Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Lost a ewe - badger attack?  (Read 8137 times)

Mrs Pea

  • Joined Oct 2013
Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« on: February 03, 2014, 03:18:00 pm »
First thing Thursday morning we found her in the field, badly injured but still alive and standing.

There was a lot of blood all over her rear, back and down her legs and it was very difficult to see exactly where it was coming from.

My husband works away during the week and although my two teenage boys were with me when we found her, they had to go to catch the school bus.  She was a fairly large ewe (would have been 2 in April) and I wouldn't have been able to turn her over on my own, so I called a neighbouring sheep farmer we know.  He brought his daughter, who also breeds sheep and when the two of them turned Meg over, none of us could believe the injury she had.

There was quite literally a hole between her back legs about the size of a dinner plate, a huge chunk of her was
missing.  The wound looked quite recent as in the blood was bright red and presumably any longer and the poor thing would have died from blood loss.  None of us could believe she was still standing, the pain she must have been experiencing doesn't bear thinking about.  The farmer was very helpful, putting her out of her misery and arranging for her to be taken away.  He initially thought it might be a dog attack but having spoken to a few people and doing a bit of research it certainly looks like it could have been a badger/s.

Anyone have any ideas because at the moment we are really worried that whatever did it will come back - we're bringing our three remaining younger sheep through to our back garden/yard every night - can't bear to think of the same happening to one of them.



  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 04:02:00 pm »
I would have thought it highly unlikely that a badger would attack a healthy large ewe, sounds more like dogs to me. I have badger prints in my fields every morning, plus fox tracks too and except for loosing one lamb (very young and probably separated from its mother) we never had any problems with badgers/foxes. We have a badger set (probably shared with a fox judging from the smell...) right on the edge of our main sheep field.

Now hounds and dogs is a totally different story....

Even if it was a dog unless you catch him/them in the act and have witnesses, there is nothing you can really do.


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Dent
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 04:24:07 pm »
My first thought would be dogs as they are generally the more likely culprit for sheep attacks, but Badgers do sometimes, as strange as it sounds, chew off a ewes udder. Although we have badgers and have never had a confirmed problem. We id have one ewe a couple of years ago that had the entire skin off her face removed in one clean piece. Never really worked out whether it was badgers, dogs or people that did that.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 04:34:27 pm by moony »


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 04:28:44 pm »
One of my Shetland ponies was attacked by a badger a few years ago. His face was a mess. it was the vet who said badger as my first thought had been a dog. He went by the claw marks. We are over run by badgers and have lost quite a few chickens to them.


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 05:01:23 pm »
We lost a ewe and another injured and people thought it was badger but subsequently very close by two dogs were seen killing lambs so I concluded that was more likely in the end.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 05:29:42 pm »
I don't know what it would be, but just wanted to say how horrible and how sorry I am for you  :hug:.  I hope you manage to keep the others safe.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Tim W

  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2014, 05:45:00 pm »
I have seen badgers take lambs but a full grown healthy ewe would be almost impossible for a badger to catch

An injured or old ewe unable to get up may be a different matter but it would still have to be a pretty desperate badger I think

Dog/dogs can be a right nightmare. I suffer at least 1 serious attack every year and very rarely find the dog responsible

Good luck 


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 06:33:45 pm »
 At one time I had 4 badger setts and they killed the odd sheep if they found it stuck ,the sheep had blood all over, no wool pulled as fox does and   meat taken from the thigh's  .  one ewe had her gigot eaten while standing up stuck in a bog, plenty of badger foot prints and still alive .  one ewe had one side of her udder neatly removed and lived also seen lambs taken all that was left were skins inside out attached to the head we got permission to shoot  and  the guy shot an old badger when he heard a lamb screaming .  so very possible ?

Mrs Pea

  • Joined Oct 2013
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2014, 10:32:06 am »
Thanks all for your replies, doubt that we'll ever know for sure what did it, still bringing the other 3 through at night just to be on the safe side.


Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 10:42:43 am »
One of our neighbours pound a downer cow recovering from calving had her udder chewed off by a badger during the night.  Claw marks clearly those of a badger.  When Kenneth Graham wrote Wind in the WIllows and made Badger a pleasant if slightly grumpy fellow he gave very good press to a creature that's red in tooth and claw!


  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2014, 12:04:07 pm »
I've put the idea of a problem of the badgers onto a site I use .

The active & retired game keepers on it say badgers chewing milking ewes and cows is not unusual  .. Several say they have shot offending badgers doing it . They also talked about hedgehogs doing it as well .

One guy said he and his underkeeper staked out a small flock that was being got at.

On day four one of them observed it was the sheepdog from a neighbouring farm that was the culprit suckling off and chewing the ewe ... it was shot there and then .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting


  • Joined Sep 2013
  • Conwy
Re: Lost a ewe - badger attack?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2014, 12:08:26 am »
Badgers will kill a fully grown ewe or ram that is in uts track only taking the brain or the heart!!!
They dont tend to go back and scavange on the carcass after like a fox will etc.
Flocks of Hill Radnors, Black Welsh Mountains, Balwens and North Country Cheviots


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