How to Keep Coyotes Away from Your Yard

Thousands of coyotes now roam suburban and urban yards and neighborhoods across coyote2smallAmerica. News reports about coyote attacks on pets and other small animals are becoming more common. People are struggling to find ways of keeping them away. One completely natural, yet innovative solution is the use of wolf urine to repel coyotes.  According to the Wikipedia article Coyote: Interspecific predatory relationships, wolves are one of the few natural predators of coyotes and can compete for hunting habitat.

“The gray wolf is a significant predator of coyotes wherever their ranges overlap. Since the Yellowstone Gray Wolf Reintroduction in 1995 and 1996, the local coyote population went through a dramatic restructuring. Until the wolves returned, Yellowstone National Park had one of the densest and most stable coyote populations in America due to a lack of human impacts. Two years after the wolf reintroductions, the pre-wolf population of coyotes had been reduced 50% through both competitive exclusion and predation. In Grand Teton, coyote densities were 33% lower than normal in the areas where they coexisted with wolves, and 39% lower in the areas of Yellowstone where wolves were reintroduced.”

When coyotes believe wolves are in an area, they will move to a less hazardous habitat. By applying wolf urine around the perimeter of a yard, the homeowner can create the impression that wolves are nearby. The scent of urine is one of the primary ways an animal is warned of the presence of a predator and the smell of the wolf urine tells coyotes that this area could be a dangerous place. The coyote’s instincts kick in and they move to a new territory. In addition an added advantage to using wolf urine is that it is completely natural and safe to use around pets.

Until I find more words. . .The PeeMan

Protect Backyard Chickens from Foxes

Fox in the hen house? Whenever you think about predators of chickens, foxes have to be at the top of the list. As long as people have kept hens in enclosures, crafty Mr. Fox has been trying to get them. How do you know if you have a fox problem? Well, unlike other chicken predators, the fox tends to only leave behind feathers. The fox hunts 2 hours after sunset and 2 hours before sunrise. They are usually more active ifoxn the Spring when they are trying to get food for their litters. But, they will attack throughout the year. They tend to kill more than they can eat but unlike the weasel, they don’t waste the food. They store it away in caches for a later meal. They are able to dig below and climb above which make them an even more formidable foe. Usually, a fox will take as many hens as it can carry off.

So, what is to be done? Well, as with so many other predatory threats, it is crucial to make sure that your coop is secured. No holes, no possible access points from above or below. Once the coop is secure, the final measure of protection is a natural deterrent such as wolf urine. Wolf urine? Really? Yes, the fox is genetically programmed to fear the wolf. There do not have to be wolves in the area and the fox never has to have been exposed to a wolf to exhibit the fear response.

So, confirm fox threat, secure the coop, create a perimeter with wolf urine and rest easy.

Until I find more words. . .The PeeMan

Protect Backyard Chickens from Weasels

In the literary world, the weasel family often gets a bad rap. Consider that in children’s books such as the Wind in the Willows and the Redwall series the members of the family Mustelidae are always the bloodthirsty villains. Why do these animals with debatably cute faces get cast as the vermin warlords and thieving good for nothings?WWE_weasels Well, it is clearly drawn from the fact that in the natural world, there are few predators of a similar size that can wreak such havoc so quickly and create a scene among its hapless victims that would make even a horror fan cringe. It is not just that the weasel tends to viciously attack the head, neck or jugular of its prey but that it seems to at times be overcome with bloodlust and will often massacre anything within its immediate radius. The weasel often kills more than it can eat and leaves behind bloody, mutilated carcasses in its wake. Here are some other weasel facts:

“Members of this family(Mustelidae) are generally characterized by long bodies and necks, short legs, small rounded ears, and medium to long tails. All have scent glands, generally used for territorial markings but in some animals for defense.”

http://www.encyclopedia.com/plants-and-animals/animals/vertebrate-zoology/weasel

There are two types of weasels commonly found in North America. The short-tailed weasel and the tiny least weasel.least_weasel_by_sergey_ryzhkov-d86t3ox

As you can clearly guess if you haven’t experienced it first hand, weasels can be a very destructive chicken predator. How can you determine if you have a weasel around? The best way, unfortunately, to confirm this is after an attack has happened.short_tailed_weasel If birds are dead and not eaten, if multiple birds have been attacked at the jugular, head, and neck, internal organs have been eaten and/or eggs have been broken in at the ends, a member of the weasel family is probably to blame.

http://articles.extension.org/pages/71204/predator-management-for-small-and-backyard-poultry-flocks

Once you have identified the predator, then you must make sure your coop is secure(no holes in the wire, gaps or other potential means of access). Then it is time to use the natural predator-prey instinct to keep the weasels away for good. How? Wolf urine! The wolf is a natural predator of the weasel and fear of this predator is programmed into every weasel even if they have never been within miles of a wolf.

