I have been posting on the other two dog attack threads and mentioned that we didn't have a huge problem where we are. I spoke too soon. Came home this evening to one dead lamb, one mortally injured lamb, and many injured and tramatized sheep. We are not 100% sure that this is a dog attack, but all the signs say dogs rather than coyotes. The attack occured during daylight hours. We do have coyotes around, but we are in a farmette type community. None of the lambs or sheep had throat wounds. Almost all of them had wool pulled from their backs, sides, and flanks. One has bloody wounds on her back and sides, but hard to tell how deep they are tonight. She will go to the vet tomorrow. Some have bite marks to the face.
I will describe the following damage to one of the lambs only to demonstrate why some of us shoot loose dogs found threatening livestock. Both lambs were 4 to 6 months old. One of the lambs was dead. It appears it was frightened into the water trough and drowned. The other one wasn't so lucky. It was still alive, and had been chewed on on its back and side. A hole about 6 inches by 6 inches had been chewed out over it's ribs. You could see the ribcage. As I said, this lamb was still alive. We had to shoot it to put it out of it's misery. The lamb in the trough had been there for hours. It was waterlogged and starting to freeze. No telling how long that chewed up lamb lay there suffering today. I am physically sick.
Animal damage control and sheriff were called and report filed. They will be setting live traps tomorrow. We took photos of the damage and I am hoping that if dogs are trapped, we can at least be paid for the lambs and vet bills. I don't know if we can ask the dog/dogs be euthanized but probably not. A few months ago, our neighbor had a llama attacked. No one witnessed this attack either, but the wounds were more typical of dogs.
Our poor sheep are hurt, scared, and tired. They are huddled up, heads over each others backs, sniffing at each other where the wool was pulled off. The chewed lamb was the baby of the ewe I bottle fed a few years ago. We have perimeter no climb fence as well as no climb fencing for pens and pasture fencing. We could see tracks running up one of the fences, they were defintely canine. We could not find where they dug in or squeezed through anywhere.
I am very worried for the safety of my mini horses. I am mad that I didn't come home during the lunch hour today. I came home yesterday because it has been much colder than normal the last couple of days and I wanted to make sure all the animals had free access to water. If I had come home today, maybe I would have caught them in the act, or maybe I would have a better idea of what time the attack occured. I am just sick over this.
Game cameras or video surveillance might be a good way to see what is preying on your animals, and my bet is domestic dogs also. Some domestic dogs are great jumpers, and my guess is the predators are a pack of 'neighborhood' animals. Even if they catch them in the act the so-called owners will defend "Fluffy" to the bitter end. If you establish ownership, then I would sue the owners everyway you can, and for punative damages also.
I would also have animal control alert the local and emergency vets' offices. I suspect that unless you found a lot of wool around, the animals probably ate it, and that could lead to illness in the animal. Someone's dog turns up sick from eating wool it will be proof.
Protecting sheep is why my hay farmer took the donkey when I was looking for a home for her. He was losing sheep to coyotes, but with the donkey he has only lost 1 or 2 and he wasn't sure that was coyotes. She will also go after dogs, especially if they act agressive.
It might be something to look into. Donkeys are cheap to keep and live and eat the same as your minis.