Home > Animal Welfare, Farm & Ranch Life, HSUS, State Regulations > Coyotes Ignore USDA Standards

Coyotes Ignore USDA Standards

I lost my first calf of the year Saturday night to coyotes, saddening and maddening.

In 1998, California voters, with the support of the HSUS, voted to ban leg traps. Since then, ranchers have seen an increase in losses to predators. While “live traps” are still allowed, they are not very effective when it comes to coyotes…they are smart. We have been using guard dogs for over 10 years, but 600+ acres, split down the middle by the Scott River and an abundance of coyotes is a challenge, even for three excellent dogs; one Great Pyrenee, one Anatolian and an Anatolian x Pyrenee.

Certainly, losing a calf, a foal or a lamb is an economic loss, but what really hurts me is knowing how the young animal was killed.

Coyotes either failed to read the standards set forth by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service or have chosen to purposely ignore them. A kill by a pack of coyotes is anything but quick and they are far from unconscious. I’m not sure which is worse, a heifer trampling her own calf trying to protect it from the pack, or a pack singling one out and tearing it to pieces, bite by bite.

We need a return to commonsense predator control….but that is unlikely to occur.

[End of Rant]

  1. Tim
    January 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Sorry to hear about your calf. This year we lost 80 chickens to some roaming domestic dogs. There is no feeling worse for a farmer than having a predator preying on your animals and your options to protect them from harm limited. I don’t believe that anyone who hasn’t had the experience of finding an animal they care for torn apart by predators has any business telling farmers how to control them. End of rant thank you 🙂

    • commonsenseagriculture
      January 23, 2011 at 9:10 PM

      Appreciate your comments Tim, thank you.

  2. January 23, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Coyotes get little sympathy here. Lost several goats – including a doe that had kids I never found – to cougar in CA – another protected predator. Perhaps the activists are willing to come up with the financial cost but ignore the how it was killed.
    😦 Sorry for your loss.

    • commonsenseagriculture
      January 23, 2011 at 10:03 PM

      Thank you Jan. I expect I’ll have a rant on the cougars in the next couple of months…we usually loose a few sheep to cats every spring. Thanks for you comments friend! 🙂

  3. January 24, 2011 at 4:10 AM

    Hey Jeff, Bad start huh? We used to have a lot of coyote hunting here in Missouri, but it has dropped off due to regulations. When growing up, you couldn’t drive down the road without hitting rabbits, now I can’t find a rabbit track. In the snow and moonlight, I saw 6 coyotes 30 feet from my bedroom window at 5 a.m. a couple mornings ago. We have about 700 acres, and I wonder if they are causing more calf losses in remote pastures than I thought. I haven’t held back heifers for years, but did buy some pretty high dollar registered ones last month. They are supposed to calve in Feb. Since I only have 8, at least I can keep them close to the house. Despite the conservation departments refusal to admit we have the big cats here, an Amish guy shot and killed a mountain lion 30 miles north of here yesterday. I just hope these predators don’t gain “Wolf” status in the eyes of the lawmakers.

  4. workingcollies
    January 24, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    Ooof, I agree, people often express sadness over us culling coyotes, and I have to remind them that though visualizing the coyote dying is upsetting, try visualizing our poor helpless ruminants get eaten alive. 😛 Nature is rough either way…
    Michelle

  5. commonsenseagriculture
    January 24, 2011 at 7:34 AM

    Couldn’t agree with you more Paul on the comparison with the wolf status. Our rabbit population has also taken a major hit, but not sure if it’s due to coyotes or the lions. Ours are very “brave” too…coming into the drive at the house several times each week. The buggers are smart though, and position themselves with the horse pens directly behind them, preventing me getting off a safe shot…

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. Have a great week.

  6. January 24, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    Hi there I stumbled on your blog by mistake when i was searching Live search for this topic, I have to point out your website is definitely very helpful I also seriously like the layout, its cool!

    • commonsenseagriculture
      January 24, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      Thank you Nathan. I hope you return again 🙂

  7. February 6, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    great post! keep it on!

  8. April 17, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    You can’t get blood from a stone.

  1. January 23, 2011 at 9:14 PM

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