Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another neighbor visited.

We've known we've had these neighbors for years. They're noisy neighbors, and the kind that, while you're always keeping an eye out for, you hope you'll never see. Desert surrounds the farm that surrounds us, and we've known they're out there in the desert. We've heard them for three years but never seen them.

The other morning, I looked out the window and saw him running down the wheel line. I ran out the door as fast as I could, stopping only long enough to slip on my husband's flip-flops by the door and grab - like any good blogger - my camera.

My main thought was to just get into his line of sight and make him nervous enough to keep moving past the goat and sheep pen without pausing. Mission accomplished. I should have received an award. I froze my frickin' toes off.

When he was moving off across the far field, I finally remembered my camera and took the only picture I could.

No zooming in on that picture - it gets all pixel-y. But there he is. A coyote crossed the farm and we're not far away from baby season.


Christy said...

We've had coyotes (a whole pack) go down our driveway into our pasture. I'm really worried about this. I'm thinking I'm going to get a donkey or a llama to guard our animals.

Sarah said...

Good lord, Christy - that's scary! I actually like coyotes - when they're not around my animals. We've considered getting a donkey or a llama. I'd prefer a donkey, I think.
A guard dog wouldn't work so well on our place because the girls would always be out trying to make it into a pet.

Have you seen this blog - She fosters donkeys until they can find a good home. I think you'd really like her.

hen said...

I can't imagine what it would be like having coyotes around. We have foxes and they're not intimidating at all. In my mind I imagine coyotes to me more like something between a dog and a wolf - is that totally inaccurate?

Amazing though to be able to see one up close like that!

Our last neighbours kept 4 alpacas and a herd (?) of geese to guard their ducks and chickens. They bred the alpacas every year and sold wool and young. They got good money from them from what I gathered. Never had any trouble with a fox.


Sarah said...

Hen, they are a bit like a cross between a dog and a wolf. Less dangerous (in normal circumstances) than a wolf. Smaller. Thinner. They eat mice and rabbits and any baby animals (lambs, goats) they can find.

I think they actually feel a very necessary niche in the food chain in this area, but it wasn't long ago that coyotes were slaughtered, 'denned', poisoned, etc.

Luckily, there is more of a priority being put on humane treatment of predators lately, so small producers who advertise that they use methods more friendly to predators (like guard animals) can get very loyal customers. It's a small swing of the pendulum, but it's something, no?

Healing Green said...

To help keep them away, especially during baby season, have your husband pee at the perimeter of teh property (he'll love that!) You can, too, but male urine helps more, especially if they eat a meat... The same day that I went to buy our first baby chickens a couple of years ago, a coyote was hit on the road just 40 feet down the road from us. We knew there were coyotes in the area, I've seen them and heard them on my mother's property, but we'd never seen them on ours. We were worried how our chicks would fare, especially since they were destined to be free-rang during daylight hours... So far, no wild animals ever come on our property, since it is surrounded by rock ledge on the side of a mountain and apparently more trouble to get onto for them than its worth -- I suppose when they smell our dog they don't want to get "trapped" on the property, and they give us a wide berth. About once a year we get a racoon at the bird feeder.