With winter upon us, and lambing and kidding season near, I’m sure that most shepherds and producers are making their last minute preparations eagerly awaiting for the arrival of their next lamb or kid crop. For me, winter also comes with more time spent indoors researching ways to improve the American sheep industry. It’s no secrete that producers from across the nation face production issues associated with predation. For us in the eastern United States, coyotes rank amongst the top predators. According to the 2020 USDA Sheep Death Loss Report, approximately 600,000 sheep and lambs were lost in 2019 nationwide, with 32.6% of adult sheep and 40.1% of lambs lost due to predation. As markets for small ruminant products continue to grow, we must find strategies to reduce these losses. As you visit with family, friends, and fellow producers over the holiday season, you may discuss ways to dampen these statics. For those interested in taking matters into their own hands, take a look at this series of coyote trapping videos from Kansas State University Research and Extension.
Equipment – Foothold:
Setting a Foothold Trap: