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…