Coyote-proof fencing?


11 Years
Aug 22, 2008
Stockton, NJ
Does anyone have any suggestions for a fence that will keep out coyotes? We have a Premier electric poultry fence which for 5 years has successfully kept out foxes, racoons, skunks, and other critters living in our area. Last weekend 5 of my flock of 10 hens disappeared. We suspected coyotes after talking with the neighbors - they have seen a pack of 8 wandering around in the hay fields out back. The coyotes ran right through the fence, knocking it down on one side. This morning they killed 3 more of my Ladies, and now I only have two absolutely terrified girls left.
We are now sure it was coyotes because they left a pile of poop on the ramp up to the coop. This time they jumped right over the fence.

At this point I'm resigned to it just being a matter of time before they come back for the last two.
I'd like to get chicks next spring, but only if I can keep them safe. I'd appreciate any advice as far as type of fencing, height requirements, etc. for keeping out coyotes. It has been an awful week and I am so sad about losing so many of my girls at once. :-((( I guess we'll just have to wait for the spring to rebuild and come up with a better set up in the meantime. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Is this a permanent or portable set up ? We got hit by coons a while back and put electric fence 6" off the ground then 12" and finally a strand at the top to keep anything climbing that missed the first two wires. Never had a problem again. I also buried the wire surrounding the outdoor run but as you can guess this was a permanent setup

Where you are located and what you describe indicates calling those predators coyotes is not entirely accurate since they have grey wolf in their makeup.

You can make fence higher or make so they get zapped multiple times before getting in. Once they learn how to defeat your fence, incremental changes will be hard pressed to correct. With no more birds than are involved and your foes number eight, then I suggest penning birds up for a while. Such large predators will move on to greener pastures shortly in part to maintain their territory boundaries. If dog route used, multiple large ones needed because will need to be able to handily whip your coy-wolves, not simply hold their own. Small flocks are difficult to justify unless going fort knox route when predators are so capable.
At this point we are thinking about putting in a higher fence with permanent wooden posts, and electrifying horizontal at multiple heights...... next spring. In the mean time, I do have a bit of good news to share: my favorite chicken, Miss Prissy, is ALIVE!!!! She must have been hiding all day, because after we thought we had lost her, she was in the coop at dusk. Since the attacks seem to happen in the morning (the coop is predator-proof, it is the fence that is the problem right now), we will try letting them out later in the morning and shutting them in earlier in the evening. Hopefully they will move on as you say...... we live in a rural part of NJ so lots of neighbors have chickens, goats, etc., but 8 coyotes seems like a lot to feed.
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss - its horrible to lose chickens:( We lost six of ours last spring to coyotes, but it was because we couldn't get home before dark to close the coop and it was storming like crazy, so we didn't want to bug the neighbors to do it. Turns out, coyotes like to hunt during/right after storms.
One thing I learned is that they can jump over very high fences. We don't have a run, but one of my friends told me about coyotes climbing over her 8 foot fence to kill all her chickens. It too, was a stormy night. I would recommend having a fence over the top too or someone also advised stringing a pvc pipe on a wire at the top of the fence so it just rolls and they can't grip. That would be a little easier than fencing in the whole top.
It may be a good idea, like previously mentioned, to keep them cooped up for a few days so they don't see dinner when they come back. We have also started leaving talk radio on outside whenever the chickens are out.
Hope this helps!
I find that a simple system works that consist of a perimeter fence ( for your dogs), a couple livestock dogs and a door for hens only to return to their coop to roost. I have two Great Pyrenees to patrol 5 arces and watch 200 chickens, they do a fantastic job and I have a lot of bobcats and coyotes that cruise the back woods. I dont think any fence will keep ones mind at ease when wild life is ever present. Especially when your prize or pet birds are out and about. This is my solution to once losing birds every few days. Hope it may help in your efforts to find a solution!
Coyotes jump, climb, and dig. They are wicked smart, so they can be difficult to keep out.

A properly constructed New Zealand fence is supposed to keep them out. That would be one with the wires close together.

Coyote rollers on the top of the fence will keep them from going over the top. So then all you have to do is prevent their digging under.

My birds are inside a 7 foot tall fence during the day. It has wire skirting to prevent digging under. Then at night, they are in a super secure run with a cover and a coop. I know that my local pack cruises by every now and again, just in case, but they don't waste time staring at food they can't get to. They can't get in, they leave and hunt elsewhere.

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