It was bound to happen...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bobbi-j, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,862
    3,910
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    After a few years of predator-free ranging, my flock was hit yesterday. I noticed five of my flock of 14 missing. Two of them showed up today, one was found dead under the coop with a bald spot the size of my palm with tooth marks/puncture wounds, and two are MIA. There were coyote tracks in the fresh snow this morning, so there is no doubt in my mind as to what the culprit(s) can be. That, and the fact that all of my outside cats have disappeared over the past few weeks. We haven't had a problem with coyotes for several years, but this year is different. We live in the country and there are lots of fields and sloughs, etc. with plenty of wildlife for them to eat. But we've noticed that there are no rabbits around this year - last year they were everywhere, so maybe they got whatever disease rabbits get when they're overpopulated and died off. The sloughs are drying up, so the muskrats are gone. We also have Great Horned Owls and Snowy Owls for them to compete with for mice and other smallish rodents. So, I guess my cats and chickens are (were) easy picking. Theremaining chickens will be kept in their coop and run, and the two indoor cats don't get to go out at night anymore. I think the coyotes were brave enough to come near the buildings yesterday because we were gone all day and the dog was in the house. Usually there is enough activity going on around the coop and barn area that I think it would keep them away.
     
  2. jeslewmazer

    jeslewmazer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    Mississippi
    A nice sized pack of coyotes might try to take one anything. Even the dear seem to vanish and even outside dogs get taken off (killed/eaten). Coyotes can overpopulate a area pretty quickly, and they can be very brave. My family and friends have seen coyotes come out of the woods into their yards in mid day and other times of the day.
     
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,921
    30
    213
    Mar 30, 2008
    ND
    I am really sorry for your losses... A coyote population can thin out the rabbit population, too...
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,862
    3,910
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Yeah, it could have been the coyotes that took care of the rabbits. Our population isn't "thinned", it's gone. We don't see them on the roadsides, we don't see them in the yard or grove. We don't see them anywhere.

    Jeslewmazer - what kind of chicken is that in your avatar? One of my missing ones looked like that. Got her from a friend who didn't know what it was, either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  5. jeslewmazer

    jeslewmazer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    Mississippi
    Mine is a Speckled Sussex. She is wonderful. She currently has 8chicks. I took the picture right before they hatched. [​IMG]
     
  6. tuckertori

    tuckertori Out Of The Brooder

    74
    4
    31
    Apr 22, 2011
    Has anyone heard of a coyote jumping a 5 foot fence? I lost my first hen last week. We have a pile of feathers in our yard and our neighbors says he saw a coyote jump his fence with something in its mouth. We share a fence and both of our yards are completely fenced with a 5 foot fence. I thought a racoon, bobcat or eagle might get one, but never though of a coyote. Sadly, we started with 4 last March and have lost 2 to illness over the months. Poor "Hilda" is alone now. I am also planning my new flock.
     
  7. jeslewmazer

    jeslewmazer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    Mississippi
    Might of been a fox, but dogs in general can climb a fence if they are smart enough. Sometimes people mix up coyotes, foxes, and dogs. There are other predators that can get around a fence, like you said raccoon, bobcat, eagle.....also hawks, owls, weasels, minks, snakes, etc. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,862
    3,910
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    There have been other posts about coyotes jumping fences. It sounds like you're in an urban or suburban area. I think the coyotes are much more brazen in those areas because they don't have their regular diets of small wildlife as readily available.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by