Baby goat missing; possible predator

Goat Shaman

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
75
Reaction score
140
Points
88
Location
Northeast TX
I had a 6 week old baby Nigerian dwarf goat that was sickly and then she went missing on Tuesday (5/28). I looked everywhere for her to no avail. I'm thinking a predator came into the fenced area and got her. It obviously would be a predator that only goes for the weakest individuals, since fortunately none of my other goats show any signs of attack. Could it have been a bird of prey? My neighbor says it's possibly a coyote since he's seen them on the property. Other wildlife known to live around the property are raccoons, opossums, and skunks.

I know that some of you kill predators, but that is not my way. I prefer to live in harmony with the wildlife around me but at the same time keep them away from my precious goats.
 
Last edited:

greybeard

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
10,765
Points
553
Location
East Texas
I prefer to live in harmony with the wildlife around me but at the same time keep them away from my precious goats.
That only works if the wildlife around you is in full accord with that harmonious premise.
Most wildlife's idea of a harmonious day is having a full belly.

(I doubt it was a raptor that took the baby goat)
 

B&B Happy goats

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
4,712
Reaction score
11,652
Points
603
Location
North central florida
I think your neighbor may be on to the cause of your problem........when you find out how to live in harmony with your predators,..... please post it for us who have found we are forced to eliminate them.......I really don't like to shoot animals, but I do when they are eating mine for dinner. ...:confused:
i would much rather live in that perfect world of balance....;)
BTW, a coyote can hop over a fence, grab a kid goat and be back over the fence before you can grab and load your gun.....how many goats do you have.....if the first one tasted good, it will be back for more....and they won't stop at kids, easy lunch is easy lunch......
 

Bunnylady

Herd Master
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
2,431
Reaction score
3,026
Points
353
Location
Wilmington, NC
a predator that only goes for the weakest individuals

This would be just about any predator; they go for whatever seems easiest first. Predators conserve their energy whenever possible, and only risk injury to themselves when it seems like they cannot get a meal any other way. Having lost chickens and/or rabbits to cats, dogs, hawks, owls, foxes, raccoons, possums, snakes, a bobcat, and the odd human, I have learned that the only way you can keep livestock and live in harmony with the wildlife is to erect barriers that the wildlife simply cannot penetrate. Otherwise, they will take whatever animals of yours they are physically capable of dealing with; the very traits that make them so appealing to us make them easy pickings. I have lost adult chickens to large hawks and owls, but they were eaten on site, so there was plenty of evidence of what had occurred. For this kid to have disappeared without a trace suggests to me a predator that travels on the land rather than the air; I'm not sure even an eagle could carry off a 6-week-old Nigie.

But, knowing that goats are born looking for a way to kill themselves, I have to wonder, as Alaskan said, whether this kid may have taken herself off somewhere that you might not ever think of, and quietly expired.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
2,671
Reaction score
7,478
Points
443
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
How much did the 6 week old ND weigh? A coyote or a bobcat could have come in, grabbed the kid, and hopped back out taking dinner with. Coyotes can go over a 6' fence from a standstill, as can most of the cats.

We live harmoniously with the predators in our area, until they kill our livestock at which point we take steps. We lock our sheep up near the house at night, use LGDs, and bought a 3rd LGD when the predator load got too heavy around our 5 acres. If you think about it, confined sheep and goats cannot run as far to evade a predator as they could in the wild. Within a fenced area, the predator has the advantage. Our confined sheep, goats, poultry, and even young calves are just like a MacDonalds or Colonel Sanders drive-through for coyotes and bobcats. Cute little raccoons will kill and eat chickens. Cute little raccoons are not quite so cute at 45+ lbs. hissing and snarling - have you seen those canines?

Owls and other raptors will take your poultry, cats, and other small animals.

Electric fences, and LGDs are your best defense.
 

greybeard

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
10,765
Points
553
Location
East Texas
We live harmoniously with the predators in our area, until they kill our livestock at which point we take steps.
Lock the gate after the cows get out..

The best defense has historically and globally proven to be a good offense.
We choose to be proactive here, not reactive.
Been years and years since I or any of my neighbors have lost an animal to predators. We kill every one we see and actively hunt them down. They're here, I hear them in the National Forest almost every night, but thru attrition, they have learned not to cross fences. Like all canines, coyotes are very intelligent. They learn..can be taught, that there is a price to be paid.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
2,671
Reaction score
7,478
Points
443
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
Lock the gate after the cows get out..

The best defense has historically and globally proven to be a good offense.
We choose to be proactive here, not reactive.
Been years and years since I or any of my neighbors have lost an animal to predators. We kill every one we see and actively hunt them down. They're here, I hear them in the National Forest almost every night, but thru attrition, they have learned not to cross fences. Like all canines, coyotes are very intelligent. They learn..can be taught, that there is a price to be paid.

Sadly, we are not allowed to shoot anything where we live which is technically in the city. We used to, but now it is pretty built up and lots of people living here without livestock. Another reason to leave this place.

We use fencing with wire under the ground, and have recently raised our fences by 4' since hillsides slough off leaving gaps under the fences and lowering the height of the fences on the upside of hills. We use 3 Anatolians to protect our sheep. We bring them in to night pens in the barn or close to the house for protection to allow our dogs greater ease in patrolling and repelling predators.

We are surrounded by coyotes and they sing every night right outside our fences. Except for the spring and summer right after the fires took out all the natural growth and prey, we have not lost lambs or sheep to coyotes. We had 3 large packs move into our area and join the 2 resident packs. Hopefully those interlopers have gone back to their original territories. We are proactive as much as we can be without being able to shoot them. In California cougar are protected so can't shoot them anyway. SSS

My son in Nipomo does shoot coyotes if they come onto his property. Greybeard is right - Avoidance of humans is a learned trait. If humans actively hunt them, predators teach their young to avoid humans. When they are protected they learn not to fear them. Then it is a short step to treating humans as prey. Here in the city they know they are safe except from our LGDs. We do what we can to prevent before it happens.
 
Top