Hyped up on adrenaline... Any guesses?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MaggieRae, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    So this morning, not 20 minutes ago (in broad day light I might add), my chickens started going crazy. They were making such noise that I could hear them inside the house from 30 yards away louder than the tv. My hunting dog who was sitting on the couch beside me looked outside and started growling. My dad came over, looked outside and said, "It's a coyote!" He grabbed his air pellet rifle, which was thankfully loaded as he had been aiming at squirrels yesterday (but hadn't shot cause they 'kept moving'. Squirrels do that. [​IMG] ) and went outside. I stayed inside, restraining our angry dog. He walked out and the coyote like creature ran towards the woods away from the chicken coop, but then it stopped. Dad shot it, but didn't kill it. We don't think our air rifle even pierced it's skin.

    I went outside and checked everything. Coop was fine, chickens were fine if a bit rattled. Lucy the roo was positive he had been the one to scare it off. He was puffed up, clucking to his ladies.

    This coyote was massive. Way bigger than any coyote my dad or I have ever seen. We're thinking it may be a wolf hybrid as there are some full breed wolves down here, but there are more half dog half wolf creatures that were pets... The creature was grey and VERY large. We haven't killed it but I hope it knows that these chickens are protected. Now I'm wanting a guard dog of some sort... I probably won't get one, though. [​IMG]
    Why can't that darn mountain lion take care of this mutant dog problem? [​IMG] What good is it if all it does is terrorize the neighbors? (I've posted about this mountain lion somewhere else too.)
    Anyone have any guesses what this was? It all happened too fast to get a picture. And does anyone have any suggestions on how to fortify the coop? As of now the coop has a 3 foot apron, with only 2 feet of perimeter not covered. Surrounding the coop is about 3-5 inches of rock, to help prevent digging. The run is covered by 1x2 inch wire and the bottom 3 feet has 1/2x1/2 hardware cloth as well. The coop itself is sturdy, too.

    [​IMG] Don't worry, the nest box has a lid now.
    Best picture of the run, but lacks the paint and rock. [​IMG]

  2. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Songster

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    looks pretty good to me.. they aren't like raccoons who can open up things. they can only dig and pull .. if you didn't bury your hardware cloth and only the rocks are there they could definately move the rocks and dig under.
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Your set-up looks sturdy and secure. Nice area and pretty to look at, too.

    I live in NH and we have super-sized coyotes, too. The coyotes breed with Eastern Timber wolves and their offspring are HUGE. I was stunned the first time I saw coyotes in NH (I had seen them out west). They outweigh my smaller dog by 10-15 pounds and she's not a small dog by any stretch. With all the new wolf populations being re-introduced I predict that in a couple decades coyotes and wolves will be so closely linked that only a DNA test will tell them apart. Wolf size with coyote guile, cunning, and adaptability...scary.
  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Coyotes can get pretty big. You might be surprised at just how big some are. Also, I wouldn't ever recommend shooting to wound an animal, especially a wild one. If you shoot, shoot to kill. BB's or pellets can get under the skin and cause infections. Occasionally a pellet can break a bone or cause organ damage. A wounded animal can't fend for itself and dies a slow painful death. Wounded animals also get desperate for food and, in their desperation, become more of a threat to humans and domestic animals.

    ETA: http://www.desertusa.com/june96/du_cycot.html

    The coyote is a member of the dog family. In size and shape the coyote is like a medium-sized Collie dog, but its tail is round and bushy and is carried straight out below the level of its back.

    Coyotes found in low deserts and valleys weigh about 20 pounds, less than half of their mountain kin, who can weigh up to 50 pounds. Desert Coyotes are light gray or tan with a black tip on the tail.

    We aren't in the mountains, but 40 - 50 pound coyotes are not uncommon here.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  5. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Quote:I know. We do shoot to kill, except this was the only gun available to us at the time. I wasn't going to let my dog get hurt scaring off this animal, and I wasn't going to lose any chickens. Did the best with what was available. Had my dad had one of his higher calibers, it would have been dead. If it helps, we didn't find any blood, and it was a long shot. We know we hit it, but I seriously doubt that we pierced skin.
  6. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Songster

    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
    It may have been a coyote/dog hybrid. They can crossbreed and the resulting predator is like a really large coyote and often more aggressive, with less fear of people.

    Your run looks sturdy though. I'd be more worried about your dog. You were smart to keep him inside.
  7. Shannon's Chix

    Shannon's Chix Songster

    Apr 30, 2009
    N.E. Florida
    Your coop and run look very secure. The only other thing I can think of is electric wire? [​IMG]

  8. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Yep your coop and run look pretty good! If I were you, I would add a couple of hot wires around everything.
  9. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    My dog weighs 50+ lbs and this thing was way bigger than her. That's why I don't think it's a coyote. Especially since the coyote-red wolf mixes around here are red, where this thing was grey. Oh well. So long as it doesn't come back. The chickens are locked up tight tonight.

    I've been thinking about hot wire because of the mountain lion, but we can't run electricity out there. I was looking at tractor supply for a solar charger, but the stuff they sell is for miles to ward off wolves and bears. We have mountain lions and bears, but I'd rather not have a wandering trespasser (we're on a busy lake and get these a lot. Usually just let the dog after them. She doesn't bite, but runs fast and barks loud.) get shocked and sue...
  10. danielle82

    danielle82 A Good Egg

    Apr 27, 2009
    Tonasket Wa
    My Mom lives up in the hills on 20 acres but leases 100, so all in all 120 acres. Apparently some people a few hills over were breeding Dog/Coyote/Wolf mixes. I guess they moved out about 10 or 12 years ago, but there are some freaky looking "coyotes" running around out there now. She has a few great pyranees LGD that do a very nice job of keeping everything at arms length.

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