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Cows being killed in the area... possibly wild dogs. How worried should I be?

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  • Cows being killed in the area... possibly wild dogs. How worried should I be?

    Just what the title says.... A neighbor lost a calf the night before last and a full grown cow and another calf last night.

    A different neighbor lost three cows (unk if grown or calves) in the past week.

    Neighbor 1 says there were big prints all over the place the he suspects a pack of wild dogs.

    They are going to sit out tonight with spotlights and rifles and hopefully take care of the problem.

    How worried should I be for my horses? I am bringing broodmares and babies right up by the house for now, the other horse has a donkey with him and he's not far from the house.

    I have one yearling but everybody else is big and healthy.

    I'm just not sure how concered I should be. We've been very lucky so far.

  • #2
    If whatever it/they are is taking down full grown healthy cows not in the process of calving, you should be VERY concerned.


    • #3
      I'd bring them all up close.


      • #4
        Is it possible it's coyotes? The barn where I board my mare has a pasture with a few cows next door...they say the coyotes have been known to go for the newborn calves in full daylight with no hesitation. This is not a rural area, either. That said, they have never hurt a horse or a full grown cow. Maybe the adult cow was already down or otherwise sick or compromised?

        *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


        • Original Poster

          Ok, I just talked to Neighbor 1 and he said the adult cow may have been calving when she was killed so that makes more sense.

          They left the cow where she was and are using her as "bait".

          They saw 3 coyotes tonight and shot one.


          • #6
            Jingles for you during this worrisome time ~ hope they take care of all the "killers" tonight.
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


            • #7
              It could be wild dogs or coyotes.

              A number of years ago, cattlemen about 40 miles south of here (central NC) had full grown cows killed in the fields.

              So they got night vision scopes for their deer rifles and sat in tree blinds.

              They killed several dogs. I forgot how many, but like a pick up truck load.

              People let their dogs out at night and have no idea where they are. They will form packs and roam the neighborhood.

              The nicest porch dog will turn into a blood thirsty demon when he is in the pack.



              • #8
                shoot to kill, burn any dens if you find them.
                I have a horse that is blind in one eye from a pack of canines, and while i am normally a naturalist, i draw the line with anything that threatens my horse.
                chaque pas est fait ensemble


                • #9
                  The best shot I ever made in my life was on the coyote that had killed three of our cows (and their calves). It was a large female, evidently teaching her young to hunt and kill - her modus was to wait until the cow went into labor, then run and harass until the exhausted cow went down - take the calf as it came out, and then keep ripping at the cow until she died too. Yes, a decent tracker can tell a lot from what you can read in the blood and dirt.

                  I just started riding out at dusk with my Winchester, and pot shotted the b***h as she daylighted on the rim, running from the last cow she got - had to go back and shoot the poor cow, too. I don't care if the pups died without their mother, either.

                  There's no other way to deal with stock killers, whether they be wild dogs or "tame" ones that are running in a pack. The worst stock killer I ever heard of was a yellow lab, who took to running with one of his brothers and a couple of other pet dogs. They started on sheep, but worked up to horses and hamstrung one before they were caught in the act and most of them shot - the others were identified and their owners "notified".
                  Homesick Angels Farm
                  breeders of champion Irish Draught Sporthorses
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                  • #10
                    Where I live in Texas, wild dogs are usually the ones that are the problem. They have no fear of humans so will come right up to a house and take animals. On my parents farm, we had 2 kill over 50 chickens in one night and our neighbor had multiple calves/cows taken. The Dept of Fish and Game came out to trap the "coyotes" doing it and ended up with 2 Austrailian Shephards that had gone feral.

                    The neighbor had tried to blame our dog, Siberian Husky, and even turned him in to the courthouse as a livestock killer until he came over and saw that we locked our dog up with our calves at night which is why we hadn't lost any calves.
                    Rhode Islands are red;
                    North Hollands are blue.
                    Sorry my thoroughbreds
                    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


                    • Original Poster

                      I sort of leaned towards dogs as well... There are plenty of dogs dumped in our area.

