Coyotoes and Calves

Got a calving or breeding question? Get an answer.
cowgal604
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 8:22 pm
Location: Langley, BC, Canada
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 39 times

Coyotoes and Calves

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:58 am

Hey all. We have been dealing with a major coyote issue the last few weeks. They took out all of our 6 month old lambs. Whole herd is gone now. We were only letting them lambs out from 9am - 5pm so they killed them in broad daylight, ate some, just killed others.

We have already put up fencing to keep them out, traps, you name it, nothing is working. A neighbours calf got killed a few weeks ago, it was a bottle calf though so no mother.

We have a pasture our other neighbours have offered to us to let our cattle graze. All of my cows have a calf by their side, all the calves are about 5 days - 3 weeks old. All of the cows are first time moms. If I move them to my neighbours pasture to reap the bounty of their chest high grass that could feed my entire herd for a good 3 months am I risking the safety of my calves? Will the mothers defend them? Would you worry about the coyotoes killing the calves? And if you would worry at what age do you think the calves are safe from coyotoes? (neighbours bottle calf was killed at 1.5 months)



User avatar
Hootowl
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 8:42 pm
Location: Southwestern tip of VA
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by Hootowl » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:10 pm

Are you for sure it's coyotes?
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

cowgal604
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 8:22 pm
Location: Langley, BC, Canada
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 39 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:17 pm

Hootowl wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:10 pm
Are you for sure it's coyotes?
Positive. We have security cameras. Watched the whole god awful event.

jschoolcraft86
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:13 am
Location: Seguin, Texas
Has thanked: 94 times
Been thanked: 17 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by jschoolcraft86 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:21 pm

Those are some bold coyotes. I am surrounded by coyotes and lose the occasional chicken or barn cat, but no calves (as of yet). Are there any restrictions on hunting them where you are? You might be able to find someone who wants to put out a call and come shoot some, assuming you have a situation that would allow for that.

What about a donkey or some other guardian type animal? They are supposed to be good for that kind of thing, plus they will serenade you.

Good luck, that sounds pretty frustrating.

cowgal604
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 8:22 pm
Location: Langley, BC, Canada
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 39 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:33 pm

jschoolcraft86 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:21 pm
Those are some bold coyotes. I am surrounded by coyotes and lose the occasional chicken or barn cat, but no calves (as of yet). Are there any restrictions on hunting them where you are? You might be able to find someone who wants to put out a call and come shoot some, assuming you have a situation that would allow for that.

What about a donkey or some other guardian type animal? They are supposed to be good for that kind of thing, plus they will serenade you.

Good luck, that sounds pretty frustrating.
Its incredibly frustrating, also because I don't want to kill them. It would be nice if we can all just live together peacefully. If it was only a chicken being taken we probably wouldn't even notice.

We had a donkey, he died a few months back but you're right. Maybe a donkey or llama is a good idea. Just sucks to have to bring on a whole other animal. I don't know much about donkeys or llamas and I'm not keen to learn.

We are allowed to shoot and kill the coyotoes on our and our neighbours property. We have been given the approval from the city to shoot and trap them. We have shot a couple but the pack has just grown to an uncontrollable level. They aren't even eating the livestock, they are just killing for fun at this point...

User avatar
JW IN VA
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 958
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:30 pm
Location: West Central Highlands of Va
Has thanked: 73 times
Been thanked: 40 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by JW IN VA » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:46 pm

It would help to know what state you are in to know if you can hunt anytime or not.In Va,they are considered a nuisance species so they can be hunted any time where it's legal for you to be.Some weapon resrtictions apply depending on what county you live in.
I don't know what kind of fencing you have but, if it turns sheep,it may help to turn coyotes if it's high enough or low enough to the ground.Here,where there is uneven ground,we can put brush or poles under the gaps and leave spaces where cable snares can be set.
If you decide to take your neighbor's offer,I'd want to bush hog off the field both for the good of the grazing and to be able to see the coyotes.
There are some predator deterrant lights and air cannons on the market but I don't know how effective they are.Coyotes are very wary and adaptable so anything you do will have to be changed as they get accustomed to it.
In regard to hunting or trapping,it's great provided the trapper or hunter knows what they are doing.If you call in coyote and mess up,you may not call him in again.Same with a poor trap set.If you use cable snares,wear some kind of gloves or use a masking scent similar to your area.Or,put them out ahead of a good rain.My experience is you won't see much results before a week or ten days so don't get discouraged.
There are a couple people in my area who use donkeys or burros and seem to have good results.
Check with your extension service.If the USDA APHIS wildlife management program is in your area,they are excellent at traps and snares.I used them when we still were raising lambs and it helped a lot.
Hope you can get some relief.Just remember,you'll never get them all so you will have to keep on with your plan.
Not everything your neighbors do is wrong-Not everything they do is right,either.

