Monday, December 2, 2013

Hoping for Chicken Dinner

This is what I saw, looking out of the kitchen window early Saturday morning.  It's about a hundred feet from the house.  I was sort of peeking around the edge of the window (the blurry dark strip on the right), as I didn't want it to see me.  I wanted to see where it actually had the nerve to go.  It is in what we call the alleyway. Map   It's a long fenced section that the coyotes would normally avoid, because they would feel a bit trapped.  Obviously not this one, and maybe others too, as we'll get to shortly.  This coyote was not healthy looking at all.   Larry went down stairs to get his coat and boots on, and by the speed he was doing that, Jake and Luna knew something was up.  The coyote turned to it's left through the gate into the hayfield, which would be at the bottom right corner of the picture.


Here it is heading down the field along the fence line between the hayfield and the chicken field. That reddish blur right below the coyote is a chicken.  Sorry for the bad photo, the light was bad, the coyote was moving, I was excited, I was out on the deck barefoot and in my nightie.


So then I shouted to Larry let the dogs out.  They shot out, straight into the hayfield, Larry hot on their heels.  The coyote ran up the hayfield.  When they run, they look like they are expending no energy at all, and easily keep ahead of our dogs.  It made a quick right turn right where Luna is, and shot behind that blackberry pile.  Larry walked around later and looked at the other side of the fence.  The ground slopes away there, is soft, and it was easy for the coyote to squeeze under the fence.  I was telling the story to someone later, and they reminded me that if our dogs had got the coyote trapped in the corner, they may have got badly bitten.  True, although I had figured it would have gone over the fence in desperation.  I didn't want them running straight up the alley way after it, as they would have been long gone and Larry would have had no hope of keeping up with them.  I wanted to give the coyote a reminder that it can't just waltz in and help itself to our chickens whenever it feels like it.


We had suffered no coyote (or other predator) losses with these chickens until November.  That is quite amazing actually.  We went to Oliver for 5 days, and came back to find a hole dug under the fence from the neighbours, and about 6 hens missing.  The interesting thing was that they had also attempted to dig under from our hay field, but weren't successful.  We wondered if that coyote Saturday morning was heading down to work some more on that hole.

We've heard lots of coyotes howling close by just lately.  A very eery sound.  When we were gone, Meredith said they were so loud one night they sounded like they were on the back deck of the house.  She got brave enough to go out with a flashlight, and saw eyes glinting back at her from the other side of our property line fence.  They were probably cheering on their friends who were working on the hole.


  1. We now have a new Hybrid here called the Coywolf part Coyote part Wolf and they aren't afraid of people or dogs . Lovely photos . I am glad all went well with the chase and no one got hurt except the pride of the Coyote . Sorry to hear about your chickens but I guess even the wild animals have to survive some how ! When I was on the farm as a kid we had Raccoons and Fox picking off our chickens back then Coyotes were to timid to come that close to the house .Thanks for sharing . Have a good week !

  2. Oh my! What excitement! We have not seen a Coyote on our property, but occasionally see one that has been hit by a car, so we do have some around. Glad all your animals are safe this time.

  3. Those coyotes are little devils. We live by the beach and have them here too

  4. We also have coyotes, but I have not seen one in ten years. They are very shy and we have nothing of interest for them. Sound like you have quite a problem on your hands.

  5. We have them too and they are after small cats and mice and eventually when the snow is deep enough deer. We had big prints in the drive the other day..bigger than Chance.
    They are very brave critters...hope most of your flock survives:)


    I am using these with success and so are lots of my fiends. P.S. He looked pretty health to me!

  7. That's an interesting product. I wonder if anyone uses them to protect their sheep from predators at night? Unfortunately our problems are during the daylight, and I was wondering if the lights worked during the daytime. I did eventually see on the website that they only come on at dark and turn off at daylight. During the night the chickens are locked in their coop, so coyotes aren't a problem then. Coyotes are pretty smart, so I think they'd figure out quickly that if they came during the daytime, they wouldn't have to worry about flashing red eyes.
    The fur on that coyote in the picture was pretty ratty. It was really short in the saddle area, and I think the last half of his tail was naked:)

  8. Thanks for visiting this years Christmas Village. I has become an annual event. Horst made Ryker his own chefs hat for this event. You are right, no one eats this village. Kids come and use hammers to break it all up after Christmas, eating is not encouraged.

  9. Yes, my friends are even using them along with other guardian animals such as dogs, donkeys, and llamas. They even help to protect against wolves, they tell me.


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