Help me sleep better: coyote protection

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dtimms, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. dtimms

    dtimms Songster

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    Jun 20, 2009
    NJ
    After searching the posts for an hour, I couldn't come up with quite the info I'm looking for. So sorry if this has been answered recently.

    I knew there were local coyotes about 1 mile away on a friend's farm, but a neighbor told me yesterday she saw one in her yard and another neighbor is missing a puppy. Now I'm on high alert.

    We live in a suburban neighborhood, with a fenced-in yard (about 1/2 acre? maybe less?) and close neighbors. We also have a Saint Bernard who sleeps soundly inside with us a night, but frequently "waters the shrubs", as we like to put it. I have a motion sensor light on the back of the house.

    Our chickens are locked up inside their A-frame tractor at night with a ramp that raises up into the floor. The run is enclosed with 1/2" hardward cloth, but no buried wire. They are in their run unattended during the day (with the ramp down) while I'm at work, but I have not let them free-range around the yard yet because they are 10 weeks old and I'm a little nervous about that. (I can hear a hawk all the time in the woods behind our house.)

    Does it sound like we've taken enough precautions? Should I put hardware wire around the outside to prevent digging under? I don't think coyotes could open the ramp even if they got in, but still...

    Any coyote-specific suggestions? Help!!!!
     
  2. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    Wisconsin
    How tall is your fence around your yard? Is it secure?
     
  3. dtimms

    dtimms Songster

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    Jun 20, 2009
    NJ
    It's just a regular chain-link fence, maybe 3 or 4 feet? Just meant to keep the dog, and now chickens, in and be a border with the neighbors. So I'd say not secure from coyotes.
     
  4. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Songster

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Coyotes can definately jump a 4 ft fence.
    I would suggest burring 1/4x 1/2 wire a min of 1 ft down and wiring the bottom of the run.
    Coyotes will dig and dig to get in. deeper is always better.
    The dog may deter them a bit but if there are a number of them they are not going to worry about 1 dog unfortunately

    So sorry to hear a neighbor lost a pup. hoping the pup just got scared off and will come back on its own , or someone finds it and returns it.
     
  5. dtimms

    dtimms Songster

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    Jun 20, 2009
    NJ
    I know that our fence is not a physical deterrent, but I was hoping it would mark to property line where a big dog lives and perhaps make them think twice. Maybe not!

    So coyotes are really diggers... Because our coop is somewhat mobile, burying wire will be difficult. I've seen people talk about attaching a strip of wire around the coop to keep diggers from getting close enough. Does running at 12" wide wire rim around the base of the coop really help, or would they still be able to get it?

    Do I need to start worrying about these coyotes during the daytime too????

    I don't know the people who lost the puppy, just heard from my nosy neighbor next door. I hope she'll bring me better news today, I felt terrible about it.
     
  6. RGEISENDORF

    RGEISENDORF In the Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2009
    Sedro-Woolley, WA
    I've ordered a "coyote deterant" it should be here in a couple weeks. It sounds like a mountian lion, tires on gravel etc but at a whisper so coyotes can hear it but humans are not bothered. I will let you know if it works. I have lost nine chickens to coyotes. They grab them 3 feet away from me..... its frustrating.
     
  7. dtimms

    dtimms Songster

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    Jun 20, 2009
    NJ
    OMG, while you are there???? Please let me know how your device works, now I'm totally freaked!
     
  8. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    I know here it's not illegal to shoot a coyote. When I still had my horses boarded, the owner shot 2 in the pasture. When you are there you might want to keep something handy in case they get too bold. You need to be aware of the laws in your area though, plus it sounds like you have neighbors close by, so that might not be an option either. I'm the last person to suggest shooting something, but coyotes can become a big problem because they lose their fear of people. Good example is stealing a chicken 3 feet from it's owner [​IMG] sorry I don't really have any advice for when you're not home. I would definitely dig wire into the ground though. Good luck, hopefully nothing comes of this! [​IMG]
     
  9. dtimms

    dtimms Songster

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    Jun 20, 2009
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    No, shooting them is not going to be an option... I understand sometimes it becomes necessary, but in a suburban CT neighborhood I don't think that's feasible. Especially since I've never held a gun in my life! But we will surely be careful in the yard in the evening, especially when we let the dog out before bed! He's huge, but he's goofy... definitely not the fearless protector type.

    Maybe I can find a place to leave the coop permanently and dig in the wire. For now I might have to try the around-the-bottom plan. I am definitely not going to sleep better until then at least!

    Ugh!!! The girls have been in the yard for exactly 4 days...............
     
  10. LesGan

    LesGan Songster

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    Mar 24, 2008
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Would some portable electric fencing be a solution for dtimms situation??
     

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