Coyotes take toll on Utah sheep
Utah farmers and ranchers lost 45,000 sheep and lambs to all causes in 2011, valued at $8.3 million. Lambs lost before docking totaled 18,000, lambs lost after docking totaled 15,000 and sheep one year old and older lost totaled 12,000 head.
Weather conditions accounted for 31 percent of all lambs lost before docking. This accounted for the largest single cause of death in lambs before docking. Coyotes were a close second at 26 percent of losses before docking. Coyotes accounted for the largest number of lambs lost after docking at 46 percent. Sheep one year old and older losses to coyotes, at 2,100, was the single largest cause of death, accounting for18 percent. Total losses to coyotes equaled 13,700 head, which was 30 percent of all losses to sheep and lambs.