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Thread: Buzzards attacking lambs

  1. #31
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    Foxes around here have no problem attacking full grown sheep so long as the victims are incapacitated in some way. They will go for ewes having a difficult birth, a sheep on it's back, and (on one occasion) killed a very heavy NCC feeder tup. The last was killed in the snow and the foot prints were clear. There was a pool of blood below the corpse and a pathologist confirmed that "a corpse does not bleed", i.e. it was alive when a fox broke in behind the shoulder.

    They go in at the anus, behind the shoulder, or remove the udder, i.e. soft tissue. They will cut a lamb in half, remove a leg, nose, or tail as others have said, presumably to make it easier to carry or chew. All the foxes I shot over a long hard winter were at and in good condition.

    There is absolutely no doubt that this is the work of fox, not dog. Dogs are generally inefficient killers and make a mess of the job with lots of bruising and pulled wool, also there were often foot prints in the snow.

  2. #32
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    i found a lamb in the field nearest the house yesterday , cannot work out if it's mine or not, last ewe due ,anytime now ,back end clean though ,large ram lamb picked clean ,tongue anus umbilical got eaten out ,eyes gone ,it's either mine or it was carried there by ravens or buzzard ,not sure which, it's a bit of a mystery ,no foxes here so not a fox
    Last edited by moorland; 24-04-13 at 04:24 PM.

  3. #33
    Senior Member JohnGalway's Avatar
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    Ravens or greycrows(hoodies).

  4. #34
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    yep we have both

  5. #35
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    Quote Originally Posted by moorland View Post
    yep we have both
    We have 3or 4 pairs of ravens and luckily this year, because of the lambs dying in the snow they have had plenty to feed on without taking any live ones, but last year they probably killed about 15 lambs themselves, and if any ewe's get stuck on their backs the ravens are ruthless, they take the back end clean out, eyes, and any soft spots in their stomachs. They are just another bird that needs its protected status removed.

  6. #36
    Senior Member JohnGalway's Avatar
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    They're as common as badgers where I am, which is pretty common. I like them, but not what they do to my stock.

  7. #37
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Rot View Post
    Foxes around here have no problem attacking full grown sheep so long as the victims are incapacitated in some way. They will go for ewes having a difficult birth, a sheep on it's back, and (on one occasion) killed a very heavy NCC feeder tup. The last was killed in the snow and the foot prints were clear. There was a pool of blood below the corpse and a pathologist confirmed that "a corpse does not bleed", i.e. it was alive when a fox broke in behind the shoulder.

    They go in at the anus, behind the shoulder, or remove the udder, i.e. soft tissue. They will cut a lamb in half, remove a leg, nose, or tail as others have said, presumably to make it easier to carry or chew. All the foxes I shot over a long hard winter were at and in good condition.

    There is absolutely no doubt that this is the work of fox, not dog. Dogs are generally inefficient killers and make a mess of the job with lots of bruising and pulled wool, also there were often foot prints in the snow.
    Udders and arses is usually a Badger.

  8. #38
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    Quote Originally Posted by hillybill View Post
    Udders and arses is usually a Badger.
    When I was doing fox control, there were virtually no badgers up here. About 30 years ago, someone showed me a press cutting from a local newspaper dated 25 years previous, so about 55 years ago, reporting that someone had killed a fox! They were that rare that killing one got into the papers! If someone sighted a fox, he'd phone around his beighbours and everyone able to carry a gun would be out to organise a drive. Changed times.

  9. #39
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    I have seen Buzzards, Ravens and Carrion crows take a lambs tongue and eyes whilst being born, with half it's body still inside the ewe.
    It's not a nice sight to see a lamb with no tongue, massive blood loss and the lamb has to be put down.

    Quite often I have picked up dead lambs with no visible signs of why it died, but on closer inspection find punctures at the back of the head or neck, that is a fox, and often they will urinate over the body as if to deter other foxes.

    There was less trouble with foxes and birds when dead stock was allowed to be eaten by these killers, but as usual those in authority know best, and now we have to pay to have them incinerated. Perhaps by burning the deadstock they are trying to kickstart global warming.

  10. #40
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGalway View Post
    Ravens or greycrows(hoodies).

    Exactly what I was thinking. Grey crows or even black crows love attacking anything that can't move for even a short time.
    I had a cow down in a field maybe 10hours while we got sorted getting to here, came back to find her scored by the evil POSes! Eyes dripping blood, several neck wounds and this was a fully grown cow.
    But it's rarely to never ravens as they're strickly carrion eaters. If it's not moving they'll have a go but only a crow will attack slow moving or ill or even sleeping lambs then the ravens drive them off and feast
    I know the issue around raptors is fairly touchy to some here. A buzzard or hawk can take something round the size of a rabbit and if a lamb is on the way out will definitely have a go, but kill something heavier than it? It would need to kill it and eat on the ground while it's most vulnerable not impossible but I'd imagine it would have to be so starving to be barely able to kill anything.
    Eagles can and, despite what is said, do but the numbers are tiny and probably completely offset by the number of scavengers killed or repelled by something that is basically death to everything that flies. Lower numbers of rabbits=lower numbers of ground predators (foxes).
    The real reason something as big as a eagle won't take a lamb (particularly a sea eagle) is energy to reward imbalance. It takes a huge effort for a sea eagle to land and take off! They need to be certain of a meal and that means dead already again probably the work of a fox which the eagle then drives off to steal a meal. It's kinda like expecting a tiger to eat rats, eagles a top predator so can take what they want from smaller predators

  11. #41
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    Re: Buzzards attacking lambs

    here there is defiantly a lack of prey ,i haven't seen a rabbit for ages around us(not the case on the other parts of the island) only real prey is lambs , no foxes here ,hedgehogs are controlled on the uists ,different prey species for different areas i suppose ,i do wonder after what i saw last year about the future of ground nesting birds though

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