Coyote just took a chicken 10 feet from our house in mid afternnon

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by loopy12, May 31, 2010.

  1. loopy12

    loopy12 Songster

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    I've posted before because we lost 4 ducks, 5 chickens and a batch of 12 eggs that were due to hatch the following day - all lost to raccoons, we think.
    We have now trapped and dispatched 5 racoons in 3 months, but I know there are more because they've been taking eggs. Then hens are refusing to lay in the nest box in the last two weeks, I think because they see a raccoon's arm in there waving around every night so now they are laying in the bushes and all I'm finding are fragments of eggshell.

    Anyway, about two weeks ago another hen disappeared in broad daylight. Big mystery. No feathers no squawking. Nothing.
    Then a few nights ago I saw what looked like dog poop outside the hen house one morning. Like a large dog's szie wise but black.
    I'm english and am not overly familiar with US wild animals so I shrugged and forgot about it thinking one of the neighbours dogs had got out.
    Now I know better...
    So about 2 hours (a little after lunchtime, bright daylight, very sunny day, 88 degrees etc) I heard a big chicken racket and heard lots of flapping and squawking. I ran outside to see the chickens all running past the house shrieking. Then they carried on with their alarm calls and I heard a chicken shriek and I ran around the to the side of the house and came face to face (well about ten feet) from a big coyote. In my confused English head I thought 'ginormous fox'. It shot back into the woods. I couldn't find the chicken but I think it was one of the ameraucanas. 2 two week old chicks are also missing and their mom is searching everywhere calling for them.

    What do I do? I have a flock of free ranging chickens and ducks. More to the point I have a three year old who will now not be allowed outside to play. It must be desperate right in broad daylight 15 feet from a house???
    I'm a bit freaked out and not sure what I can do.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    If you free range them...they are going to be eaten. The coyote has just shown you that. They either need to be in a protected run or you need to be willing to kill the coyote. Check your local laws, call the Fish and Game Department and tell them you have a coyote problem and get advice from them. Do you own a firearm? If so, can you accurately fire it? If So, kill the thing. IIt is not likely that your toddler would be grabbed but a toddler is not 100% safe outside with a bold coyote around...and if there is one coyote...there are more, they are not solo.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  3. pookieslw

    pookieslw In the Brooder

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    Loopy12 -

    I'm in Upstate NY as well (Madison County). If you don't own a firearm, I bet there are local farmers nearby who are also having trouble with this coyote/s. We also have many Amish nearby - their boys do a lot of hunting/trapping and may be willing to be hired for this job.

    Do you hear them at night? Do you think this is a pack or a loner? I'm sure now that they have sampled your delicious birds the only way to deal with it is getting rid of it permanently. Since moving out to farm country from the suburbs I haven't seen (only heard) any coyotes - they are more comfortable with people and houses where there are more.....I'm hoping that's your case and not that your have a potentially sick animal hovering around....you should remember that if you have a run in with any bodily fluids....

    And yes, keep your three year old on a tight leash. At three she can also be told not to go near any 'doggies' and how to scream bloody murder if she sees one. Learning how to be loud in your own defense is good practice for a woman of any age [​IMG]

    I'm subscribing to this thread because I want to hear how it goes - keep us up to date!
     
  4. loopy12

    loopy12 Songster

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    Yes, I have heard them at night - as a pack, and our neighbor's dog was attacked by one last month. I know they are around but its the daylight hunting that unnerves me.
    DH does have a gun but by the time he came out it was long since gone.

    I have been resigned to losing a few of the flock every year, but it has so far only been to raccoons at dusk and since making the hens and ducks go to bed earlier its not been an issue.

    I may look into the Amish trappers, thanks, I hadn't considered that.
    Our neighbor has shot several in the last few years because his dogs alert him to their prescence, but again, its always been after dark
    I know it will be back...
     
  5. SAORSA

    SAORSA Chirping

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    I am actually replying to all those who "free range" their poultry.

    If you decide that free ranging is the way to go with your chickens, there are only two choices you will have to make.

    Either reconcile yourself that you will loose a few if not all of your stock from time to time, or you can kill every
    fox, coyote, hawk, owl, wolf, raccoon, snake, weasel, bobcat, neighbor dog, possum, alligator, snapping turtle, bear, skunk and any other form of carnivore for several miles around YOUR FREE RANGE.


