Coyote Looking for a Meal

Predator Watch

Last night in total darkness I stumbled upon a coyote standing six feet from my chicken coop. I’ve seen her before pacing the fence line knowing just on the other side is enough food to feed her and her pups. The acreage across the road is a common stomping ground where coyotes raise their young. When the pups reach about four months old, the mother moves them to the desert mountain range behind our ranch.

Their food source is rabbits, and believe me, there is an endless supply. Every morning I see ten to fifteen on my property alone. My chickens don’t bother them, so my ranch has become a safe haven breeding ground for cotton tail bunnies. I find babies in my hay pile, compost pile, and under the feed shed all the time.

Apparently my coyote neighbors have grown tired of rabbits and have fresh chicken on the mind… mine. The six foot block wall around my property isn’t going to keep them out either. My ladies are in danger, and not just one, all of them in that particular hen house. Coyotes are not likely to just pick off one chicken and leave, they’re greedy and capable of wiping out an entire flock in minutes.

These particular hens at risk are from a previous flock and housed in a separate chain link enclosure with an elevated hen house inside. Only shade cloth covers the top, so they are the only ladies I’m worried about. The rest of my hens are safe from predators in another area.

I hung an LED light at the coyotes eye level right on the front of the coop where my at risk hens nest at night. I’ve read that coyotes avoid light, so needless to say, last night my entire property was lit up like a Christmas tree. This morning…. I was very pleased to find every single hen was accounted for.

Looks like I have a new project, out with the shade cloth roof and in with the chicken wire. Always something…

amy elizabeth, TBN Ranch

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About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author, antique dealer. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm.
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20 Responses to Coyote Looking for a Meal

  1. Maybe you should replace the led lights with blinking colored lights and a small disco ball. The Coyotes will probably be so tired from dancing all night, they’ll leave the chickens alone. Just trying to think outside the coop. πŸ˜‰

  2. I like your ingenuity!!!

  3. Jo Bryant says:

    The things you learn when you drop in here…love it. Donkey pee keeps coyotes away…I will file that away for future use

  4. I am your chickens are still safe…now remember I am a city gal, but I was wondering are there traps to set out to catch the coyotes? Or do they travel in packs? I am assuming there is not much you can do, but I am curious. We have an abandoned home next door and have to deal with opossums and with 4 dogs {3 are dachshunds} we are concerned. So far they stay on the other side of the fence. New experience for this ole gal, cats I can deal with but wild critters I would prefer they go back to the woods, but with the gas drilling in the surrounding counties and the flood last year we have all sorts of critters within the city.

    • tbnranch says:

      Protecting your pets from wildlife is the best plan. Trapping is illegal, and even if it wasn’t, it would only be a temporary solution. A better plan is to outsmart them, after all we got to the top of the food chain for that very reason. Never assume an oppossum or any other wildlife is going to stay on the other side of a fence, if your wrong, you lose. Remember, animals just like us want to be comfortable in their living environment, if it’s not they will leave. It can be as easy as making sure there is no food or water source on your property – or having an annoying lawn sprinkler they choose to avoid. Oh, and yes, coyotes do travel in a pack as a rule, but not always.

      • thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

        Thanks for the suggestion about the sprinkler…we will have to try that. I feel bad for them, because they are being driven out of their homes and have nowhere to go, it is not their fault – but at the same time I need to protect my hooligans. So far no children got near them, that is another concern, we have quite a few children in the neighborhood.

  5. Pingback: Coyote Looking for a Meal | TBN Ranch « opybevosip

  6. I’ve got plenty of chicken wire if you need some. I use mine to keep neighbor’s cats out of my garden. It hasn’t stopped them. Maybe I should borrow Louie! Hmmmm.

  7. Rita A. says:

    What interesting things I learn on this blog. Always somthing is right.

  8. Now this may sound wacky but try urine… No, not yours. A coyote is not intimidated by human scent but there are two things (animals) that do scare the crap out of the. Wolf is one but catching a wolf and asking it to pee in a spray bottle might be difficult, maybe even dangerous! The next animal is… a mule or donkey! I read years ago somewhere (probably a ‘liars anonymous’ magazine) that folks used to use mule or donkey urine to protect their poultry houses. Drag ‘ol Beamer over that way and have ’em make water near the hen house. (not on the hens, although that might work too!)

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