Yesterday, (Thur 6-7-12) started off very exciting!
It all started about 7:30am. Now I must confess that if I am not milking, I sleep until I must get up - not because I am lazy but we have been working until dusk, eating dinner about 8pm, getting to bed around 11p - 12mn ..... many excuses! Anyway, yesterday morning, I woke wide awake from the land of nod, to our 14 yr old son, telling his 19 yr old brother in a very excited tone to get his gun -quick. As I came to the land of consciousness, I realized the hens were in an uproar - clucking and squawking and making all kinds of noise. Sure enough, a female coyote was circling the pen, fixated on which was to be her chicken dinner. There was a stiff breeze blowing in our direction, so our 19 yr old was able to ease out the back door (just the screen was closed) and get a clear shot - BANG - one down! And, all the chickens survived - both the coyote and the gun!
If you have never been threatened by coyotes, this may seem cruel. But, after having them become so bold as to come very close to the house in broad daylight, within 80 ft of you in the vineyard in mid-afternoon (with everyone talking and laughing), lose livestock to them and be concerned for the safety not only for your animals but even you small children (our youngest is 3 yrs old) drastic measures must be taken.
Not only are all ears open for any unusual noises but we also have baited traps set for them. One was completely empty yesterday morning of the poisoned meat, so whether the same female that was shot ate it, or her mate - last night was extremely quiet. No howling at all - it was almost eerie!
I would also like to assure you that we would not put out the poisoned meat if we had dogs around nor are the traps a danger to people, namely our children.
I appreciate all the emails and comments after I shared in Wednesdays post about Bob missing and the problem the coyotes have become. From the emails that I have received, there are plenty of people who have simiar problems with coyotes. Please keep the suggestions coming because baited traps are not possible in all situations where the safety of people or other animals would be in question.
If you have any other suggestions please leave a comment.