Posts tagged ‘chickens’

Coyote Carnage

Just when I’m supposed to be hitting the books, as in taxes, the chickens started literally screaming bloody murder this morning. Sure enough, the coyotes we’ve seen lurking for weeks made a hit. 4 of my sons 8 chickens are confirmed dead and one is missing. Because of where we live, we haven’t been able to get a safe, clear shot.

Free range isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 35 chickens over 5-6 years would squawk about that… if they could. We started out with a small coop and letting our chickens free range. Then we went to a large coop and letting them free range during the day.  After losing chickens steadily, we remodeled and moved the small coop into a fenced yard.  We are in the process of taking down a large hoop house that was damaged in the wind to redo. It worked well for awhile, but the ones that flew out of the yard were still getting picked off.

This morning the coyote must have dug under, though I don’t see any obvious spots, or he jumped a 4 1/2 foot fence! Either way, my son lost half his remaining flock and is very down. He got his gun and went hunting but they were long gone.

Well, tomorrow morning bright and early, we will be ready with bait in the form of the dead chickens and a .308 rifle!

Please do not rant to me about coyotes being harmless or getting a bad rap till you’ve had to comfort your son losing his prize birds and worrying about them attacking your horse or cows. I don’t shoot anything, including snakes, unless they infringe on the boundaries of safety. Well, Wile E., you stepped over the line.

Dog Days

We all love our dogs, wether they are strictly pets or work for a living. However, any and all dogs will, will, will revert to pack behavior with other dogs. Even if they come home from a stroll with an innocent look on their face, they may have feathers in their mouth! We recently had two dogs come through our yard early in the morning. My son’s pet chicken, the one we intended to use for 4H showmanship at the fair this fall, got snatched. She was still flapping as they ran out the gate so I was shouting drop it! no effect! jumped in the car to follow and hubby grabbed the shot gun. Yes, the dog was shot and killed. Drastic? Yes, but necessary. Once a dog starts killing for sport they don’t stop. The inner wolf comes out. In Arizona you may pursue and dispatch an animal that kills or harasses livestock. We didn’t want to. Would have liked to warn the owner. But now I have a sad little guy on my hands, may have to buy a new chicken, and an angry neighbor who we still don’t know. Pleeease, for everyone’s sake, keep your dogs at home.