Had our first coyote incident last night.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by just13nat, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. just13nat

    just13nat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is our first year with chickens, we have an acre that's mostly fenced in, but we back up to woods. I let the chickens out of the run during the evenings when we're home, to roam for a bit but inside the fenced backyard. My two dogs were going crazy at the back door at about 7:45 last night, I went out to put chickens up so dogs could be let out and we had a coyote at the fence line pacing, trying to figure out how to get in. I got all the chickens back in the run and shut the door and let dogs out. Between my lab mix and mastiff mix as well as me yelling, the coyote left. I grabbed my sons BB gun, thankfully my husband (he wasn't home) has shown my 8 yo what to do with it, because I hadn't a clue! He was scared momma was going to hurt herself, so he took it and loaded it properly, lol! My husband said it's time to get a .22 now that coyotes have discovered our chickens, they'll be back. He's got a shot gun and hunting rifle, but doesn't want upset neighbors. Anything else we could do? The coop and run are new, run has hardware cloth and a roof so it's completely enclosed. I'll probably supervise free range time as well from now on.
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    How close are the neighbors? More importantly, are you going to be shooting that .22? If so, I'd strongly suggest you take a firearms safety class (they have them for adults). In my opinion, if you're going to shoot a predator, shoot it dead if you can. Shooting to wound is cruel, even to a coyote (not my favorite animal). I don't think it's right to make anything suffer unnecessarily. Shotgun or rifle would kill it, but again - how close are your neighbors?
     
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You need to forget the .22. Too many neighbors who are too close. Don't make me tell you the story about a guy who was shooting at a rabbit in his garden with a .22, missed, shot over it, the bullet flew over an Interstate highway and hit a women standing in her yard nearly half a mile away, hit her in the head and killed her where she was standing. She never knew what hit her and he never knew anything about it until days later when the police finally figured it out. Yes, it can happen.

    You need an electric fence. Don't worry about your 8 year old or your dogs. They will live and none of them will touch it twice. Most likely the coyotes won't either.
     
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  4. just13nat

    just13nat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No way, I won't be shooting anything. That'd be for my husband. Yes, he has had firearms safety course and has his concealed carry license. He just said 410 would be no different than his shotgun, he's wanting a .22. He's a hunter, if coyote attacked our chickens it would kill. I just want to make sure we're doing all the right things to protect them first. Shooting would be last resort if they make it over fence into our yard.

    We have an acre, chickens are at back of lot which backs up to woods. All our neighbors also have acre lot, and neighbors on either side are also hunters that we know well. Still don't want to upset anyone though. We are also outside city limits.
     
  5. just13nat

    just13nat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We actually had an electric fence that we took down, I also have a 3 yo. There was actually a story here recently where a four year old was severely burned by an electric fence, it scared me enough to take ours down with a toddler running around. Although, I hadn't thought about placing it on the opposite side of fence. We may have to try that, the boys don't usually go on the other side.
     
  6. Eric 2016

    Eric 2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the coyote was pacing the fence it sounds like you've already done your job, meaning that the coyote was on the outside of the fence and couldn't get in. Don't get me wrong I'm all for killing predators but I think you're doing ok.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    You can always unplug the fence when boys are outside. That's what I used to do when mine were that little.
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On shooting varmints, this place is stocked with just about everything from air rifles to something big enough to drop a moose and can operate them all pretty well. I live on 10 acres, and I've given it some thought and have concluded that except for a shotgun, I could not safely shoot at a varmint running around on the ground. Between the homes, buildings, and livestock I can see and those I can't, plus places people, livestock and pets could be (and often are) that I can't see, there is no guarantee someone will not be in my line of fire. So I'd never consider shooting at a varmint on the ground with a rifle of any type. And again, I"m on 10 acres. Shotgun, yes (and have). Rifle, no. And that is assuming I"m around and could act fast enough to do something about an attack if I was.

    I fully understand your concern about a 3 year old and an electric fence. I have a grandson the same age. That kids mother shares your concerns. That family also lost all their birds last year to a fox. The birds were free ranging in their fenced yard. The only reason it wasn't a coyote that got em was the fox got there first.

    I too have a fenced in back yard, chain link style that goes to the ground and is about 4 feet high. But it has gates and in a few places, it is a few inches off the ground. I have seen cats, skunks coons and possums go through it like it isn't even there. A physical fence of that type may not even slow them down. Adjacent to that is a garden area surrounded by an electric fence. Within that garden area is a patch of sweet corn that to a raccoon is more addictive than crack. They haven't touched it, even though I know they are on the property each and every night. Trail cam photos prove it. So we know an electric fence works to keep them at bay. And compared to the physical fence, the electric fence isn't even a sieve. Unless it was hot, they could pass through it like it wasn't even there. But they don't. It isn't a physical barrier at all. It is a psychological one. One they won't touch.

    So the trade off seems to be electric fence and the dangers it poses, vs. losing all your birds. That is why I say an electric fence is your solution. So find a way. Do put it outside your existing fence (there are stand off clips for both steel T posts and chain link fences that will put it on the outside). A wire can be run along the top high enough toddlers can't reach it. And it can be turned off during the times when they are outside. If they are outside, the noise they make may be enough to cause the varmints to keep their distance. But if that fence is left on most of the time, and a varmint ever touches it, that then becomes the mental barrier that keeps them at bay. As it stands now, you have nothing to hold them back. Nothing at all.
     
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  9. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PS: On the part about skin burns and electric fences, that may have been the case with one of the old style, long pulse, weed burner fencers. If those are even still available to buy, finding or having one of them would be rare and extremely unlikely. If one were in use, likely as not if you used poly tape or poly rope, a weed burner type fencer would melt them.

    Most modern fencers are low impedance, which means a short mini burst of high voltage, the duration of which is measured in micro seconds. Painful, yes. Burns, no. So the end result is no physical harm is done to whatever it is that touches the fence, but they rarely touch it twice.
     
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  10. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    .22 bullet can go a mile if you miss your target, so be very careful where you aim. A hunter safety course for both you and your son would be beneficial. NRA puts them on all over the US. Find out more on the NRA web site. That being said. Coyotes "prefer" to go under, rather than over, a fence. Not saying they won't go over, only that if they had a choice, they would go under. He/she will probably come back to check on your defenses, so keep the dogs out as much as possible.
     

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