Lesson 1303 – the decision has been made

Well you can’t say that I haven’t done my research on our coyote problem.

I spoke to our local animal control officer.
I spoke to a police officer.
I spoke to the people who work at a gun shop.
I went *back* to the police department to ask a few more questions.
I’ve read every comment on the Facebook pages for our town and our police department.
I spoke to a professional trapper.
I spoke to a person at Fish and Game.

In a nutshell this is what I’ve been told (again and again.) The coyote has discovered our flock (end of sentence.) He is not going to be going away. We can’t “scare” him off. we can’t train him to go away. The only solution for this particular predator is to trap and dispose of him. (Relocating is not an option. We’d just be pushing our problem onto someone else.)

The working theory is that there is a den nearby. It’s my (naïve?) hope that if this coyote is caught then other coyotes would then learn to stay away.

Because, trust me, I really don’t like the idea of “dispatching” any animal (you’ve seen the measures I’ve taken to rehab some of my injured chickens.) The trapper told us that we have to be okay with our decision and I said I was okay, but he then said it’s the “after the trap” part that I have to be “really okay” with.

I once hid in the bathroom with my hands over my ears singing Lalalalala because Marc was boiling some lobsters and I had read that you could hear them scream when you put them in the pot. I know, when you come down to it I’m a big, fat baby.

But I also have a right to a flock and personal safety in my backyard. And my neighbors have a right to the safety of their pets and children.

So yes, like it or not, I am “really okay” with this decision.

Of all the issues I’ve had over the years with our flock, this is one I never expected. The only way to turn this into a positive is to make sure I pass this information onto others so that they can take precautions which might allow them to avoid having to make a decision like this for themselves.



Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs

4 responses to “Lesson 1303 – the decision has been made

  1. Good luck to you–I would hate to do it, too, but unfortunately it’s necessary. We have coyotes and bears here and there, but we are also surrounded by farmland AND avid hunters, so we’ve been lucky so far with predators. We do have a rifle, though, “just in case.”

  2. I hope you resolve the coyote problem. Living in England, I have never seen a real live coyote and cannot imagine the sort of damage they do. I can understand your feelings about ‘dispatching’ him. I am always the one who has to clean up after our cats when they bring home ‘presents’ and leave them outside our back door because my husband can’t stomach dead birds and mice. I can’t cope with seeing them toying with their prey or knowing that a poor little animal has only seconds to live. But I keep telling myself that it’s nature and there is nothing I can do about it. With the coyote it is quite different, I understand that, but cannot imagine the kind of danger children and pets can be in when a coyote is around.

  3. I understand that it’s a tough call, but done with integrity (as you are doing) I think it is just a part of life: defending your territory for survival of your “food.”
    I hope it works, though it surely seems you have your work cut out for you, especially since the problem is not just coyotes. Maybe you’ll need to build a few large runs with netting even on top, and only let the chicks free-range when you are out? Horrible choices . . . Good luck with it all, and keep us posted.

  4. Rachy

    It’s the right decision, it’s the responsible decision. A lot is made about animals doing what comes naturally but there comes times when a choice has to be made and you, with informed judgement and reasoning, have made the correct choice. x

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