So, identify the predator. Secure the coop. Create a pee-rimeter around the area you want to protect and rest easy.

Until I find more words . . .The PeeMan

 

Protect Backyard Chickens from Skunks

Next up in our series on backyard chicken predators is the noxious skunk. While they might not be the first predatory threat to your flock that comes to mind, nevertheless, if given the chance, a skunk will eat eggs, kill chicks and even occasionally attack full grown poultry. skunk6

Obviously, the easiest way to tell if a skunk is around your coop is to follow your nose. If you notice persistent skunk essence over an extended period of time, chances are you have a skunk in residence. But, if you are still not sure, you can also look for tracks. The tracks can be difficult to distinguish from those of a raccoon but if you are a gifted tracker, you can easily spot the difference. spskunkIf you really want to be thorough, an examination of skunk scat will usually reveal lots of insect parts. If your coop has been subject to attack by a skunk, you would expect to find eggs opened up on one end and the contents consumed or if an actual bird were attacked the neck would be opened up and perhaps the head eaten.

http://www.almanac.com/pest/skunks http://www.raising-chickens.org/chicken-predators.html

Once you have definitely identified the threat, it is time to take action. Skunks will not usually break through coop confines like some other aggressive predators, but if given an opening, they will take it. So, it is essential to make sure fencing and coop confines are intact and also that any areas where skunks could dig underneath are properly sealed. Once the coop is secure, then it is time to employ a deterrent. Enter fox urine. What? Fox Urine? How? It might not be the first thing you think of but, a fox is one of the most common skunk predators. Skunks fear foxes, they sense a fox is present because of the urine, and they leave your chickens, chicks and eggs alone – it is as simple as that.

Identify, shore up fencing and walls, set up a pee-rimeter with 100% fox urine, and rest easy.

Until I find more words. . .The PeeMan

Protect Backyard Chickens from Rats

The second in our series on backyard chicken predators will focus on rats. While the barnyard rat, Templeton, in Charlotte’s Web(a book written and based in Maine by the way)is a friend, albeit somewhat begrudging, to Wilbur and the other animals in the fictional farm, the truth is a far cry from that placid arrangement. 0db115c7f5226a9d8f4f9b1f93dad9efRats are a nuisance, to say the least, and in the worst circumstances a great danger to chicks, eggs, even to hens themselves. The danger these rodents pose comes not only from direct attack and carnage but also from often disease ridden droppings that can remain a threat long after the actual rats have gone.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/rat-chicken-pests-how-to-protect-your-chickens-from-rats

So, aside from actually spotting the creatures themselves, how do you identify the presence of rats? Well, their little feet will hardly leave any distinguishable tracks in the midst of coop bedding, etc. If eggs are missing, or chicks or your hens appear to have been attacked but not necessarily killed(they can fight off rats fairly effectively)you might have rats. But, the best way to definitely identify the Rattus rattus(scientist who came up with that name must have been a real genius)is by its droppings. Yep, poop. We talk about pee all the time in this blog, why not poop? I know my eight year old grandson would heartily approve. Anyway, the droppings of a rat can pretty easily be distinguished from that of its smaller cousin the mouse. They are much larger and apparently,  the rat has more of a sense of hygiene than the mouse. So, rather than finding the droppings scattered everywhere, you will more likely find them in groups.

Once you have identified the threat, it is time to take action. Rats love food. So, it is important to always keep food sources contained and free from outside access. Self contained feeders and firmly closed food storage containers are options for this. Once you have shored up your food security, then you must work to keep the rats away from the coop completely. The traditional use of rat poisons can be dangerous to your flock, so this is where a natural, non-pesticidal repellent can be very useful. Enter coyote urine. What? Coyote Urine? How? It might not be the first thing you think of but, a coyote is one of several natural rat predators. Based on our experience and understanding of the predator-prey concept, rats never have to have been within 100 miles of a coyote to possess an instinctual fear of the wily predator. Rats fear coyotes, they sense the coyote is present because of the urine, and they leave your chickens, chicks and eggs alone – it is as simple as that.

