The Dingo ate my baby - I mean, the coyote ate half my flock

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Ande Weathers, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Ande Weathers

    Ande Weathers Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2015
    Sunday morning we were visited by what my wife believes is a coyote. 11 of my 21 birds were either killed or have disappeared.

    I free-range the birds, so live free - die free, of course.

    We live in the Republic of New Germany - also known as the former state of New Jersey.

    Coyote spottings are on the rise in our area, though most people don't really believe coyotes ( or bears) are in our part of the state/country. We know better.

    Anyway, I have a running tussle with a hawk or two. And I have seen a fox a couple years back. The coyote is new and the scene in my yard was dead bodies and feathers everywhere.

    Timing sucked because my flock was really producing. I was getting 14 eggs daily from 21 birds.
     
  2. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2014
    E Washington
    [​IMG] sorry to hear that Boss.

    This sounds like it might have been a dog? Coyotes can be bloodthirsty too and just kill anything in sight but more often with free ranging birds they seem to grab one and go. Particularly this time of year when they are denning up and preparing/having pups.

    In suburban areas though, coyotes/dog hybrids are not uncommon and those are a very dangerous combination when it comes to small animals.

    What kind of birds do/did you have? If you're dead set on free ranging 24/7 then you might want to rebuild with a more flighty bird that is wary of predators.
     
  3. Ande Weathers

    Ande Weathers Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2015
    Agreed.

    Saturday night I had 21 birds:

    4 Americauna ( 1 of which was laying the highly sought out blue egg)
    4 Barred Rock
    1 Cuckoo Maran
    2 Buff Orpington
    3 Astrolorp
    7 Reds, 1 of which is a sex-link I got from a farmer with the cut beak. poor thing.

    After the massacre, I have 11 (I thought it was 10 yesterday, but one seems to have come back from the woods)

    1 Americauna
    0 Barred Rock
    1 Cuckoo Maran
    0 Buff Orps
    2 Astrolorp
    7 Reds

    Do you recommend a particular flighty bird? I thought my whole flock was relatively flighty because on a couple occasions the wind has blown the coop shut and they all ended up 20 feet up in the trees.

    My yard is covered in snow, with a decent amount of ice layer on top. I suspect they may have really been hampered by the slippery conditions and unable to get any traction to start their run, to gain flight. I have seen them panic when they are walking under my feet ( when I first come out with the food) and they seem to panic and just squat down. I call it the death squat.

    It's no surprise the Buff Orps both died. They are so slow and fat, we prefer to call them BFF - Big Fat Fanny
     
  4. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    E Washington
    In full size birds...maybe Red, White or Brown Leghorns. Anconas are pretty athletic...Andalusians too? These are all Mediterranean birds and tend to be flightier in my experience. Having a rooster would really help too because they are so much more wary and do a good job of alerting hens.

    Your winters would be a bit harsh for Mediterranean birds without a very good shelter.
     
  5. Ande Weathers

    Ande Weathers Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2015
    I appreciate the advice. Thanks.

    I'll be picking up a rooster this season.

    I do have a nice shelter. When the temp drops I use a heat lamp in their coop. I've been through two winters so far and have never lost a bird to the temperature. I did have a small amount of frostbite on one or two birds last year, which is why I use the heatlamp this winter.
     
  6. K-Kritter

    K-Kritter Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 15, 2015
    So sorry to hear about your loss. I am considering free ranging and am getting 4 Buffs and 4 Brahmas, all big and fat. I might need to rethink things.
     
  7. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    Around here usually a mass killing is from dogs. Coyotes here take em and run.
     
  8. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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  9. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    I had coyotes wipe out a flock of a dozen a few years ago. But it was late May when they had young to feed, or they were teaching them to hunt. There wasn't a body left only piles of feathers.

    You shouldn't need a heat lamp. I'm further north and don't use one. Frostbite is more from excess moisture, not the cold temps. How much ventilation does your coop have?
     

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