Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett
Colorado sheep and lamb producers lost 42,000 animals to weather, predators, disease and other causes during 2019.

Bill Meyers Director of the National Agricultural Statistics Services field office in Lakewood says every five years the Colorado Sheep growers and Colorado Sheep & Wool Authority help fund the survey on sheep and lamb loss.

Meyers: “Gives a breakdown of the loss of sheep and lambs by predators, diseases, weather conditions. We lost last year a total of 42,000 sheep and lambs to predator and non predator effects. We lost 12,100 sheep and lamb to coyotes. The second largest loss of sheep and lambs was by bear at 6,100.”

The total value of those losses amounted to $8.55 million, according to the NASS Mountain Regional office.

The total number of sheep and lambs lost was 8,000 head less than in 2014, the last time the study was done. The total value of the losses was 15 percent less than 2014.

The 2019 inventory shows Colorado’s total headcount of 420,000 sheep and lamb. The lamb crop for 2019 was 185,000 head. 13,000 lambs were lost before docking.

The number of sheep lost to all predators totaled 7,400 head, up 2,300 from 2014.

Predators caused an estimated $5.16 million in losses in 2019, up 36 percent from 2014. Losses due to predators amounted to 4.1 percent of the 2019 sheep and lamb supply and 60.2 percent of all sheep and lamb deaths. Coyotes accounted for 47.8 percent of the predator caused losses and 28.8 percent of all death losses. The value of losses attributed to coyotes was more than $2.4 million.

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