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  • Coyotes?

    So I know some people around here (Houston) and where we're moving (PNW) who keep horses in at night because of concerns about coyotes.

    Do coyotes bother full grown horses? I would not expect them to hassle with something that large.

    Since we are going to be keeping horses at home once we move I'd like to know if this is a real concern or not.

  • #2
    Essie was kept in the Mojave for 18 months and the coyotes would come into the barn area for water, rodents and the barn cats. Our cats were very tough and could successfully face off with a coyote.
    I would keep an eye on them, but IME a coyote will not bother with something that could hurt him.


    • #3
      Nope. Coyotes are everywhere up here, and I wouldn't be at all concerned unless I had a mare foaling outside, and then only a little bit worried.

      Just don't let your cats out at night! They will likely be toast unless they're already coyote-savvy.


      • #4
        I went out to feed Tuesday night and had a coyote in with DD's mare, about 10 ft from me. My heeler rousted it and stayed on it til it was a half section away. I sent an employee to the sale barn Wed to buy a donkey for me.

        Coyotes won't get healthy, full grown animals. We have had them come up at the dairy into the maternity shed and start eating a live calf. Coyotes re chickens, but they have been known to lure dogs into an ambush. A single coyote is not as dangerous as a pack.

        Not a concern for healthy animals, but lots of places will keep a donkey on the place to babysit smaller or younger animals.
        Originally posted by The Saddle
        Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


        • #5
          I am up in the far northwest corner of Illinois. We have a huge coyote problem. We know for sure there are four dens with in 1/2 mile of my house and property. I have yet to have one come in the pasture and bother my horses. My neighbor wasn't so lucky they got in with her horses and went after their pony. Luckily it was shotgun season for deer at the time, some hunters were passing by saw it happening, stopped and fired a warning shot off into the air. They then drove in driveway knocked on friends door and told her what had happened. We are all keeping a close watch on our animals. Now we have a few wolves too that are in the area.

          Just recently hubby and I have both applied for FOID cards.


          • Original Poster



            • #7
              Coyotes are mostly scavengers...mostly. The do seem to find cats and small dogs to be tempting hors devours.

              They will usually leave large animals alone, unless that animal is unable to fend for itself due to illness, injury, or other incapacitation.

              Coyotes are "predators of opportunity."

              More dangerous are coy-dog (Coyote-dog crosses) or feral dogs. Those have lost much of their fear of humans. They are not to be taken lightly.

              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


              • #8
                No, a coyote will not bother an adult horse. Unless your horse is seriously injured or downed, you have nothing to worry about.
                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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                • #9
                  We have a good many coyotes in the area and not one time have we had them bother horses or go after our goats.

                  Free roaming pet dogs out for fun have been a different story.
                  You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                  • #10
                    We have tons in my area and honestly I don't even worry about my mini goats that much, certainly not my horses. I do bring my mini goats into a very safe pen when I'm gone and at night, and I'd probably do the same with foals, depending on the stables setup. But for healthy adult horses, coyotes really aren't much of a threat. My horses live out 24/7, even my old and feeble ones, and I've never seen the coyotes so much as glance at them.

                    Someone usually comes on these threads with a story of coyotes attacking horses, but that's so rare as to be a negligible risk. Packs of loose domestic dogs are a lot more dangerous IME. They don't have the same fear that even relatively bold coyotes generally show.

                    Small animals like cats are another story though, and even quite large dogs can be at risk if they run into a group of coyotes, though usually if there is just 1 or 2 coyotes they won't want to get into a fight IME. Best not to let pets roam just in case, though.
                    exploring the relationship between horse and human


                    • #11
                      There are coyotes near my place. There was one that trotted by about 50' behind my barn one day. The horses did not give it a second glance.


                      • #12
                        I've seen my ex-cutting horse chase them out of pastures. They don't bother the horses at all, but it is creepy to hear them calling at night when I'm at the barn alone in the dark.
                        Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
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                        • #13
                          I never worry about them with my adult horses. I've ridden by them and seen them in the fields. I'm pretty sure two of my four horses would go after them just for fun.

                          Coyotes are great for keeping the field mouse population down -- and other small critters that need to be kept under control since humans have killed off all the other predators. Coyotes are about all we have left. I'm glad they've adapted to what we've done to the land and are still around.
                          "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."


