes. Years ago, we did have a pack of coyotes come through and get in with our flock. The damage can be severe, we lost several ewes that night. Our fences back at home are electrified with very high powered voltage, but every once in awhile something may fall on the fence or the power goes out, and protection is limited. We check fences regularly, often bringing the sheep up to higher pasture and closer to the barn in early spring when coyotes are feeding pups and may be a bit more daring. Here in Ireland, the sheep flocks are large…….200 to 300, roaming pastures that are fenced with barb wire. It would be impossible to electrify such large areas. There are no coyotes here in Ireland, foxes would be the biggest concern, often preying on young lambs. While traveling through the Gap, we came across this measure of predator control.1935 The fence line was strung with a dead fox ( presumably shot by a farmer) every 20 yards or so. I’m sure the odor of the dead fox was a deterrent for other roaming foxes intent on finding a meal. The losses could be great if a fox ( or coyote) were left unchecked and able to move through a sheep flock. Sheep have really no defense. It may seem like a gruesome approach to predator control, but I bet it works.

4 comments on “Predator Control

    • Hi Molly,
      I think you are right, I have considered a donkey back at home. I think here in Ireland, a donkey would have its hand full keeping watch on such a big flock. Often the sheep are way up in the high fields or on the mountain which could be difficult terrain for a donkey.

  1. You do what you have to do to protect your home, land and animals. There was a time when I might have felt differently about how “gruesome” this is, but now, I feel like you do what’s necessary. Whatever that may be.

    Considering what I’ve heard about the way foxes smell, I bet it is pretty effective.

    • Hello Crystal,
      Yes, it does feel like extreme behavior, but I know first hand what can happen when a fox or coyote gets in with your flock, devastating! Hope your fall is going well…..and thanks for checking in with the blog.

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