What height fence to keep coyotes out?

farmwifeJanuary 13, 2007

Just read the last message in the in the Animal Howling thread and the reply by Goodhors regarding coyotes and their being able to take down large dogs. We have a big meadow and frequently there will be more than one coyote out there at night. I think we should extend the height of our fence to keep our dogs safe. Anyone know how high a fence needs to be to keep them out?


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Coyotes rarely weigh more than about 40 pounds and are adept at climbing. An electric wire on the exterior and another at the top of a fence may be a sound idea? Singly coyotes rarely attack a dog but when packed they will. We have to be careful when running the Beagles solo around here, the coyotes key on the trailing Beagle then you can here the damned things calling to each other to pack up. They do the same when we run 70-80- pound coon dogs.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 12:37PM
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sharon_sd(SW ON)

Around here, coyotes ignore electric fences when they are hungry.

We have friends with an 8 foot high fence that keeps coyotes away from their sheep.

They also had to protect a foot and a half below ground, because coyotes are adept at digging, if there is something they want to get at.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 7:04AM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

If your fence will keep your dogs in, then I think adding a hot wire on the outside, sticking out 4-6 inches, and maybe one along the top should be able to keep coyotes from climbing in. I doubt they like getting their noses zapped any more than any other animal. A true electric fence probably wouldn't keep them out; they are small enough, and their fur is thick enough to just slide under the bottom wire and ignore a momentary shock. If the coyotes did get really aggressive, which really isn't likely, you might have to think about keeping the grass short along the outside and adding a wire at the bottom, 6 in. up, to stop digging. Unless you get a major fence charger, that will kill grass on contact, you have to keep the grass away from the wire as it will short out the juice, and diminish the charge if it didn't cut it out altogether. A friend of mine in Florida did this on the inside of her fence to keep her Rotweiller from digging out and it worked. But you would probably have to have the equivalent of "coyote caviar" sitting right next to, or at least very near, the fence for them to make a concerted effort - 2 dogs out for a pee run don't quite qualify, somehow.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 9:09AM
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Check this out...

Here is a link that might be useful: Coyote Sounds & Interesting Info

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 4:53PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

Oh, dear.. I just played the coyote sounds and my poor indoor Angora bunnies (who have never faced any danger) started thumping the cage. I guess some things are just instinctive.

I love hearing the coyotes. They go through our property quite regularly, usually down by the creek, a couple hundred feet from the house. They are not a huge problem here since there is an abundance of cottontail rabbits and rodents. All the same, I am careful to lock up all my critters at night and our cat never goes outdoors without her harness and leash and one of us to keep an eye on her. That way I can relax and enjoy the "call of the wild."

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 6:09PM
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webkat5(Z6a MO)

We have many coyotes around here. In the 5 years I have been here, I have not had a single problem with them. They have come very close to my property, but have never stuck around for long.

I don't think they will go after an equal sized dog unless they are desperate...they really don't like people and avoid us if possible...never have bothered my dogs or tried to enter my four foot fence...or maybe they realize my "pack" is bigger than theirs...lol! When they howl at night, my dogs start up with their own song...it is pretty funny...but I do wonder what message they are sending.

That being said, coyotes are very smart. The guy I bought this property from said his German Shepherd was out "playing" with a coyote in the field...the coyote was play bowing and hopping around... then hopping backwards. It was then that he noticed two more coyotes approching very quietly from the rear...waiting for the right moment to lunge forward. They were very organized about this maneuver...a bit chilling if you ask me. He shot his rifle in the air and the "game" was over, but I don't know what would have happened otherwise.

One thing to consider, if you have livestock, is that llamas HATE coyotes and will protect their territory from them and any other predators. Might be something to consider, I have thought about adding one in with my horses.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 7:12PM
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erinluchsinger(z4 - Upstate NY)

I have quite a few coyotes around me (we raise beef cows) and I have a lone llama in the pasture w/ them. She's the BEST guardian of her "flock" of calves. Since we've gotten her we've never had a single loss to coyotes.
Best to get a llama w/ guarding personality traits, but they eat the same thing as the cows, are very easy to keep and need minimal vet care (a shot a month for meningial worm) and that's about it, aside from once a year shearing and hoof trimming. Super easy to keep!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 10:55AM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

I had a funny experience with coyotes a month or two ago. Around sundown their yipping started, which sets my dogs to barking. I have a 4-foot chainlink fence around the dogs' yard; my dogs are 65 and 85 pounds. After about fifteen minutes of the yip yip yip vs. bark bark bark-ing, I got fed up. I went outside and stood at the fence with my dogs. Yip yip, bark bark. "Enough!" I said in a stern voice. The barking continued. The yipping stopped for the evening!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 5:14PM
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I just played the sounds and my lab mutt shot up in full alert. The cats hid.

We've got a lot here. I hear them sing nightly. They have learned to watch out for my dog and donkey. Rarely come into the fenced area.
I lost a small dog to coyotes.

People using beagles for hunting here run a big hound with them because the coyotes do take them.

Electric fence around chainlink is about the safest. Some sort of cover on the top.

I haven't seen any wild canine/domestic canine crosses but we do have coyote/wolf crosses here and wolves now too. I worry about my goats a bit. I have seen a domestic dog wander through with no interest in the livestock at times and the goats head immediately to a horse or donkey. The horses have all learned the donkey's doggy smushing routine now too. Not as much finesse as the donkey but definately would put a world of hurt on a canine. Leads me to believe the goats have been threatened before. Should my 19 hand draft horse ever connect I suspect all I'd find is a fur splotch in the pasture.

Donkey is actually amazing to watch. He toys with the young coyotes. I've actually seen him stalk then intentionally drive the pup into the electric fence. No doubt the donk is smiling as the pup goes screaming into the woods with no idea what hit him. The adult coyotes give donk and fence wide berth. They learned as pups. Works well because I enjoy the night sounds and really don't like warring with mother nature. Sometimes I just have to protect my livestock though.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 7:32AM
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Webkat our neighbors had a similar thing happen they had a great pyrenesse which is a guard dog and one day in daylight the coyotes came and lured him out with a female coyote in heat. Then the others moved in and they almost killed the huge dog that was much larger than they are. We lived just across the road and the coyotes would corner our grown horses until we got our donkey. She got after them often and that was a sight to see. They are very intelligent animals they have been know to even smother grown cattle by grabbing them by the nose.....I have to admit I love to sleep with the window open and hear them too...

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 12:04AM
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Thanks everyone. There was lots of useful information here. Found out my golden retriever is definitely a domesticated dog-- no response what so ever to the coyote noises. Now if I open the door where her dog food is stored...

I am amazed to learn coyotes will pack hunt. Bad news! Glad to know, however.

I still plan to refence our property, even though I am less convinced we will be able to keep the coyotes out all together. Hopefully there will be enough food on the outside of the fence.

We are talking about doing our fence this time with t posts and wire. Does anyone have any suggestions regarding the wire to use or about the t post idea in general? As I said earlier, our property is about 10 acres so we have a fairly big project to tackle. Thanks to all in advance.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 12:42AM
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