Ebenezer
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1761
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:46 am
Location: Piedmont of SC
Has thanked: 181 times
Been thanked: 377 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by Ebenezer » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:49 pm

Donkey, a decent adult female will work. I cannot understand any sympathy for coyotes or predators. If you treat your house for termites it is the same thing.

User avatar
bird dog
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1604
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Navarro County, Texas
Has thanked: 100 times
Been thanked: 126 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by bird dog » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:50 pm

Killing for fun is usually associated with dogs. I see where you have no choice but to get some help eliminating these varmints. I understand you not wanting to kill them but at times when they over populate and get the nerve to hunt in a pack for large animals, the population needs to be reduced significantly.

If you are in Texas, snoop around on the Texas Hunting forum for someone close to you. Some of those guys are really good and respectful and would love to help you out.

cowgal604
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 8:22 pm
Location: Langley, BC, Canada
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 39 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:50 pm

JW IN VA wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:46 pm
It would help to know what state you are in to know if you can hunt anytime or not.In Va,they are considered a nuisance species so they can be hunted any time where it's legal for you to be.Some weapon resrtictions apply depending on what county you live in.
I don't know what kind of fencing you have but, if it turns sheep,it may help to turn coyotes if it's high enough or low enough to the ground.Here,where there is uneven ground,we can put brush or poles under the gaps and leave spaces where cable snares can be set.
If you decide to take your neighbor's offer,I'd want to bush hog off the field both for the good of the grazing and to be able to see the coyotes.
There are some predator deterrant lights and air cannons on the market but I don't know how effective they are.Coyotes are very wary and adaptable so anything you do will have to be changed as they get accustomed to it.
In regard to hunting or trapping,it's great provided the trapper or hunter knows what they are doing.If you call in coyote and mess up,you may not call him in again.Same with a poor trap set.If you use cable snares,wear some kind of gloves or use a masking scent similar to your area.Or,put them out ahead of a good rain.My experience is you won't see much results before a week or ten days so don't get discouraged.
There are a couple people in my area who use donkeys or burros and seem to have good results.
Check with your extension service.If the USDA APHIS wildlife management program is in your area,they are excellent at traps and snares.I used them when we still were raising lambs and it helped a lot.
Hope you can get some relief.Just remember,you'll never get them all so you will have to keep on with your plan.
We are in BC, Canada and yes we can hunt them 365 days 24/7, no restrictions. Only the restrictions are the general ones so we have to follow gun laws, etc. We can also use traps including a leg trap. This is all really great advice thank you. Right now my father has set a leg trap with a dead lamb and also one with a dead chicken to try and call them in. We also have a dog that is a trained coyote caller. But now he has been bit too many times and we are too scared to let him go out as they seem to be moving in very large packs and hes only 45lbs.

We have put up a 5 foot 4 board fence and added thick metal mesh to the entire area.

Would you though worry about a coyote killing a calf? I always just assumed their mother would protect them?

User avatar
bird dog
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1604
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Navarro County, Texas
Has thanked: 100 times
Been thanked: 126 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by bird dog » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:52 pm

The mother will protect the calf even at the risk of her own life. But she is not match for a hunting pack that works together.

cowgal604
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 8:22 pm
Location: Langley, BC, Canada
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 39 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:53 pm

bird dog wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:50 pm
Killing for fun is usually associated with dogs. I see where you have no choice but to get some help eliminating these varmints. I understand you not wanting to kill them but at times when they over populate and get the nerve to hunt in a pack for large animals, the population needs to be reduced significantly.

