My New Shooting Toy
I bought a bow and arrow to take down any coyote that would threaten (read: eat) our hens. After much deliberation, I settled on the Compact Folding Survival Bow (“CFSB”). This is such a cool bow, because the arms fold in on itself to create a small compact package. Accordingly, this makes it an ideal prepper bow for any bust out bag. You can see a review of it here:
In Connecticut, coyotes are vermin status, which means that there is no season nor limit to the number of coyotes you can hunt and kill.
First Sighting of Charlie the Coyote
A week or so ago, amid the dogs barking, wifey woke me up at 5AM to tell me that there was an animal watching our chicken coop. Sure enough, there was a coyote sitting cool and collected like a dog at attention, about 20 feet away watching the hens. I should have taken a photo, but the first thing I did was run downstairs to grab my CFSB. Upon grabbing it, wifey pleaded at me not to shoot or kill the coyote. My wife celebrates life, and hates death of any sort, even killing those animals that kill our animals. I get this. These coyotes are not doing anything maliciously. They are only trying to survive and need to eat. I went outside and scared the coyote away. A few days later, just outside my office window, I got a good look at Charlie the Coyote. He is a huge animal, much bigger than I thought a coyote would be. Not being deterred by our first run-in, he thought he’d return to try his luck at feeding his hunger.
Fast forward to last week. We needed to run an errand, and my wife asked me if she should coop the hens. I told her no need as I thought that they would be fine free ranging. Famous last words. When we returned, our guinea hens were 40 feet up in a tree, and we saw the following grizzly scenes.
These photos are the equivalent of a chalk outline at a murder scene. From the array of feathers, I determined that it was Charlie that came buy. Chester the Chicken Hawk leaves less of a trail of feathers, as they usually carry off the hens whole. Sadly, Charlie got wifey’s favorite hen, a Rhode Island Red named Mona. Mona would run and greet wifey every time she stepped outside. She loved to be picked up and pet.
Coyotes Deterrence System – My Pee
We free range our chickens on our entire property. They do not want to be at the butt of jokes so never cross the road. Aside from being outside when the chickens are free ranging, I have come up with a coyote deterrence strategy. I have taken to peeing outside around the perimeter of our property. I have NO idea if this works. A quick google search will result in much debate. Some folks say that predators will avoid other areas where predators mark, and other say that where coyotes are close to humans, they disregard human scents. Again, I have no idea if this works, but then again, I’m a dude, and ALL DUDES LOVE TO PEE OUTSIDE. Funnily enough, my wife caught me peeing outside of her home office window, and came down to thank me. Wifey thanking me for peeing outside – man, did I marry right.
In total, we have lost 10 of our 17 original hens. Seven to Chester the Chicken Hawk and now two to Charlie the Coyote. The remaining missing one is still a mystery. To assuage wifey, I went to my local feed store and bought four more hens. To our flock we have added two white leghorns and two Red Cross hens. Red Cross hens are a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Columbian Rock hen. The resulting breed is a docile large brown egg layer. You can see the Red Cross’ here.
I love the Red Cross hens that I selected because the white coloring is so pretty. Wifey’s sister does not like this look, and I think most people would agree with her. At the feed store, when selecting the Red Cross’, the handler initially grabbed a brown hen. I asked to take the one with more white feathers. He could not believe that I wanted the ones with white feathers.
I really do not care what others like or do not like. The white feathered Red Crosses look so unique to me. Also, the white ones were not debeaked, so I thought would be able to defend themselves better. Click on the photo to the left to see a large photo of the Red Cross’ and check out their lovely markings.
As to integration, we have placed all of the new hens inside of a dog crate inside of the coop. A couple of days of this, and then late one night, I plan on placing the new hens inside the coop so when the other hens wake up, they just notice that their number has increased, hopefully without any disagreements. As an additional measure, I plan on placing the male guinea hen that we have inside the dog crate for a couple of days as he is the most aggressive of all of the birds we have. I’m just hoping that one of these hens will be as friendly as Mona.