What kind of animal is this? A Coyote? Fox? Please help!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sunny & the 5 egg layers, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 29, 2011
    Today, right outside of my house we saw an animal. It was about 2/3rds the size of my 45lbs border collie. It was a whitish color and the fur was all matted. It looked like a dog, but a mangy one. Could it have been a coyote? A fox? Please help me find what type of animal we may have. We are from Massachusetts if that helps at all.

    Thank you in advance. [​IMG]
  2. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Feral dog or coyote is my bet. Not sure where in Mass you are located, but there are gray foxes in some areas. You can check Google or Wikipedia to see those, I'm sure you'd be able to recognize it once you've seen them.
  3. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    Unless it was albino, I doubt it was a fox. Most foxes around here are the size of raccoons/large cats. Coyotes, however, can breed with dogs and be a variety of colors, and even sizes.
    If it was mangey, I would worry about it being sick and possibly endangering your dog...or injured and more likely to endanger you chickens. Healthy coyotes are pretty discreet animals, but an unhealthy one could be a problem.
    It's also possible it was a stray dog. People dump animals and they become wild without human contact. Most can't survive in the wild and will starve if not caught and adopted.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Ive never seen a fox or coyote with matted fur, either they groom themselves alot, or their hair isn't the type to mat , so I would guess some dog
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    2/3rds the size of a border collie would probably be a red fox--grays are more the size of large cats. It may well have been a mangy fox--they tend to look pretty bad. A Mass. coyotes, especially an adult, would be more the size of your collie.
  6. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    Even well pelted coyotes look pretty mangy. Right now they are growing in their winter fur so they look rather ratty, especially if there are burdocks and cottontails around. Fur is typically cream to greyish brown, but they do have varying color phases. The size you describe is right, but a big bad predator often looks bigger than they really are. Tracks will look like a medium dog track, fox tracks look more cat-sized.

    What was the body language? Coyotes tend to keep their tail low like a whipped puppy unless interacting with other canines. They're usually quicker to bolt than a fox. Gait is more running like a dog, a fox is bouncier. Foxes generally hold the tail straight out and will look at you a second before bolting (curiosity kills more than cats!).

    Red fox are easy to spot, classic fox look except for "samsons" which is a drab, greyish reddish brown color phase. Greys are grey tipped with rust and blacks with a black tail tip. They are smaller than reds about the size of a large cat. Both will often stick close to cover, moving from bush to bush like a cartoon fox.

    A #2 bridger foothold cross staked in a dirthole will be hell on either. So will a 17 HMR.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011

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