                      Even thought coyotes come to the dead cow to feed, that doesn't mean they killed it.

                      But we do have too many coyotes so a few less will be ok.

                      I just hope we figure out what it is before a human or horse is injured

                      I suggested a chupacabra (sp?) and told the neighbors to call the news LOL....


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                        shoot to kill, burn any dens if you find them.
                        I have a horse that is blind in one eye from a pack of canines, and while i am normally a naturalist, i draw the line with anything that threatens my horse.
                        THIS. My horse was injured at 6 months old when he was chased down in the field by a pack of dogs or coyotes. He was running hell for leather and his right hip was sliced open by a very sharp cedar branch. The damage was, thankfully, not as bad as it could have been because he's totally sound and happy now (age 6), but he has an 8-inch scar from it that is not pretty.
                        If you must choose between two evils, choose the one that you've never tried before.


                        • #13
                          We had a problem last year like this.

                          It was illegal workers.

                          They found calf dead. It was too big to be picked up so they just left it. The found the bullet on necropsy. I imagine if that happened often, coyotes may be quite game to feed on the carcass.

                          OP mentioned she has a donkey. They are known to be a heck of a good guard animal.


                          • #14
                            I know someone a couple hours north of me that lost 2 mares a couple years ago to wild dogs. They were late in foal, but not foaling yet. They were less than 30feet from her house.

                            I would keep them as close as you can, inside if possible, and if you don't own a rifle its time to get one.
                            Riding the winds of change

                            Heeling NRG Aussies
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                            • #15
                              Ooh, scary. Can you put some HOT hot wire around your perimeter fencing? One strand on the top and one strand at doggie height would work. Should deter them if nothing else.
                              Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by Rhyadawn View Post
                                I know someone a couple hours north of me that lost 2 mares a couple years ago to wild dogs. They were late in foal, but not foaling yet. They were less than 30feet from her house.

                                I would keep them as close as you can, inside if possible, and if you don't own a rifle its time to get one.
                                No worries about that, we have PLENTY of rifles.

                                I missed my neighbors call tonight with the hunting report so I'm not sure how they did this evening. I'll be out hunting tomorrow evening.

                                I do have one pregnant mare, due mid april. She's out with 3 open mares, one older gelding and a yearling and a 2 year old. They are in a small (4 acre?) pasture by the house for now. Honestly, I'm more worried about a stray bullet than anything.

                                I do have a donkey but he's not with this group, he's with my other gelding. The donkey is a jack so he can't be with the mares (he'd need a ladder but I'd hate for him to try)

                                I might move the mare to the barn and a pen and have the donkey in the surrounding pasture as a body guard. He's a very angry fellow towards coyotes

                                And I probably need to invest in another donkey, either a jenny or a gelding who can be with the girls.

                                I'll keep ya'll posted. I'm hoping it's coyotes, that sounds less likely to be a threat to the horses than dogs.


                                • #17
                                  This is sad...for all involved, the dogs are just doing what they need to do-but I feel for those with horses!!
                                  I would get me 2 Great Pyrenees for future problems, they will roam the fence line and their size will ward off most intruders.
                                  Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses


                                  • #18
                                    I second the Great Pyrenees idea.


                                    • #19
                                      I third the Great Pyrenees. But only if you have a good fence to keep them at home. One of mine killed a coyote who got in my fence earlier this week. Coyote was just a bit smaller than my German Shepherd.


                                      • #20
                                        If it is a pack of dogs, the Great P. will not stand a chance either. In our area we have tons of coyotes and never had an issue with a healthy animal, that was not down. There are also wild dog packs and they are really bad. They chase things even if they are not hungry. They need to be put down and I would be scared too. The best thing would be a sound monitor untill the animals are all disposed of.
                                        Good luck