Two nights ago, we lost ALL of our sheep to a pack of wild dogs or coyotes (we think) based upon the nature of the wounds. Animal control told us they thought it might have been a mountain lion--but at 6:30 am we found a pack of wild dogs still in the sheep yard, so we think the dogs did it. The carnage was horrible.
The thing is, the pen is right next to our house and we heard NOTHING. In the early morning we found two dead (Twinkle and Buttercup) and Dancer is nowhere to be found. The sheep had broken open the fence gate trying to escape--so Dancer probably ran away--but she has not returned and we have searched and searched for her. I do not have much hope that we will find her alive.
I do not know how the predators got into the sheep area but they did. I think they knocked down a segment of fencing (there was evidence of a struggle) or leaped the fence. The sheep would never let us close them in the barn at night--though they slept there when it rained. They would never let me shut the door (they always bolted out). The net is this: these sheep died a terrifying death.
We have only had these magnificant animals since early December. We were looking forward to their lambs in the spring. Renee and I spent yesterday burying Buttercup and Twinkle in the spot they used to enjoy sitting.
I am not sure what the lesson of this is... I wish I could write something profound about life and death and the give and take of living in the country..... but this is just horror.