The coyotes have been particularly present this year. All our neighbors are talking about them. They have been sighted on our property and on all our neighbors’. There appear to be a family, as some we have seen are young and some bigger and older.
Unfortunately, cats are starting to disappear and my one neighbor has lost 25 chickens over the past month. So far we have been fortunate, and I do think our electric fence is responsible. We even saw the coyote one day running along the fence with chickens only 10 feet away — but it was afraid to cross the painful barrier.
But they are especially active this year. A few neighbors think one house is to blame as they had over 100 chickens free-ranging at one time. They were the ones who lost 25. So obviously the coyotes have learned there is easy pickings there for dinner.
I have done some research and coyotes are opportunistic hunters who typically live alone. They pair up at mating time, but they do not hunt in packs. Thus, they go for smaller, easier prey. The best way to fend them off is to make your animals harder to get to then the other abundant options like small rodents and rabbits.
We are hopeful that our situation remains strong especially as we go into the winter months when food becomes more scarce. Although, it is part of living on a farm — there are lots of creatures who like to eat chicken.