Livestock Husbandry and Management

Livestock Husbandry and Management

Total confinement of livestock usually prevents losses to coyotes, but confinement is not practical for most ranchers who produce livestock by grazing pasture or rangeland. Likewise, penning at night can be an effective means of limiting predation, but it may not be feasible in many situations. Furthermore, some coyotes may enter pens and corrals and continue killing. Shed-lambing or kidding is usually effective in preventing predation while the animals are in confinement, but such management schemes also increase production costs in terms of buildings, labor, and feed. Also, parasite problems are usually greater when sheep and goats are confined to pens. Restricting livestock to certain pastures that tend to be less vulnerable to coyotes, either because of more open country or proximity to people, may decrease losses. However, because sheep and goats are susceptible to coyotes throughout the year, selective use of pastures could prevent the use of some pastures entirely.

Changing the date of the lambing-kidding-calving season may reduce exposure of young animals to coyotes. This strategy is most useful to calves as they are most vulnerable to coyotes shortly after birth, especially during the late winter (February to March). Sheep and goats are vulnerable to coyote predation at all ages, so a change in lambing or kidding seasons is less effective in preventing losses.