Today, I let the hens out around 8:00 in the morning to free range (no rooster). Every time the ladies come out of the coop they hustle over to the dog pen to visit with my husband's hunting beagles. It is a funny relationship based on playful exuberance (although there will always be a fence between the two species.) Today, I believe the dogs saved the girls from being a coyote snack. Usually the dogs are very quiet while at the house but around 1:00 pm they produced a ruckus that had the potential to wake the dead. As I sprinted towards the noise, I heard the shrill howl of a coyote entirely to close for comfort. Once outside I saw the howling beast sitting about 50 feet away from my silly chickens (golden comets who would probably be contenders for the Darwin Award because they were headed towards the predator.) After herding my preservationally challenged hens back to the coop and rewarding my beagles, I started thinking about this odd turn of events. Several questions popped into my head that I am hoping someone might be able to explain... 1. Did the dogs presence, even though they were caged, keep the coyote from attacking the chickens? 2. Why did the coyote just sit down and howl rather than leave the area? 3. Why did my chicken walk towards the coyote rather than run for shelter? Was it their friendship with the dogs or maybe loss of self preservation from selective breeding? Thanks in advance for any insights you can share.