Identify, remove food access, set up a pee-rimeter with 100% coyote urine, carefully take care of any droppings, and rest easy.

Until I find more words. . .The PeeMan

Protect Backyard Chickens from Raccoons

This week is the beginning of a series that will explore the many predators that threatens the backyard chicken flock. Proper identification of the predatory threat is key to implementing the right solution to this problem and keeping your hens safe.

chickensThe first predator we will look at will be the masked bandit commonly known as raccoon, or scientifically speaking-  procyon loter. This omnivorous creature can range in size from 23.5 in. to 37.5 in. and 4 to 23 lbs. In the wild, the raccoon lives an average of 2-3 years. If near water, they like to eat frogs and crayfish and other aquatic treats. On land, they will grab mice, insects and most applicably to us tasty eggs and sometimes the poultry themselves.

So, how do you know if it is a raccoon that is attacking your chickens? Well, if there is

raccoonraccoon

a raccoon presence, look for tracks(like above)in sandy or muddy areas. If chickens have been attacked by raccoons, evidence could include severed heads dragged away from the body, birds pulled unsuccessfully pulled through enclosures, birds whose necks have been severely injured and ransacked nesting areas.  http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/raccoons.html

Once you have identified the perpetrator, then you will be able to protect your coop properly. Raccoons are savvy predators but almost every predator is another animal’s prey. It is the natural, genetically programmed instinctual fear of a predator that makes a product like predator urine work as a natural, non-pesticidal repellent. So, what does the raccoon fear? Well, one of its most common predators is the coyote and thus the most logical predator urine to choose would be coyote urine. 100% coyote urine is available at predatorpee.com with various applicators available depending on your exact setup. All you need to do is make a pee-rimeter around the area you are trying to protect – in this case your coop or run.

 

 

Protect Koi Ponds from Predatory Birds

33ea8ec42091f1e4de915b0ec8b9298fok, so admittedly i don’t know much about koi. I stocked my pond with some salmon last year but drought killed them off, so I am far from an expert on raising fish. So, I am going to use information from others who know more about the popular ornamental carp. Apparently these fish can be pretty valuable:

If a breeder raises a highly sought after koi, it can sell for thousands of dollars. $250,000 is not unheard of for a prized koi fish. http://koistory.com/blog/all-about-koi-fish-facts

Obviously, these fish are kept in ponds:

“Koi ponds are ponds used for holding koi, usually as part of a landscape. Koi ponds can be designed specifically to promote health and growth of the Nishikigoi or Japanese Ornamental Carp. The architecture of the koi pond can have a great effect on the health and well being of the koi.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koi

So, they can be valuable, pretty, people like them, and they are kept in outdoor koi ponds. So, a group of colorful fish in an outdoor pond – sounds a little like a predator magnet to me! As it turns out, a product that we developed for chicken keepers also works very well for keeping predatory birds away from valuable koi. That’s right – Hawk Stopper – the visual deflection net brought to you by predatorpee – is a solution to preventing aerial attack on your unsuspecting koi. Each unit protects 1500 sq ft (approx. 20’x75′) and includes 100 feet of rope for installation! We have sold hundreds of Hawk Stoppers since its introduction last year.  New this year, we have developed the Mini Hawk Stopper for smaller applications – the same concept in a smaller size. Visual Deflection Net – 700 sq ft (approx. 20’x35′) – Still includes 100 feet of rope for installation!

So, no matter how big your koi pond is, we’ve got you covered! But, as I always say, you don’t have to take my word for it . . .

“Thank you PredatorPee for overnighting our Hawk Guard!!! We had placed an order & chose 2 day shipping due to terrible hawk activity that we had (lost 5 birds in 2 weeks!😞) and I’m happy to say the hawk has not been able to get into the chicken area since putting the netting up!😃👍 Thank you so very much for your product & your kindness of overnighting it!!!🐣🐔”

“Thank you HawkStopper! This and my scare crow are working wonderfully together.”

-Tiffany

Until I find more words . . . The PeeMan