We have coyotes. Legions of coyotes!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by HotDesertChick, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. HotDesertChick

    HotDesertChick Chirping

    Jan 4, 2015
    Southern New Mexico
    As a new member to BYC, I would like to highly praise the "Predator and Pests" thread. The original post in this thread was extremely well done. And ageless. Well done! As long as there are chickens, there will be "opportunists"?

    I am currently designing a "chicken pen" that will please the Architectural Committee Members of our own development. I feel I can build Fort Knox, although we have to "pass inspection" by the A C. But we gotta keep "everything looking good", and match our primary residence. No electric fences. No shotguns....etc, etc. We live within a five-acre development (all lots are 5 acres). Occasionally we have an errant big/loose dog that comes at night.

    But our main issue for chicken safety... is the many coyotes that saunter through daily/nightly. We see them on a regular daytime basis, and on our infra-red game camera moved about the perimeter of our house & barn after dark. Our great Varmint Dog Aussie died last November, of old age (he never quit doing a great job). The word is getting out among our bold coyotes, during daytime hours (the "jackals" have always come nightly).

    Coyote deterrents? No firearms allowed, and I would never consider poisoning. Our Local Coyotes eat virtually all loose cats, and small dogs (we also have an independent Corgi, backed up by the remaining Aussie).

    I/we would just like to send these cunning & bold creatures elsewhere.

    Any ideas?
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Crossing the Road

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    You don't say where you are at, but I'm glad we don't have coyote problem. You say no firearms. Well. I am a realist, and while I would not go after coyotes and shoot them, there are few solutions left. Build your coop and fence it in. To keep your chickens safe, bury part of the fence underground. This is labor intensive but only way to keep the predators out. It needs to be more than a few inches buried. Search other forums here as to best way to handle fence. I have read as deep as 2 feet but on an outward angle. Last resort if the coyotes are endangering you and your family and children. Have the State Authorities eliminate them. I know State should do whatever it takes to protect people. Around here The State Authorities cull herds of diseased deer. It is low profile and not talked about much. BEST WISHES TO YOU.
  3. Americano Blue

    Americano Blue Mush on!

    Apr 14, 2014
    Hello Spring
    My Coop
    A red light helps. Not a heated one but just a red colored light at their eye level
  4. Americano Blue

    Americano Blue Mush on!

    Apr 14, 2014
    Hello Spring
    My Coop
    oh and [​IMG]
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    If coop / run setup solid, then I would not worry about the threat coyotes pose to the chickens. I would be very surprised if the coyotes do not have similar feelings directed towards the human intruders invading their turf and extirpating their typical prey base.
  6. With all the rules your association and the number of coyotes you describe it sounds more like a coyote refuge than otherwise. You are pretty much backed into a corner. Do the very best to make your coop and run as lock down safe as possible. A flashing red light at their eye level will work to deter them (it does for me being used with a bright security light). Otherwise, since you can not shoot, poison or trap your options are limited. You might check these sites for things like ultrasonic deterrants and chemical deterrants:



    And welcome to BYC, keep us posted as to your results.
    1 person likes this.
  7. HotDesertChick

    HotDesertChick Chirping

    Jan 4, 2015
    Southern New Mexico
    Thanks all, for the good comments, and member welcome. Yes, we do feel like our hands a little tied when it comes to dealing with resident coyotes in our development. Our location is in Las Cruces,...southern New Mexico, not far from El Paso, TX. Our elevation is 4,000 feet, and 93 acres of undeveloped land sits between us and an area freeway. Many more acres of pecan groves sit to our south. We are not far from miles of BLM land below the Organ Mountains. Obviously, we have built within a haven for wild critters, large and small.

    We don't hate our coyotes, as they perform a much needed service here, for controlling the many rabbits (cottontail and Jacks), packrats, mice, and ground squirrels. Without the coyotes, we would have zero vegetation because of the destructive rabbits. Anyone who thinks bunnies are cute, never tried carving out an existence in a very arid desert clime. Jackrabbits can munch down a three foot woody plant overnight, as they literally "clip" off branches (think side cutters). Many people here DO hate coyotes, as their small dogs, and cats just don't survive here, if turned loose (we gave up on barn cats!). I realize we can't likely eradicate Mr. Wiley (no want too), and I recognize that we DID move onto their turf. But we would just like Wiley to stay wary. Coyotes are basically cowardly, but they adapt quite fast to human habitation, and likely even have more litters with cats and small dogs as part of their diet? Pretty easy prey, for the most part.

    I thought the "eye-level red light" idea was interesting. Will give it a try. Our infrared game camera flashes bright red, when the tiny LED lights fire at night (not visible during daylight). We have gotten shots of some pretty surprised coyotes, but the "visitors" quickly seem to ignore the tiny bright flashes. With video capture, it is easy to guess "who" is likely Newbie in a pair (or small group) because of their reaction to the infrared recording. Our cam has always been set above "eye level" though,...to get a broader shot of all nighttime visitors.

    I plan to install "underground wire" as a deterrent to Wileys, but don't know how to go about the installation. As the future location of our coop, and 32-foot run is on compacted rocky ground, against our present barn, digging deep is a pain (literally). And once the ground has been "dug deeply", it would be easier for coyotes to dig under? I thought about running wire out at a 90 degree angle, but how far? Would burying the wire at an angle help? We also have a bank to that would have to be dug into to if the wire extends beyond two feet. What gauge wire? Perhaps land mines?

    We could use cut hog panels, but rats could readily dig "though" these. I can't see chicken wire stopping any coyote. Our pro diggers have gone under short chicken wire enclosures surrounding fruit trees. We have gotten many "semi-humorous" night pics of Wiley quickly burrowing beneath wire cages to reach ripe apricots. It would have been so much easier to clear the wire surround, but they deftly have dug under, with anxious/hungry buds awaiting part of the booty.

    These guys & gals are very enterprising, and adaptable. To say the least. More comments on wire installation? Coop run will be 1/2" X 1" wire, with concrete "sill"/base, if I can afford it. More scare tactics? Any more ideas, other than moving out?

  8. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Songster

    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    I would approach your association about hiring a professional trapper to thin the herd. If there are problems with people's pets, they may get on board. As far as construction, you'll need chainlink or lumber fence. Basically build it as strong as you would to keep a dog out. Coyotes are effective diggers and are quite good at figuring out gravity latches. You'll need a spring loaded or deadbolt latch on any gates or doors. I use a gravity door on my coop where raccoons are a problem. Made of a piece of Oak stair riser, there is a bolt hole drilled front and bottom at opposing angles. The bolt slides through a hole in the metal siding. Door slides between the 2 pieces of siding framed in with 2X4 and 1X8 spacer. Simple, low-profile construction.
  9. katbriar

    katbriar Songster

    Dec 15, 2012
    Northern New Mexico
    Welcome, neighbor! I'm in northern NM and also have oodles of coyotes. We see them regularly during the day, close to the house, horse lot, and chicken coop. They are not worried one whit by us.

    I've only had my chickens a couple of years, but I'll tell you what seems to be working for me. I have a three sided wooden shed (horse run in shed) with the front screened in by 1/2 in hardware cloth. The floor is also covered with 1/2 in hardware cloth and then 6 in of construction sand. All sides of the shed have a 2' apron of hardware cloth. You can throw dirt or gravel over the apron if you want it to look "clean" or as in my case, just let the weeds root in.

    The girls have a coop in part of this shed and use the rest as a run.

    So far I have had no predator losses, and haven't even seen digging around the shed.

    Hope this gives you a useful idea or two! Good luck!
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Hot wire?

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