I’ve lost two of my geese to coyotes. I consider it ultimately my fault.
The geese are penned up at night, typically I let them in at dusk. I also let out my guardian dog, Miskatonic. She watches outside at night and sleeps in the house during the day. However, an unusual circumstances happened and I was about 30 minutes late getting home to pen them up and let Misky out to patrol. You wouldn’t think that would be such a big deal- I didn’t at first, but the coyotes must have jumped at the chance to nab them while no one was home or a short time and night was falling.
The coyotes here seem to be getting more and more bold over the last six months and on more then one occasion I’ve shined a flashlight into their eyes going out to protect the sheep and geese.
Now only Brownie is left all alone and I have the option of getting more geese as companions for her and rebuilding my flock of Sebastopol geese for breeding next spring or I can find Brownie a home where she’ll be safe. After careful thought I’ve decided to choose the latter and focus all my attention on breeding and raising my sheep. I haven’t found that geese are very well suited for my environment and consume large amounts of water and food. Maybe there’s room here in the future for a few geese or ducks, but right now the coyotes are closing in and I’m afraid any night could be Brownie’s last, penned up and Misky out or not.
Which brings me to another point. Misky is over 13 years old and there’s only so many more months she can continue to patrol the property. She used to make complete rounds checking everything out, but now her watch duty consists more of her laying on a dog bed on the porch and getting up and barking only if she hears anything. Still very effective, but I think it’s almost time to retire her and I may need to start searching for her predecessor: A livestock guardian dog from working lines that has been bred to live and work with sheep and one that is comfortable in warm weather. And it needs to be soon because I want Miskatonic to be able to raise him or her properly and I can’t expect her to be up to the task for very much longer. She certainly isn’t going to like his, though. Misky lives to guard and well… bark. She’s a typical Great Pyrenees.
As for Brownie, I want to find the perfect home for her. She won’t be available for money, but only to someone who will pen her at night, has other geese, and a livestock dog. If you’re interested in Brownie yourself, feel free to contact me and explain your situation. Don’t live near me? I will even offer to drive up to 300 miles in any direction to meet you to give her the perfect home. It’s been a joy raising her from a small gosling and she deserves it.
RIP Jim & Reuben, you were wonderful to know.