It's been a bad week here.
I came home Tuesday, 7/14, and found 2 of my sheep waiting at the gate to the front yard ( I had let them into the back yard because of all the clover growing there ) which wasn't unusual because TJ thinks he's the guard wether and Wennie is his back-up helper. But what was strange was that the dogs ( who are kenneled right next to this gate ) were in their dogs houses and never made a sound ( now these labs will bark if ANYONE pulls into the drive ) but not that day.
I went into the back yard and didn't see any other sheep, so I called to them, and banged on metal feed pans but no one came, which was strange but I thought they may have found something good to eat in the back pasture and were too busy to answer me.
So, I put the 2 sheep with me in the front pasture and were in to let the house dogs out to potty and came back out. Well, when Chloe and Travis hit the ground at the bottom of the steps Travis cowered to the ground on his belly and both of them tried to climb thro me to get back inside - I 'd never seen them do this before .
I went back out into the pasture to see if I could find the sheep - I found 1kat Shetland ewe hidden under a broken tree branch in the yard and just about never got her out - she had blood on the back of her neck and was walking funny ( Like she was hurt - no clue what had happened ).
I walked farther into the front pasture and found my other 2 year old kat Shetland ewe dead lying next to an old tree stump. She had 1/2 inch cuts on either side of her neck but no other injuries I could see. Something had chased her to death.
Walking further towards the woods, at the edge of the woods/ pasture I found my border Leicester ewe down with part of her rump eaten away. I'm thinking a coyote got in. So, I slowly walked farther into the woods looking for the other 3 ewes when I came upon my moorit Shetland ewe. She was lying in the middle of the path dead with no visible injuries but her wool was soaking went ( whatever got into the pasture had run her to death and tried to bite her but all it got was a mouthful of wool because I hadn't sheared them yet ).
I continued to look in the pasture and didn't see any other sheep - still missing a yearling kat Shetland ewe and a 5 year old AG Shetland ewe. As I was coming up over the hill between the pastures it dawned on me that if I had come across whatever animal had killed my sheep, I was unarmed and had no phone with me - just had the 2 unhurt sheep glued to me. Not a good situation to be in. Needless to say, I made a fairly rapid return to the house.
Last night, 7/15, I talked to the guy who lives up the road and told him what happened and he and his brother ( who lives next door ) drove around my property on their 4-wheeler and checked everything out. He said they saw a foot print but, because it had rained yesterday morning it was too distorted to id the animal.
The ewe that was walking around hurt was worse and the flies had gotten to her on Monday before I could. I looked at her the best I could and saw something " dripping " from underneath her and she was in a lot of pain. I decided that if she lived thru another night and was still as she was I'd have a friend of mine come over with his gun and put her down.
Whatever had killed my sheep also came back laast night and ate more of the border Leicester ewe but didn't attack the injured ewe.
This afternoon, 7/16, my friend will be over and we will put the injured ewe down and use her carcuss as bait for the killer after " fixing it up " for it. Can't say what we're going to do because you aren't supposed to do anything to stop a wild animal from killing your livestock or so says the Indiana DNR - but they want you to let them know what you did with its body - now, if you can't/won't help me get rid of a preditor that's killing my animals, don't expect me to tell you what I did with the carcuss - it ain't gonna happen that way.
I have been asked, since this happened, if I want more sheep. I can't give an answer yet, it's too soon. I'll have to let everyone heal from this ordeal before I do anything.
Hopefully, we can find out what type of preditor it was and stop it.