Home Tips & Tricks How to Build a Coyote-Proof Fence

How to Build a Coyote-Proof Fence

by Judy Knowler

Coyotes and human beings have been clashing for generations. Besides hunting them for sport or fur, people have also often killed coyotes because of their predation on domestic animals. However, research shows that killing coyotes doesn’t make livestock safer.

What you need is a robust coyote-proof fence, which isn’t too complicated to build. The process can be as easy as adding a coyote roller or barbed wire to your existing fence or building one at least 8 feet tall.

Building one from scratch will only require a few simple steps. Here’s what you need to know about coyotes and how to build a sturdy, tall-enough fence to keep them at bay.

Why Do You Need a Coyote-Proof Fence?

Coyote sightings are increasing in rural and suburban areas. According to data, the population of coyotes has grown, with their range expanding to 49 U.S. states. That’s despite more than 400,000 being killed annually.

Coyotes are also becoming bolder, often trespassing into human property to hunt for their next meal. This behavior is causing serious concern among property owners in coyote-prone areas.

Here are a few key reasons why you need coyote-proof fencing.

Coyotes Can Overcome Their Fear of Humans

Coyotes have historically been very afraid of humans. They’re naturally shy animals and try to avoid contact as much as possible. However, they can get used to encounters if they happen too often.

A determined coyote is less deterred by a human. They also get comfortable if they get free meal handouts. But this doesn’t mean they can be domesticated.

Regularly feeding coyotes helps them to easily overcome their instinct to avoid people. In turn, they become harder to keep out of your property and pose an increased risk to your livestock, pets, and children.

Coyotes Are Opportunistic Predators

Coyotes cannot let any meal opportunity pass by. They hunt anything they think they can catch. In the wild, this includes voles, mice, birds, deceased animals, and deer fawns. Near human property, coyotes get more accessible food.

Within suburban areas, it’s common to find coyotes rummaging trash for food scraps or stalking domestic ducks and chickens. They can also target domestic dogs and cats, though they often prefer rummaging through your pet’s food.

Coyotes Can Be Territorial

If a coyote decides to make your property its home, getting rid of it can be difficult. Once a coyote becomes comfortable on your property, it may start stalking your pets and challenge you for the property since it no longer sees you as a threat.

A territorial coyote behaves aggressively like a dog, snarling, lunging, and barking. You must consult the appropriate authorities to intervene if you find yourself in this situation. Despite being rare, coyote attacks on people can happen.

What Attracts Coyotes to Properties?

Coyotes can be attracted to your property by several things. Some of the most common include livestock, pets, and garbage.

Coyotes are well-known for predatory attacks on livestock. They actively hunt adult sheep and goats. According to data, coyotes are North America’s leading cause of predator losses of sheep, goats, and cattle.

Young livestock, such as lambs and calves, make the easiest prey. Coyotes may also hunt domestic cats, small dogs, and poultry.

Coyotes can also damage crops. They consume and destroy crops such as watermelons, berries, and sweet corn.

They also rummage through garbage searching for food. Property owners in areas with a high coyote population are often advised to use tight-fitting, coyote-proof lids for their trash cans.

How Can You Identify Coyotes on Your Property?

Several pointers can help you identify a coyote’s presence on your property. They include the following:

  • Two-inch long tracks in the snow or dirt, which typically resemble those of a large dog, feature an elongated foot shape with four toes and no distinct claws
  • Droppings that look like dog droppings but are often larger, more compact, and darker
  • Dead birds or animals on the property
  • Spots of fur from their coat
  • Yipping or howling noises at night

How You Can Build a Coyote-Proof Fence

Your fencing system is your best defense against coyotes. There are permanent and temporary fencing options available, with some being more effective than others.

Coyotes can climb and jump over fences. Most coyote-proof fencing should be about 8 feet tall since most strong adult coyotes jump up to 6 feet high.

Coyotes can also dig into the ground to bypass fencing. Therefore, the lowest electric wire should be buried at least 6 inches underneath the ground. A wire mesh L-footer can also be used to further deter the coyotes from digging.

Here are three of the most popular coyote fencing options.

Install Barbed Wire or Woven Wire

Barbed wire is a feasible fencing option in rural and industrial areas. Each local county or township has unique rules on installation. Therefore, contact a professional for help.

You should also add an outward-fencing extender that runs along the fence’s top to deter the coyotes from climbing over.

To fortify your property even more, consider using woven wire. The tight mesh weave will deter any predator from penetrating the protected area. Just make sure the openings of the fence are no larger than 4 inches.

Install a Coyote Roller

Coyote rollers are designed to counter a coyote trying to hoist itself over a fence. The rollers prevent them from getting a good grip on the fence and jumping into your property. Some experts argue it’s a more humane fencing option than barbed wire and just as effective.

Install an Electric Fence

Electrification helps effectively deter trespassing coyotes. You should electrify the wires and the bottom of the fence since coyotes can also try digging underneath the barrier.

Typically, for an electric wire fence, you should follow these recommendations:

  • 7-wire design with 42″ fence height – This option deters coyotes in low predator-activity areas while allowing deer and elk to pass by safely.
  • 7-wire design with 54″ fence height – This option deters coyotes from lambing and calving areas with low to moderate predator activity.
  • 9-11 wire design 60″ – 70″ fence height – This option is highly effective for deterring coyotes in high predator activity areas.

If you haven’t installed electric fencing before, consult a professional for tips and your county extension office for guidelines.

Get Robust Fencing Options for Maximum Protection

Coyotes are a tamable menace. You can explore numerous fencing options to protect your livestock, crops, pets, and children from these opportunistic predators. Contact a trusted fencing expert for effective options.

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