I love getting questions from you!
If you ever have a question about our homestead, our life, or how we do things around here please don’t hesitate to email me
. I read them all and love to hear from you.
Recently, I received a question about how we keep the coyotes away from our pigs.
This question is especially timely since it is “coyote-attack-season” here in Kentucky. It is mid-winter. The coyotes are cold and hungry. The typical, circle-of-life, food sources are much less plentiful this time of year. Which means that your pigs, chickens and livestock are especially venerable.
When the days are short and the nights are long and the weather is freezing and the food is scarce, the coyotes get courageous. A broad-daylight chicken attack that a predator would never consider in mid-summer, doesn’t surprize us in winter.
First, I’ll say that we have never had a “coyote problem” with our pigs. We have had a coyote problem concerning our chickens. But not pigs.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if it is a dog problem, opossum problem or coyote problem. But, we were pretty sure it was a coyote since chickens were dying and we saw a coyote stalking our coop on a regular basis. I’d hear the chickens going crazy and run outside to see the back of his fluffy tail running like a coward into the woods.
We keep our chickens the redneck way
– which means there is NOTHING to protect them from predators during the day. At night they are locked up safe and sound, but during the day they are fair game, so to say.
As I answered the question for the reader I realized that we have 4 ways we deter the coyotes.
How to Keep Coyotes Away
#1 – Get a Dog
To be honest, we have a male dog for the purpose of keeping the coyotes away. This is pretty much the only reason I have a dog.
I am not a dog person. Sorry if you like dogs. I love cats. I love cows. I love pigs. Not dogs.
- they jump
- they slobber
- they pant
- they drool
- they stink
- they hump
- they shed
- they have to be brushed
- they have to be bathed
- they have to be taken outside to do their business
- they have to have a sitter if you want to leave town
- they stick their noses in your crotch
Cats, cows and pigs do not have these issues.
So, we got a male dog to keep the coyotes away. Turns out my kids LOVE having a dog and DH is a happier guy when he has a dog, so it’s a win-win. I’m out voted.
Coyotes gone – happy family.
We are intentional about having the dog “relieve” himself around where the chickens live, roost and sleep. We just don’t seem to see any coyotes when we have a male dog.
#2 – Fencing
We are not expert fence builders. We are not even average fence builders. We build fences because we
can’t afford to don’t want to pay someone else to do it. And I like to be self-sufficient, so I’m gonna build my own fences. To see how we do it go here.
To keep pigs in, we always use electric fence. Sometimes we use woven wire fence. Sometimes we use temporary construstion fence. BUT we always add a line or two of electric to keep the pigs in. Pigs are smart animals. Our experience is that pigs will respect an electric fence.
Having electric around the pigs not only keeps the pigs in, it probably keeps predators out. I can’t say this for sure, but I think it doesn’t hurt. Well, it does hurt – which is why it helps ….. Ha.
#3 – Proximity
Both our pig areas are pretty close to our house. One is upwind (unfortunately) the other is down wind (Yea!). They are also close to the garden, the barns, the cows and the chicken coop. I think having the pigs close to where we generally mill about helps keep the coyotes away.
#4 – Commotion
There really is a constant flow of activity, movement and noise around our pigs (and home in general). Even if the weather is horrible and the rest of the county is indoors by their fires we HAVE to go outside. The chickens must be let out and fed. The pigs must be fed. The Cows must be milked and fed. The rabbits must be fed.
In addition to the bustle created a couple times a day when all the chores are done there’s also non-stop motion from the farm inhabitants themselves…..
I’m not sure if you get a clear picture of what our homestead looks like from the blog. I’ll try to explain it. From my front porch I can see:
- Somewhere around 10-20 chickens at any time
- Usually a duck or 2 waddling around
- the cows
- the milk barn
- the rabbits
- up to 4 children (there are 4 – but they could be in a barn or the woods)
- and the pigs are right in the middle the commotion
I don’t think Coyotes like this – deer don’t seem to like it either because I haven’t seen one near the house in 6 years.
#5 – Noise
I have a friend with a quieter homestead. She has 2 children who are much older than mine. When she had a coyote problem on her farm she turned on the boom box. She set up a portable radio out near her chickens and cranked up the volume. She ran her radio day and night to keep the coyotes away. It worked. She happily filled her freezers with meat chickens.
That wraps up everything I know about keeping the coyotes away… If you suspect you have a coyote problem the first thing I would do (if I were you) is get a male dog (or borrow one) and have him relieve himself around the pigs (or which ever animal needs protecting). Doing this consistently should be a huge help.
And your family may thank you for the dog!
Of course, as I write this it occurs to me that pride always comes before a fall, so I will probably have a coyote eat my pigs next week. lol.
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