How did this happen? Western coyotes began migrating eastward to fill the predator niche that people created by eradicating wolves from the east. But because the habitat and prey base available to coyotes is different here in the east than it was in the west, natural selection caused them to change gradually over time. A small amount of interbreeding with the red wolf helped facilitate that process and make the eastern coyote distinct. Not present in the east when European colonists arrived? True. Non-native to the east? False.
This paragraph clearly contradicts itself. The Coyote is not native to the east and is far different by behavior to the wolf.
Coyotes a danger to children? Well, let's try to put that into perspective with some facts. As of 1994, there were 20-30 coyote attacks on humans in recorded history. Yet, a 1994 telephone survey conducted by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) estimated that 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs annually. In addition, the Humane Society reported that 300 people have been killed by domestic dogs in the US since 1979. Yes, my numbers are dated, but feel free to contact the CDC and organization for an update. I guarantee you won't find data that show that coyotes pose a threat anywhere as great as do dogs, cars, and many other things we all accept as part of the usual risk of day to day living.
I see feral and free roaming dangerous dogs as a predator. They treated the same as any other dangerous predator which includes the coyote. A predator does not get a free pass because people are irresponsible.
Arguably, a far greater threat to our children and future generations is ecosystem degradation, and lethal control of predators is but one of the things we do which contributes to that. A crash course in Ecology 101: We humans depend on healthy ecosystems for clean water, clean air, fuel, food production, flood control, erosion control, medicines, and medical research. The scientific literature is full of innumerable studies to support that. Famine, water crisis, natural disasters and outbreaks of human infectious diseases occurring all over the world have been incontrovertibly linked to human induced ecosystem degradation. One infectious disease well known to those of us in the northeast, Lyme disease, has been linked to ecosystem degradation.
Reread the thread rules this thread is not about controlling the environment and the above paragraph is seriously out of thread topic. It is not for another to make judgments here on how they deal with predators. You should keep to helpful suggestions instead of bringing what could be considered politics.
Still skeptical? Check out this compelling UN sponsored volume assembled by more than 100 scientists from around the world: "Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity" (Eds. Chivian and Bernstein)
Again more politics, the UN is a political organization and irrelevant to people protecting their family and flock.
An anti-hunting plea? Far from it. No, this is a plea for responsible behavior that will make the planet a safe and healthy environment for our children and generations to come.
IMHO there is a clear political bias with the posted quotes and they do not belong in the predator forum, please take them to the RR forum.
Wow, great replies everyone. To each his own... but for us, we try to work with nature as much as possible. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to kill a predator going after our hens (or any other of our animals, children, etc) For the time being, I will be packin' when I'm out with the hens.
Citrusdreams-- yes, I am thinking about another dog. We have an Aussie right now, and she is great with the chickens. She is especially good at keeping hawks at bay... unfortunately though, I can't get her to be out where the chickens are when I'm inside. She's my shadow and when I'm inside, she's glued to the porch until I come out again. From that vantage point, she can see hawks and will race out to scare them away, but not ground predators. I also worry about her not being evenly matched if more than one coyote came around. As another posted mentioned, the coyotes here have interbred with wolves and are quite large. The one we saw was as big as my Aussie. So...my girl needs back up! I will start exploring other options.
In the meantime, at least I know my coop is secure. 100%. It was once a tack room in the newer barn, cement floor and walls, with a steel door and heavy duty windows that we've covered with hardware cloth. In there at night, I know they're safe. The run I'm worried about though. During the day it has offered adequate protection-- but now, I think a determined coyote would find a way in. I'll be working on that this week as well.
Thank you again everyone!
PS. LOL about the rain, TipsyDog! I can believe it!
Coyotes are oportunists and they will get a free meal whenever they can, especially when feeding a den of pups. Foothold traps (not leg hold) are one of the most humane and effective ways to control predator populations. Using the proper size and type trap does not cause pain and injury to the animals. People that believe otherwise have zero experience trapping and are only pushing an agenda that comes from information being put out by a radical group with no basis for their arguments. Hiowever, if you have neighbors with pets I don't suggest trapping. Also, you need an experienced trapper when going after coyotes or you will just educate the coyotes to traps.