                          • #14
                            We've had a terrible problem with them where we are here South of Atlanta. We had done cat rescue for numerous years and had quite a few barn cats; all of which were spayed, neutered and vaccinated on our dime so we had quite a bit of $$ tied up in the cats when the coyotes discovered us. They decimated the barn/outside cats. They got bold enough to come right up to the house and howl. We finally shored up the field fencing perimeter and invested in Livestock Guardian Dogs and now have 3 Great Pyrenees and 1 Maremma on our 17 acres. No, we don't really need that many but two are rescues but they do a fine job of keeping coyotes off of the property.

                            Donkeys, even minis, do work well in the pastures. For us though, it was the barn and house that needed protecting and I didn't want a donkey or llama having the run of the yards, so the dogs were a better option for us.

                            Interestingly, the animal who was the absolute best about running, heck, actually seriously trying to KILL anything he didn't think belonged in the pasture was the miniature pony stallion we had briefly. I mean, he was militant about it and nasty and he was taking NO PRISONERS. He was fine about people, but anything else, even cats, he would not tolerate in his pasture and did his best to run it down and kill it. The person we bough him from failed to warn us about this behavior and we rehomed him for fear for the pets after he trampled a cat and broke it's jaw. It cost me more than the damn mini did to fix the poor cat! Darn it, but I was impressed with his tenacity. I've heard others say that Mini Stallions are very good for coyote patrol and I'm a believer!

                            We've had no worries about the horses, though I had worried some before we got the dogs about broodmares foaling out in the pasture. I do have a friend whose neighbor lost their old debilitated horse to a pack of coyotes, but that was up in the Franklin, TN area. Most of the cattlemen around here run standard donkeys in with the cows to keep them away from the calves.

                            I understand the foxhunters in the area run coyote now more often than not.
                            Last edited by FatCatFarm; Feb. 12, 2012, 10:12 AM.
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                            • #15
                              A PNW horsekeeper here, with her horses at home, surrounded by very large acreage, which is unusual in many areas. (assuming you mean Western PNW), which means I have numerous coyotes.

                              Coyotes are not a problem, unless you have cats outdoors. My horses have NEVER been bothered by them, ever. There are cattle with newborn calves next door, and coyotes trot right on by. Seriously....never an issue, unless your are a small, friendly animal like a cat or a bunny or a loose chicken.
                              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                              • #16
                                I have several coyotes that visit my farm, one I saw in the orchard the other day not 20 feet from me. He just stood there. I would never have noticed if my PRT hadn't gone nuts barking at him. They have never bothered the horses.

                                I hate their creepy yipping, wailing and whining at night, right outside my bedroom. It skeezes me out.

                                Related question -- not long ago I found a rabbit with its head chewed off outside the barn, inches away from it. Would a coyote have done that? It was just so weird.


                                • #17
                                  That rabbit was definatly not left by a coyote. Sounds like a dog or other domesticated animal, not a wild animal.


                                  • #18
                                    Headless bunnies are almost always victims of a cat (domestic). A coyote, if it killed a bunny, would eat the whole thing, crunchy bones and all.
                                    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                                    • #19
                                      2 years ago we had a BAD ki-oat-ee problem. We locked our dog door so the dogs, toy manchesters, would not go out. I know they were in our pasture which adjoins a 200A cow pasture. The cow farmer had bad trouble with the ki-oats killing his cavles. He got the mini donks. Mini donks didn't do squat. More calfs got ate, and so he sold or got rid of all cows and planted corn. He has a cover crop now. Wonder what he will plant this year.

                                      You have to beware of the donks. They can/will beat the cows up, kill calves. Seen it.

                                      Around here he could have gotten hunters to take them all out, but he opted for donks, and pretty much lost all his calves. I did discuss this with him. This is a side hobby for him, cows.

                                      We still have ki-oat issues, but not like we did. I know a few can sound like a huge pack, but we had lots of them.

                                      Never did they bother the horses. I have 2 pastures, and there is one horse in each pasture.

                                      I do not miss the cows. They were not often well fed or cared for. Made me sad for them.


                                      • #20
                                        I've wondered about this also, as we board our horses on a farm way up in the mountains of PA...

                                        Have been there a year and haven't seen nor heard a coyote yet, neither has the neighbor, who has lived there 25 yrs. so if there are coyotes in this area, they are rare....

                                        But there have been a few bobcats sighted...over the years.

                                        Which worries me.... I've heard that coyotes are timid, in general.

                                        Bobcats.....not so much.