If you are in Texas, snoop around on the Texas Hunting forum for someone close to you. Some of those guys are really good and respectful and would love to help you out.
Great advice something I never thought of. Getting in touch with some local hunters and letting them have a day/week of it. I know our neighbours would appreciate it. I don't like to kill anything but I agree. Something needs to be done. We don't even feel safe letting our trained hunting dog out. He has come home with bite marks on his rear end the last week.

cowgal604
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 8:22 pm
Location: Langley, BC, Canada
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 39 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:55 pm

bird dog wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:52 pm
The mother will protect the calf even at the risk of her own life. But she is not match for a hunting pack that works together.
Do you think that since my cows are all first time moms they will be too passive to protect them? I worry because every day at grain time only 1 of my girls brings her calf with her. They are all mothering their calves but I worry they wont understand how to protect them. All my cows were orphans so raised in my barn by hand. AKA, they are fake cows, no real instincts haha

User avatar
JW IN VA
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 958
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:30 pm
Location: West Central Highlands of Va
Has thanked: 73 times
Been thanked: 40 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by JW IN VA » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:11 pm

You'd be surprised how much instinct is still there. They are,however,1st calvers and,when called to grain, may put that ahead of mothering.
With a 5 board fence and mesh,it sounds like you've done what you could.There still remains the fact the coyotes are getting in.Either they are jumping it or there is a gap they are squeezing underneath you never thought they could.Look for hair under all the length of the fence.Should be some caught in the boards or mesh joints.You may have to add an electric wire on top of the existing fence spaced a few inches outside the area if they are jumping.
And yes,coyotes can and will kill a calf. I had one killed just this past winter at night.There have been reports of them killing calves up to 300 lbs.The cows will do everything they can but when a pack surrounds them,they can only fight in so many directions at once.
I see from your post you are in Canada so ignore my USDA suggestion.Canada may or may not have something similar. Another side to this is you may be dealing with a wolf hybrid,called coy wolves here.We do them this far south as was proven by Usda tests of DNA samples.One thing you are able to do that we aren't supposed to do is use any part of an animal as bait to a set trap unless it's a number of feet away from the carcass.
Check you fences again with a critical eye and,if you find they are coming under,the snares work well for us.I,for one, would be interested to know how this turns out.
Not everything your neighbors do is wrong-Not everything they do is right,either.

cowgal604
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 8:22 pm
Location: Langley, BC, Canada
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 39 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:26 pm

JW IN VA wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:11 pm
You'd be surprised how much instinct is still there. They are,however,1st calvers and,when called to grain, may put that ahead of mothering.
With a 5 board fence and mesh,it sounds like you've done what you could.There still remains the fact the coyotes are getting in.Either they are jumping it or there is a gap they are squeezing underneath you never thought they could.Look for hair under all the length of the fence.Should be some caught in the boards or mesh joints.You may have to add an electric wire on top of the existing fence spaced a few inches outside the area if they are jumping.
And yes,coyotes can and will kill a calf. I had one killed just this past winter at night.There have been reports of them killing calves up to 300 lbs.The cows will do everything they can but when a pack surrounds them,they can only fight in so many directions at once.
I see from your post you are in Canada so ignore my USDA suggestion.Canada may or may not have something similar. Another side to this is you may be dealing with a wolf hybrid,called coy wolves here.We do them this far south as was proven by Usda tests of DNA samples.One thing you are able to do that we aren't supposed to do is use any part of an animal as bait to a set trap unless it's a number of feet away from the carcass.
Check you fences again with a critical eye and,if you find they are coming under,the snares work well for us.I,for one, would be interested to know how this turns out.
We did figure out how they were getting through. They are digging a hole in the corner of one side that is surrounded by black berries on the side that's not ours. So we assume they are living in there, and then digging through to our side. Thank you again for all of this. Wow, 300lbs. That's a large calf to take down. I think that answers my question on if I should let my cows over to my neighbors and I wont. I cant risk it.

User avatar
Brookhill Angus
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2028
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:45 pm
Has thanked: 545 times
Been thanked: 363 times

Re: Coyotoes and Calves

Post by Brookhill Angus » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:35 pm

Coyotes have an autogenic response to being thinned out which causes them to produce bigger litters. If you do want to attempt to control them, I think snares are a good bet. There are a lot of folks that like to shoot them, but coyotes wise up very quickly, and most people will not be as effective with a gun as they will be with a snare.

Get a good trapper, and let them do the work, and they will most likely be able to use the pelts.

I once worried about the coyotes, but realized that they are incredibly smart, and insanely adaptive animals, and that unless I'm making it my life's work to rid myself of them, I should probably just learn to coexist.

That's not to say I feel comfortable having calves around them. I'm in the process of searching for a pair of Kurdish Kangal pups that I can develop to protect the herd, at least the herd with calves at their sides. A Kangal versus even a pack of coyotes would be game over for the coyotes. Throw in two dogs and it's really game over.

Right now my focus is on the black vultures, I think they are a menace that makes coyotes look downright friendly by compare.
"When someone tells you it can't be done, it's more a reflection of their limitations, not yours"

Post Reply