Date of this Version
A questionnaire survey was used in 1985 to obtain data on predation and losses from New York sheep growers. Surveys were returned by 685 growers which was a 40% return rate. The average grower managed 160 acres, including 24 acres of pasture, kept 106 sheep and received 12% of the total family income from sheep farming. Sheep predation occurred on 44% of the farms and dogs were considered the most harmful predator by 88% of the growers with losses. Growers with sheep losses had significantly larger flocks, more acreage in pasture, larger farms and depended more heavily on sheep farming for income than growers without losses (p < 0.05). Growers who had reduced their pasture acreage and were planning further reductions had significantly higher losses than growers whose acreage had remained constant or increased and were planning to add more pasture (p < 0.001). Growers who had reduced their flock size also had significantly higher losses than those who had increased their flocks (p < 0.05). Finally, individuals who would reduce or sell their flock if predation continued had significantly higher losses than growers who planned to use lethal predator control methods to combat future predation (p > 0.05).