1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Protecting a larger flock from coyote packs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by barbsgarb, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. barbsgarb

    barbsgarb New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    May 26, 2014
    Keller, TX
    Last fall I lost around 20 chickens, all 4 guineas, and 5 ducks to a pack of coyotes that came through our neighborhood. My flock was not the only one with major losses.

    I have 7 lonely hens left that have been kept locked up tight in their hen house. With spring here, we are letting them out into their small enclosure daytimes, but I will be adding around 20 more chickens from purchased chicks to get my numbers back up.

    What can I do to discourage the pack of coyotes? Depending on weather, they will sometimes attack in the day.... not to mention the raccoons, possums, skunks, and foxes in the neighborhood. We lost birds daytime, and on the odd evenings kids forgot to close them in.

    Their enclosure is about 5x20 and is surrounded by 5' chain link with the bottom 2 feet lined with 1/4" hardware. All fences had to be made goat proof, so they are buried, and reinforced at the bottoms. One side of their enclosure is shared with the goat pen, one with the neighbors, one with my garden, and the last side is their building (a converted, enclosed shed).

    I used to let them free range the back acre and a half, but don't think I can anymore. Any suggestions??
     
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,873
    327
    238
    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    An electric fence would, but you have you have a large area to cover, that might nor be feasible for you. A couple good dogs can discourage one or two coyotes, but depending on how large a pack we are talking that may not help either, you just end up with dead dogs.
    Personally I am a fan of population management. It sounds like you have too large and too bold a group and hunting to lower their numbers might be your smartest choice.
     
  3. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,649
    183
    178
    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    Electric fences are effective and relatively cheap when compared to other options of fencing. I wouldn't buy the netting that's expensive but simple galvanized electric fence is quite effective. Also kill as many coyotes as possible, talk to others in the area about the problem, encourage others to trap them or kill them
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. barbsgarb

    barbsgarb New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    May 26, 2014
    Keller, TX
    Oddly enough they left the two goats completely alone. We found piles of feathers..... most noticeably the lighter color feathers from our one light Ameraucauna, and the last of our ducks.

    One side of our fencing that we share already has an electric line (put in by the neighbor), due to the neighbor's horse deciding to visit my oat patch last spring during the heavy rains and pushing over the chain link fence.

    The original owner's master goat enclosure, which includes our smaller chicken enclosure was electrified, but they didn't leave much behind, just a few of the yellow wire guides.

    I'm reluctant to put up a fully electric fence on the back, as there are children who like to lean on, and neighborhood pets that like to sit on or jump over our fence.

    We've talked about investing in the large cages we would need for coyotes, but they aren't cheap.
     
  5. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,873
    327
    238
    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    As a child who grew up with electric fencing and now a parent who has many fences, children learn very quickly (so would pets) Yes they might get a real snap the first time but after that it becomes a game, a dare. You get shocked, it stings and quickly fades. The wire is on a pulse so it isn't like someone grabs it and cannot let go.
     
  6. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    686
    78
    108
    Mar 20, 2016
    Georges Mills, NH
    are you sure it is a coyote? that fence description would normally dissuade them

    Pile of feathers? In a pile or in a U shape? U shaped is bird of prey

    Feathers caught at top of fence would be Bobcat

    Coyotes do not normally go over a 5' fence unless easy to climb type

    Body is gone I am gathering? That lets out anything smaller than a fox and all but the largest birds of prey
     
  7. barbsgarb

    barbsgarb New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    May 26, 2014
    Keller, TX
    Coyotes have been seen to leap a 10 foot fence with razor wire around here (at the airport). 5 foot probably wouldn't dissuade them.

    Would it need to be a fully electric fence, or the electric line attached to the fence?

    All we found was a rather large field of feathers, nothing else. Consistent location for feathers either for the kill of 20+ birds, as when only one of the ducks, or other chickens had been killed previously. Occasionally one would be missed on the nightly roundup, when we had the larger flock.

    During the near flooding rains, they would come late afternoon, but when conditions were drier, it was at night.

    Also, the chickens were fairly good at going in their house at night, whether or not it got closed up ,or finding a place to hide, usually with the goats. To get into the chicken enclosure they had to go over two fences. We would find just enough feathers in the chicken house to know they were going in and taking them when the door was open.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  8. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,873
    327
    238
    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    Generally they say electric 6 in off ground and then a foot or so above that another electric line. But if they are jumping clean over, maybe you need something else.
     
  9. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    686
    78
    108
    Mar 20, 2016
    Georges Mills, NH
    they will be climbing rather than leaping so a hot wire 6" from ground and another 12" from ground and a 3rd 2' from ground (OR electrified goat netting) with a good charge to it should work. Personally I'd go with the electric sheep/goat netting
     
  10. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,649
    183
    178
    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    They will have a hard time climbing an electric fence unless it's high tensile they will just cause it to stretch or bend over and get shocked anyway. I wouldn't ever use the netting it's just too expensive for me. A roll of galvanized wire goes a long way and posts and components are very cheap. If I was having predator problems I'd run 5 or 6 strands around the property up to 40ish inches tall
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by