Predators are part of farm life. We have tried to have the attitude that we are sharing our property with the wildlife that surrounds. However, this doesn’t really make us feel better when they snag one of our treasured animals.
The other day a young coyote took a big risk and ran through our pasture to quickly snag up one of our chickens. All that was left behind was a few feathers. We might not have even known what happened to the chicken except my husband happened to be on the phone and heard a commotion out the window. He was able to watch the coyote snag a chicken and run into the back woods. Helpless to do anything to stop it.
The weather has been unusually cold. This time of year is tough for all creatures and food is likely scarce. It is a rare event to have a coyote out hunting in the middle of the day. Especially one that was willing to risk the shock of our pasture’s electric perimeter fence. This is the first time we have ever seen this kind of assault on our farm animals. This coyote is either extremely hungry or not right in its mind. It ran across a large open pasture by goats and horse to grab a chicken that was only about 50 feet behind our house. Coyotes are usually much smarter than that. They are typically nighttime hunters that avoid too close of contact with humans.
For now we have decided to not let our chickens free range in the pasture. When the ground warms up enough to work in it again, we will try to reinforce our pasture fence line with more hot wire. Hopefully that will give the coyote some deterrent and time to move on to other hunting grounds. Or, at least… until the rabbits start reproducing in the spring and food is ample again.