Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?

Are these guys, with eyes left?
Nah. They're looking at Blake, who's looking at them – no doubt looking for greener pastures  fresh females.

How about the ewe group?
Nah. They're too busy stuffing their faces with forage. But do you see Annabelle off in the distance, next to our northern fence line against the neighboring trees? Every time I turn out the ewe group, Annabelle seems drawn to that fence line, and it makes me nervous. Our westerly neighbor has witnessed a big female coyote nabbing some of her free-ranging hens, and Brian has seen a big coyote trotting through those trees. Annabelle would make an easy target should a predator make a bold play; she would fall down if she tried to run. I usually turn the ewes out when I ride my horse, so I can keep an eye on them from the arena.

Barbados is still here, still intact, still for sale. Hopefully I can hang onto him for as long as it takes for his superlative quality to be recognized and desired by another Shetland shepherd.

Goldilocks, our Easter Egger, has joined the stubborn Buff still hanging out in a nest box. And yes, she insists on crowding into the same nest box.
The hens' egg production has dropped dramatically this month, as you can see by the sidebar tally. The youngest hens in our flock, the five Red Sex-links, have passed their peak production period, and the other eight haven't done a thing in months. I don't mind "carrying" non-productive hens, as long as they are good citizens. But the four Speckled Sussex hens – and I use that term loosely, as some of them seem to have "roosterized" – are mean. I'm tempted to turn them loose to free-range with the neighbor's hens – and keep the coyotes busy.

That's it for now from . . .


Maggie said...

I love your posts with photos of your animals. I hope Annabelle keeps safe. Great photo of Barbados's behind! The hens obviously like to keep cosy together. X

Theresa said...

Oh those pesky coyotes!Keep your old girl safe as possible. I have decided for better or worse, the goats can stay out with the horses 24/7. I think it provides a measure of protection that a fence won't since coyotes are the least of our worries predator wise.
Have you thought of listing your guys on the ANWG? There is a portion of their classified for fleeces and fleece animals.

Susan said...

He is a beautiful guy, all right. We have had a real problem around here with coyotes. I am constantly on the lookout - I'm sure they won't come near with you on horseback! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

erica said...

I wish you lived closer and we could trade rams!