Coyotes again!

Here is a 3y/o guardian dog in search of a home (but not a rescue)

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If I had a lone mini, I might be concerned, but even my 30 year old mini could pulverize a coyote. And since she’s turned out at night with my full sized horses, I am not worried at all, despite coyotes living and traveling very near my barn and pasture every night.

Is the 30 year old horse alone? If not, I wouldn’t be concerned.

It is likely that the coyotes know your dog is not a threat, but more likely it just gives them more opportunity for rabbits and mice. You would need a serious pack of coyotes to take on full grown horses.


Donkey or llama also an option for coyotes, but I agree that the chance of them interfering with adult horse or pony is close to zero. With donkey or mule I think there is also a training or habituation thing that has to happen if you want them to protect sheep or the like. It probably isn’t as easy as just tossing one out there.

I have never looked at anything and wanted to kill it. Until I had pet goats. When I saw a coyote in the field across the street, it was my first thought. My goats are in a secure pen with hot wire across the top and sunk wire, but I still worry.

Agree that feral or dogs with negligent owners are the risk to people. Remember the dingo ate the baby, but no wolf has.

And no coyote discussion is ever complete without a moment to remember the one that walked into a Chicago Quiznos to check things out

I don’t worry about my horses, but they are generally in groups. Here in NE Massachusetts we have BIG coyotes that have been shown to have wolf genes mixed in. They can and do take full grown deer. Nonetheless, I’ve seen at least two of my horse chase them. One mare would walk up with her head low, then speed up snapping at them. A young gelding was seen chasing them off a wild turkey that the coyotes had killed.

So having said, we had a 30 something horse that wasn’t able to get up without assistance if she rolled, and I wouldn’t leave her out at night.

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More will just move in. Coyotes have some very cool strategies for living and reproduction. Get another dog. Don’t worry about your horse.


We have lots of coyotes around here and I have old, slow mini. I have never seen the coyotes near the horses because there is much easier food for the coyotes to take down. When the coyotes get close to my neighbours cows, the neighbour will fire a few warning shots and that seems to send the coyotes away. Since he started doing that 10 years ago, they haven’t lost a calf to a coyote. I think your lunge whip solution is a good one. But if your old horse is turned out alone, I would consider putting him in the barn at night. Yes, it’s important for old horses to keep moving, but there are other dangers for slow horses that are alone.

Rescues will generally NOT adopt out to homes with no fencing around the home. OP says she has underground fencing but we all know that’s not always adequate for large dogs.

OP, I’'d suggest you consider fencing in your immediate yard around your home so 1) wild coyotes can’t get close to your home and 2) you’d be all set up to get a rescue dog. Even if you get a shelter dog, it’s still useful to make your yard safer for you.

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So sick of hearing this nonsense about underground fencing. You are completely wrong , you just need to know how to train the dog and use it correctly. i have had large breed dogs for 30 years and not one was lost or hit by a car. All of my neighbors have underground fencing even a fancy subdivision on 5 acre lots.
I understand you know nothing but what you have heard or lost a dog because they weren’t being used properly (shock) or trained right.
Sorry just fed up with rescue , a very neurotic group( yes some good ones) on the whole . I adopted a child it was less work@

Just a word about coyotes and fences.

Coyotes can easily jump six foot tall fences, and can scale a fence with toe holds or traction up to 14 feet tall.

To protect a yard from coyote intrusion, a fence needs to be 8 feet tall at a minimum, and constructed of smooth material. A six foot fence to a coyote is like a cross rail jump is to a horse.

If you search the internet, you will find a number of videos taken by home security cameras showing coyotes jumping over six foot board fences and killing the enclosed animals.

Yes but…
A coyote is going to take the path of least resistance. Out at a farm (not a neighborhood) there is no reason to scale the yard fence to see what is closer to the house. The yard being fenced is enough of a deterrent when there are other, easier to get to places with easy to get food.

One can not really compare suburban neighborhood wild life actions to wild life living in a less populated place.


I live in Montana and work at a barn that’s right up against National Forest land. We get weasels, foxes, coyotes, black bears, deer, elk, and apparently a mountain lion in the area. The only one of these that we worry about is the mountain lion, and that would only be if any of our horses are already hurt, or the lion is literally starving.

Anything larger than a mini is waaaayy too big for a coyote (or even a pack). If it’s already down and hurting they might give it a shot, but they’re all turned out with buddies who would chase coyotes away (I’ve seen our old weenie horse chase out elk that are about his own size). The reason attacks come up in the news is BECAUSE they’re so rare, and are mostly something the owner assumes…not investigated by wildlife professionals who could tell the difference between dog and coyote marks. For comparison, they prefer to go after prey in the 20lb range.

Coyotes are incredibly common throughout the US, and the risk to your horse is substantially less than that your horse get some kind of normal turnout injury. They actually thrive in suburban areas, so if anything they’d probably be getting fat off of trash, uncontrolled rodents, and outdoor housecats. And I’d actually be more worried about the dog that you get to chase them off, since packs will attack dogs, or individuals can potentially transmit diseases to them.

If you’re worried, this is a good article by actual coyote researchers on how to deter coyotes: Deterrence Methods


This article/study talks about how removing coyotes can actually increase livestock loss from…coyotes.

