Homesteading 101: Coyotes

coyote

My town has a coyote problem.Like lots of other towns in the U.S., we’re growing in population and confrontations with coyotes are becoming more common. As a homesteader, that’s an issue. Coyotes can kill chickens, hunt barn cats and destroy a garden in a single night.

So what do you do when the 4-legged fiends come knocking on your door? One controversial management method is to simply hunt them. If you’re not a hunter, there are plenty of hunters for hire that will take out coyotes in your area. Your state may also have resources for particularly troublesome coyotes that don’t know when to give up.

Not comfortable with killing them? Deter them. The goal is either to make your your yard unappealing or to make your neighbors’ yard more appealing than yours. You can do this with fencing. Chain link or deer fencing — something not so sturdy — is hard for them to climb. Bury your fencing about a foot deep and you’ll have a good coyote deterrent. You can also limit their food sources by securing your trash, locking up your livestock and making sure all pet food is put away and secured. That includes chicken food!

If there aren’t any easy meals on your property or if food is easier to find elsewhere, the coyotes will simply move along. Walk around your yard and make a list of all potential food sources, then remove or secure them to take away the coyotes’ food sources. After a day or 2, they’ll realize there’s no food to be found at your house and they’ll be forced to leave.

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