    Harsh but true.

    BUILD A BETTER COOP
     
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Quote:Not everyone agrees with keeping their chickens cooped up in small dirt pens...
    I know that i HATE to keep mine in their pen.. they go to the gate everyday and beg to be let out in the grass and woods...
    They LOVE to run around and catch bugs and eat grass and flowers and dig in the leaves...
    its not an easy decision for people .... dont be so judgemental please.
     
  7. JasperCountyNative

    JasperCountyNative In the Brooder

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    Quote:Not everyone agrees with keeping their chickens cooped up in small dirt pens...
    I know that i HATE to keep mine in their pen.. they go to the gate everyday and beg to be let out in the grass and woods...
    They LOVE to run around and catch bugs and eat grass and flowers and dig in the leaves...
    its not an easy decision for people .... dont be so judgemental please.

    Amen!![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  8. SAORSA

    SAORSA Chirping

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    Quote:Not everyone agrees with keeping their chickens cooped up in small dirt pens...
    I know that i HATE to keep mine in their pen.. they go to the gate everyday and beg to be let out in the grass and woods...
    They LOVE to run around and catch bugs and eat grass and flowers and dig in the leaves...
    its not an easy decision for people .... dont be so judgemental please.

    Not being judgmental. It is a matter of choice. Sometimes the choices look harsh in print or when someone says them out loud. I am not saying one choice is good or bad. I just feel sorry for the loss of beloved pets to the local wildlife and neighborhood dogs I keep reading about over and over again. It is heartbreaking. I also feel sad for the loss of, and lack of respect for, the wildlife.
    I too have free ranged chickens in the past. Yes they loved to roam and eat bugs and I feel they are at their peak of health as free rangers. I also lost them now and then to roaming dogs and hawks. (I have never killed or relocated anything)
    In those days, people believed your family cat should have a litter of kittens before you spayed them.
    I once told a good friend of mine that if she was going to get horses she would have to build a fence suitable for horses. She thought her fences were fine, ... right up until she was chasing horses up and down the road in the middle of the night. She built better fences.
    As with any living thing put in your care, it is your responsibility to keep them healthy and safe. If I were to free range now, it would be responsibly by using a tractor, not at the expense of the life of my pets or the local wildlife.
     
  9. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

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    I understand the joy our feathered friends feel when they can free range. It's palpable, and mine squeal with delight when I give them some freedom time. Unfortunately for all of us and especially for our birds, once a pred has discovered them, every one is likely to die a horrible death if they aren't 'contained' for awhile. Right now there's a bullseye on your birds. Hopefully you have or can fairly quickly make a fenced in area for times like these...
    so that hopefully the pred(s) will give up and go where the grass is greener, so to speak.


    JJ
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  10. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

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    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:Not everyone agrees with keeping their chickens cooped up in small dirt pens...
    I know that i HATE to keep mine in their pen.. they go to the gate everyday and beg to be let out in the grass and woods...
    They LOVE to run around and catch bugs and eat grass and flowers and dig in the leaves...
    its not an easy decision for people .... dont be so judgemental please.

    Not being judgmental. It is a matter of choice. Sometimes the choices look harsh in print or when someone says them out loud. I am not saying one choice is good or bad. I just feel sorry for the loss of beloved pets to the local wildlife and neighborhood dogs I keep reading about over and over again. It is heartbreaking. I also feel sad for the loss of, and lack of respect for, the wildlife.
    I too have free ranged chickens in the past. Yes they loved to roam and eat bugs and I feel they are at their peak of health as free rangers. I also lost them now and then to roaming dogs and hawks. (I have never killed or relocated anything)
    In those days, people believed your family cat should have a litter of kittens before you spayed them.
    I once told a good friend of mine that if she was going to get horses she would have to build a fence suitable for horses. She thought her fences were fine, ... right up until she was chasing horses up and down the road in the middle of the night. She built better fences.
    As with any living thing put in your care, it is your responsibility to keep them healthy and safe. If I were to free range now, it would be responsibly by using a tractor, not at the expense of the life of my pets or the local wildlife.

    local wildlife is part of the circle of life : Me too. When you control predator populations and practice exclusion it is a lot easier to keep birds safe. building fences is only half of the problem.........
     

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