The Coyotes Were Back Last Night!

Our Eastern Coyote friends haven’t been around for most of the winter, but we heard their yips yesterday evening just after the sun went down. Their typical pattern is to stay a few days, dine on rabbits, mice, and whatever else they can find, and move on. They usually return a few weeks later.

Last March we had a female den up somewhere on our neighbor’s property. I saw her in the same field every day, hunting for mice in the clumps of dried grass. Must have been lucrative because she was there every morning like clockwork.

Image

I snapped this picture last year of a female looking for mice to take back to her pups.

I’m curious to see if she will use the same den again this year. If she does, maybe I can get just a little closer. I was probably 100 yards away when I took the pictures last year and was amazed that the pictures turned out as good as they did.

We expanded our chicken run last fall in case the coyotes came around and we needed to keep the chickens up. We added plastic around two sides to keep out the wind and snow. They didn’t stay in there much, but it sure came in handy when we got a super cold spell in January and the big snow a week or so ago.
chicken coop

Our chickens are terrified of snow. Maybe because they didn’t have a chance to get used to it before we got hit with over two feet in a 24-hour period!

Today, it was 65 degrees and all the snow is gone. It sure felt good – to dogs, chickens, and humans alike. Spring is less than a month away!

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12 thoughts on “The Coyotes Were Back Last Night!

  1. Our chickens certainly appreciate plastic over their run at this time of year. Even the wild birds will join them to get out of the snow. Nice to see you back too Jo Ann!

    • It’s funny you said that. We had several juncos that squeezed between the chicken wire openings and spent the night inside the run during the really cold spell where we had below zero temps.

    • The chickens are loving the last couple of days. It’s so warm out they are actually finding bugs. Hope they eat up all the stink bugs!

    • I did read all the comments and, just like I’ve found everywhere else there’s a panoply of opinions out there! Lots of good suggestions on coyote deterrence and limiting losses. I do agree that it’s important to try to coexist with wildlife, but not always possible.

      • Yes, neighbourly coexistence is what humans normally strive for and working with Nature is always preferable; but unfortunately, as I said on FarmGal’s post, canines do not view the world as we do – in their society, a “Top Dog” is an absolute necessity and, if we don’t assume the role, they will.

        • I absolutely agree. Coexistence is the goal but you have to protect your livestock. We keep our free-ranging chickens up when we know coyotes are in the area. Last winter, we shot over one’s head and he didn’t come back. So that’s our plan — a warning shot and they better get the message!

  2. It’s nice that you went to the effort to protect your chickens with improved husbandry rather than trying to exterminate the coyotes. It’s all about trying to learn to live together in this changing world—human and wild and domesticated. It’ll take more effort on all our parts, I think. Thanks for the post!

  3. You’re right, Denise. That’s our goal and so far, we haven’t had any problems with coyotes even when they are in the area. I really think our two dogs who are out a lot have a lot to do with deterring would-be predators looking for an easy meal.

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