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One of our bucks born this year was killed last night. He was probably about 60 lbs, disbudded and in a group of 4 others. We've never had any large animal lost - poultry have been taken down by ***** and bobcats.

This morning I couldn't find him. The boys were in a pasture they weren't supposed to be in - fence was down. All of our goat pastures have orchard fencing but these guys were in a spot that has barbed wire. I eventually found some intestines and a big smear of stomach contents. There was some blood and white hair on a fallen log. Other than that, nothing. I scoured the woods and couldn't find any other trace of him. It's dry as a bone here so no luck finding tracks.

We do hear coyotes and I've seen dogs loose on the street. There is always rumor of a mountain lion too. Does this sound like any of those? The utter lack of a body has my scratching my head...
 

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Dogs usually kill for sport, not food. They also wouldn't bother dragging it off to eat. That's pretty heavy for a bobcat. Mountain lions are extremely shy unless they're absolutely starving or territory is encroached. I would guess coyotes. But regardless, if you don't have LGD, its a Russian Roulette who will strike next. I'd keep them penned at night for a while. Whatever it was will come back when its hungry again.
 

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Probably a wolf or a wolf/coyote cross. Could even be a cougar. They will be back when they are hungry again. Lock them up at night BEFORE dusk, install a light at the barn entrance to the pasture to deter them. Urinate around the barnyards.....people scent. Show up at odd hours, change routines. They get used to routines that are stable for 2 wks...then attack. 5 strand electric fencing works. I don't know what orchard fencing is, but if it is paige wire (big rectangles), it will need to be beefed up with electric on the top, bottom and middle to prevent them from coming in. Once they have killed successfully, it is extremely difficult to stop them from returning again and again and again.
 

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Mountain lions drag of kill to eat in a place of safety. I think bears might too. Dogs will eat in place and there is usually lots more debris around.
I heard there are actually leopards around Texas so maybe?
 

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Sounds like a cougar to me. Since the wolves were reintroduced other predators have got much bolder around here. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the wolves have worked their way down there and pushed some cats out in your area.
 

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Yes I've even had a mountain lion drop down from the trees on a HORSE in TN. They're definitely around, and that does sound like one.
 

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Mountain lions cover the kill to eat on for a three or four days max. They kill by biting the back of the neck and pulling the head around with the dewclaw of the front paws. If you find a dead animal with "It's head on backward" it was a lion.

Coyotes kill by harassing and biting at the genitals, and underbelly, to put the animal into shock. They often start eating before the animal is dead. They take high value organs and body cavity fat first and eat the whole thing if they have enough time or enough yotes.

Bears kill by biting and by beating things with the hard insides of their wrist bones. They will cover a kill as well, but a goat would be a single meal for a 300 lbs bear unless it was a full sized adult. On bear kills often all that is found is often the inside of the skull cap and hooves. I have also found plenty of deer hooves in bear scats.

Where you are everyone and their brother probably hunts predators so if you want to find out what it was I would go out near the kill area and "putt" around on a turkey call for the afternoon. Everything eats turkeys.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
All animals safe and accounted for this morning. We don't have enough space to barn everyone right now. We do have a guard donkey who does an excellent job but she was not with this little group. As we keep expanding and needing to separate various groups (male/female, breed, etc), I see that we really need more guardians.

No wolves here, or bears. Yes there are rumors of leopards too. My very reliable brother swears up and down he saw one crossing the road. Guess I should go back in the woods and look UP. I know they take kills into trees. If it's a leopard or mountain lion, barning is going to be my only hope until it is deterred!

Thanks everyone. It took 6 years here for this to happen. I truly truly hope this is a fluke as many folks let their larger goat herds run free all night. BUT I will not be treating it as a fluke. Defenses are going up!!!
 
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My bet would be on a large cat. Possibly a Coyote. Your description sounds similar to deer kills I have seen near Coyote dens. Not likely a domestic dog, to clean. Maybe a feral dog. Hard to tell but interested if you find out.
 

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Sorry for your loss! We have no wolves here...lots of coyotes, bob cats, feral dogs, too. Highly recommend one LGD or more. You will sleep so much better knowing that they are on duty when you cannot be there...especially after this.
 

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I'd head down to the local cafe/feed store/farm store and ask for the name of a predator hunter in the area. Me thinks you need help and need it soon.
The predators found a semi easy meal and they will be back for more.
 

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All animals safe and accounted for this morning. We don't have enough space to barn everyone right now. We do have a guard donkey who does an excellent job but she was not with this little group. As we keep expanding and needing to separate various groups (male/female, breed, etc), I see that we really need more guardians.

No wolves here, or bears. Yes there are rumors of leopards too. My very reliable brother swears up and down he saw one crossing the road. Guess I should go back in the woods and look UP. I know they take kills into trees. If it's a leopard or mountain lion, barning is going to be my only hope until it is deterred!

Thanks everyone. It took 6 years here for this to happen. I truly truly hope this is a fluke as many folks let their larger goat herds run free all night. BUT I will not be treating it as a fluke. Defenses are going up!!!
Actually the natural range of the Jaguar extends to your area and people catch them with hounds every few years in New Mexico and Arizona so why not?
 
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