Livestock losses are an unfortunate reality of ranching and the use of traps and snares is a common way to attempt to reduce predator-livestock conflict. However, one USDA study (Shivik et al. 2003) noted that for many types of predators, there is a paradoxical relationship between the number of predators removed and the number of livestock killed. Surprisingly, these researchers found that as more predators were removed, more livestock were killed.

Similarly, in a 14-year USDA study at the University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center (Conner et al. 1998), researchers found that trapping of coyotes did not reduce sheep losses. In fact, scientists found that as trappers worked more hours, more lambs were killed by predators. The unexpected results in these studies can be explained by the reproductive strategy and territorial behavior of highly social predators like the coyote.

In populations exploited by humans, coyotes compensate for reductions in population with increasing immigration, reproduction, and pup survival rates. In one study, nearby coyotes replaced removed coyotes within a few weeks (Blejwas et al. 2002)! In the words of one researcher, “Killing coyotes is kind of like mowing the lawn, it stimulates vigorous new growth.” In order to sustain larger litters of pups, breeding adults are compelled to seek larger prey. Nearby sheep - usually ignored by adult coyotes in an unexploited, stable population - become a ready source of food. Thus, a system of snares can become the machinery of a self-perpetuating cycle of death for both coyotes and sheep.


@Garythesquirrel thank you so much for posting that article. I read it awhile ago and could never find it again! I always think of it when people talk about killing coyotes for no reason.

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Re: fences

Do coyote rollers atop fencing work?

e.g. (I have no connection to these people, just found this on an internet search; there are also DIY versions you can find on YouTube):

The fenced yard or pasture is to keep the livestock guardian dog IN… to keep them from establishing their OWN territory which would likely much larger than your property, if they were not contained. Truly “purpose bred” guardian dogs, like Maremmas, are not jumpers, they are big heavy built dogs, and are large enough that several different types of common livestock fencing will contain them successfully. It is unlikely that you can fence coyotes (or deer or cougars ) out, unless you want to live in a prison yard. Cougars can and do attack horses without issue, especially young or small horses, weak or sick horses, and even healthy and full sized horses who are alone. They can also get into most barns or stables, and will not hesitate to do this if offered. A single horse who can not run away while locked in a stall is a lovely prospect for a cougar. Ten years ago, I had a freshly orphaned 3 month old foal, in a stall. My neighbour had an orphan calf in her barn at the same time. The cougar went into her barn, killed the calf. Could have been us. They shot the cougar. I put my orphan foal out with an adoptive mother the next day, and back out with the herd a few days later. Because that was the safest option for her. Fortunately, I had an old retired dry broodmare who wanted to adopt, and the foal was old enough to early wean. The adoptive mare and the foals mother had been best friends, she stepped up and volunteered for the job when we needed her to. She knew that foal needed a mother. We have had several neighbours lose horses to cougar attacks (and smaller livestock). Our horses live together, in their family group, in large pastures. We have had no issues with cougars (so far in 12 years). The herd watches out for predators, and protects their weaker members. No doubt, they have seen some cougars over the years, but the cougars decide to move on without engaging our herd. There are easier prey animals, less well guarded, elsewhere. These are TB and TBX horses, show horses and ex race horses, they are not feral bred, or feral raised. Yet they still know how to do these things, the instincts for self care and herd life are still there. You have to give horses credit for intelligence, and self care better than what humans can provide for them.

We had so many coyotes when we lived in middle TN. It was never an issue.

My neighbor on the east side of the property even raised goats, which seemed like they could be considered fast food to a coyote. He never lost a single goat or kid to a coyote. The neighbors to the south and west raised cattle- no issues. None of us had loose dogs.

I’m not even sure how much they helped keep the deer population in check, as they were quite plentiful.

Though any time a fire/police/ambulance began their sirens, it set off a cacophony of howling. I kind of miss it.

People are so addicted to fear. It’s like they want to feel like they have a vicious predator to defend against.


We have tons of coyotes here. My family raises heritage sheep. Never lost one to coyotes. Loose dogs on the other have decimated the flock, more than once.

Had coyotes in North Alabama bad too. Never had one bother my foal or the ancient mini. The mini got injured by… you guessed it. Loose dogs.

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Oh good lord. We are overrun with coyotes in the Hudson Valley. There is absolutely NO safety issue with horses and coyotes. I have several horses over 30 years old, and a mini donkey, and coyotes are a non-issue. If you live in the country learn to love the country. Personally I consider it a gift to hear them at night, even when they wake me up.

If “live and let live” – because they won’t hurt your horses – doesn’t persuade you, then the research showing that killing coyotes does nothing but get new, and more, coyotes to move in should.


This is my experience too.

The coyotes are plentiful here in California and are only dangerous to small dogs and cats, but even that danger is mostly limited to those animals left out at night. They don’t bother the barn owner’s goats, alpacas, or any of the horses. Dogs, on the other hand, are dangerous. My barn owner’s aipacas were attacked by a neighbor’s dog and one was very seriously injured, almost died.

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Always been in the country with a lot of coyotes.

Zero issues. Even when we had baby goats. Put a hot wire on the top and bottom of your fence if you’re worried. (And none of our fences were 8 feet.)