Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just What I DON'T Need!

Summer has finally arrived here in east central Minnesota. The temperature was 94 yesterday with high humidity. This weather is hard on the sheep, the Shetlands pant, but the BFL's really seem to suffer. I put up a fan in the pole building and later found Rhyn and Devlyn laying directly in front of it.

Anyway, it was hot and humid. The sheep were not happy. I opened the paddock nearest the pond for them to graze. A couple times in the afternoon I noticed the whole flock making a mad dash for the pole barn. It seemed odd that they would run like that in this hot weather. But I didn't think too much about it.

Around 7:30 I went out to make sure they had water and give them a little supplemental hay. As I brought hay out to the hoop house I saw not one, not two, but THREE fox (foxes?) IN and around my fence. No wonder the sheep were getting spooked all day! The mother fox was outside the fenceline heading into the woods when I saw her. The two kits were inside the fencing. One was only about 75 feet from me as I yelled and swung my arms at him to get him out of there. He was small enough to slip right through three fences to get back to the pond.

I had suspected there was a mother fox on the edge of the pond. She has been rather bold around the chicken pen, but I've only lost one hen so far. I'll need to keep my Shetland goslings under lock and key from now on.

Ozzie does a good job of chasing them off. But the mother will lead him one way while the kits go another way. We watched as she did that last night. We could hear the kits calling out in the woods but they didn't come out in the open again.

So I decided to put up electronet around the sacrifice paddock near the pole barn. I just can't have my sheep being chased by fox kits in this kind of weather and I worry about the Shetland lambs, they aren't that big, especially the three-week-old ewe lamb. It was so hot and sticky and the mosquitoes were out as I tried to set electronet up under all the trees, etc. - what a pain that was! I'm afraid it's going to be a long HOT summer if we don't get the fox family under control... I may need a llama.

2 comments:

  1. Ooooo - keep that heat and humidity up north, will ya?

    Hope you solve the fox problem. We see them around here, but not around the sheep. I suppose 2 big hairy white dogs barking at them is a discouragement.

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  2. OOOOOO! I've always wanted to see baby foxes! I guess not so much when one has chickens ~ huh?

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