This Week at the Farm: Rest and Coyotes
I hope you’ve had a wonderful week and weekend! This Week at the Farm: was all about Rest and Coyotes. We actually enjoyed some downtime this weekend. Although Ed and I are both busy bodies we’ve been making more of an effort to stop and smell the roses aka disconnect from our phones and reconnect with each other and this place we’re creating. It can be hard to put projects and renovations on hold because we have SO much to do, but rest and fun are essential too! Now we’re heading into the week feeling recharged and refreshed! So now let’s catch up on the coyote part! Eeek!
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Rest and Coyotes
While we were “resting” 😉 this weekend we got the animals shelters a bit more secure. We also spent some time having target practice. I haven’t shot a gun in probably over 10 years. My dad was a Marine and an avid hunter so I grew up with an understanding and healthy respect of guns. I also grew up in the country not too far from where we are now. While I went hunting with my dad on multiple occasions I’ve never shot anything.
I’m telling you this because as the title of the post implies coyotes have become an issue over the last few weeks. This is around the same time we moved in last year and caught one coming out of the barn after eating cat food. This is the time of year when their food starts to become more scarce. Coyotes are predators and they’re also scavengers. They’re typically very skittish especially around humans and usually clock in around 40lbs. Coyote populations are something that has to be regulated and hunting season for them here starts in November.
Last year I told a few friends that I just didn’t think I had it in me to actually shoot one, but that all changed after about 3 weeks ago when I found coyote scat in the pasture. The protective instinct is a powerful thing and this year I have 2 flocks (sheep and chickens) plus our cats and dogs to keep safe! And speaking of protective instinct I want to talk about and brag on our girl Scout 🙂
Two weekends ago Scout got into it with a coyote. I ended up taking her to the vet the following Monday morning for a check up because she did have some small wounds. She was given antibiotics and is doing great, but ever since then I’ve been taking time in the early mornings and evenings to be extra watchful of our property, and to learn the coyote’s routines and behaviors.
A Weekend of Coyotes
There is a single coyote that comes around the most often. Obviously this could be a different coyote every time. But it always comes from the same direction and it always does the same thing; eat our fallen apples under the apple trees. We also have a group of 3 that I see almost every evening. They rarely make any noise, except for Friday night.
I heard our dogs start barking first, which is typical, but then the coyotes started talking back to them. Our dogs were in their outside run and when I went out the coyotes were standing right behind the fire pit maybe 40 feet from them. I couldn’t help but wonder if these are the coyotes Scout got ahold of taunting her while she couldn’t get to them.
I brought the dogs inside inside and let Ed know what was going on. He was in the shower so I grabbed the gun and Scout. They had retreated a bit onto the field so we watched them. Scout stayed at my side. It’s hard to hold a flashlight and aim y’all! Then after awhile they ran off.
Saturday night I was walking out to check on everyone and when Scout and I turned the corner to head to the chicken coop there was one right next to it! In the time it took me to register what I was seeing Scout was already 6 feet ahead of me barreling towards it. She chased it all the way to the tree line across the field. Good girl!
Scout to the Rescue Again
Then yesterday mid day I was folding laundry and looked up to see a coyote sitting out the window in the field not 10 feet from our property. Ed was outside on the other side of the house where he couldn’t see it. And again before I could react I see Scout come out of nowhere and chase it! At a year and al half old Scout is 100 lbs of muscle and speed! She caught up to it and it turned on her and stopped. She circled it, then retreated back some and watched until it left. Then she hightailed it home to a welcome committee of praise, love, and treats!
Before moving to the farm and getting our farm babes I didn’t know much about the great need for a guardian animal. Scout is a White German Shepherd. A breed that isn’t typically known as a livestock guardian dog, but she certainly takes protecting us seriously enough that she keeps an eye on the whole property. After a lot of training Scout is also wonderful with all our animals including the chickens, which are free range btw 🙂 We’ll be adding a LGD to our farm in the coming months to specifically protect the animals, but I couldn’t be prouder of our fearless girl!
This Week at the Farm: Rest and Coyotes
Scout makes me feel safe and our animals are safer for her presence too. We’ll be fencing the entire property in soon and then she can really guard plus she’ll have the help of 2 armed hunters next month 😉 It turns out I’m still a decent shot haha! I also want to mention that our other big hunk o’ love (pictured with Scout above by the mailbox) is an excellent watch dog. But at 9 he sleeps a lot and doesn’t move/react quite the way Scout does haha! Oh an our little dude’s leg is still healing, but doesn’t slow him down much 😉
What a restful weekend, right? Lol! Farm life is a whole thing y’all! It’s an adventure that sometimes feels like a roller coaster. I’m always learning and adapting to this lifestyle that I missed for so long. And even when it’s hard I’m glad I’m here 🙂
Stay tuned for more coyote escapades and how we’re protecting our farm soon! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog!