I would like to take this time and concede to Ms. Riley in the ongoing coyote issue. Due to the crappy weather, I took the day off and spent it surfing the net trying to either prove or disprove her view. I found out she has some valid points. The poor coyote has been blamed for many pet deaths because no one actually knew what happened. The pet just disappeared. In my search, substantial pet attacks are much more prevalent in larger cities than in our rural areas. This may be because there are more people to witness the crime in a heavily populated area than in the country where “I just let Fluffy out and she never came back” happens. I don’t know.
I also found, to my surprise, there are actual coyote fences in use and several companies have sprang up selling or erecting them. Most fences are in use in our western and southwestern states of Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico where coyotes have moved into urban areas. Las Vegas has erected several since four small children were attached in four weeks during last April and May. As for locking up my animals, I fasten my chickens up every night in a secure chain link enclosure with a concrete floor. I also turn them loose every day to free range around the barns and pasture. A happy chicken lays a tasty egg. As for “confining pregnant animals and their young during the birthing season,” that didn’t work out so well.
In my research, PETA requires that each cow-calf pair needs an area large enough to lay down and rest 12 to 14 hours per day. The pen size that they recommend is 10 foot by 14 foot and shall be constructed with skid proof floors. Rubber mats or straw of sufficient depth must be provided for their comfort. All pens must be cleaned twice daily and there must be enough windows to provide sufficient sunlight. PETA also requires a fly control system.