Coyotes at Midnight

I had trouble getting to sleep last night. Then there were coyotes at midnight, just as the drift of dreams was beginning to take hold. It went on for so long I had time to turn on the audio recorder and go outside.

Now you get to hear the sound of this ruckus, too:

At first I didn’t comprehend what it was. Coyotes generally don’t come this close to the house because of the dogs, and the dogs had been barking non-stop prior to this so they must have known they were creeping around out there.

I don’t lock our chickens up although they do have a coop to sleep in and nests for eggs. Rarely one is lost to a predator because we have an awesome team of guard dogs with Badger and Bobbie Sue. They did a great job last night, too. This morning they are all tuckered out from the barking they had to do all night long.

These dogs would not do well in an urban environment because of the barking. But they’re the only reason we have chickens at all because the coons, coyotes, foxes and bobcats would have eaten them all by now.

Badger howling at coyotes.  chicken guardian dog

Turbo was noticeably quiet during the crisis of coyote invasion. He was either scared or sleeping or had adopted the “not my job” mentality because he was tethered. When I have to tie up either of the other two dogs, they do the same thing. Turbo has to stay on a lead because he takes it as his mission in life to kill Badger at any opportunity.
Badger is getting old and doesn’t need that sort of stress, and neither do I. Dogfights, when neither wants to yield in submission, are a terrible thing. Especially when one of them is a pitbull. I need Badger on the job at all times, so Turbo is relegated to immediate home defense for the time being.
He's sweet to everyone except certain cats and Badger.
He’s sweet to everyone except certain cats and Badger. 
When the youngest graduates college he’ll take him with him as he begins his independent journey in life and career.


About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


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2 Replies to “Coyotes at Midnight”

  1. The coons, coyotes, bobcats are afraid of dogs? Can the dogs kick ass or are they afraid of the noise? No the dogs wouldn’t be welcomed in the urban area. I get annoyed with the dog that barks when the mailman comes.

    1. The white dog, Badger, is a specific breed (Great Pyrenees) that has been used for guarding livestock however long his breed has been in existence. A long time. So yes, he is particularly vicious when it comes to defending his territory from predators. He will take on anything attempting to eat our chickens (except other dogs, unfortunately, because I stopped him from doing that once and now he doesn’t lift a paw against another dog except in self-defense). Badger trained Bobbie Sue to help him, so she plays backup to him in his job. Turbo feels no particular loyalties toward the chickens or any of the other pets, though, so he’s not so good at guarding things from predators but he’s terribly protective of the people, as is the tendency of his breed.

      Many people get the white dogs thinking they’ll love them as pets in urban areas and then find out their barking is a problem. They try to train it out of them, but that’s a key part of their genetics, it’s what they are bred to do, so it’s rather cruel to expect them not to bark at things they consider to be predators. They bark just to let surrounding predators like coons, skunks, foxes, mink, bobcats, bears, etc. know that the area is guarded, although he doesn’t have to do that all night every night, just often enough to make sure they remember. He barks more when he knows something is out there.

      Coons are particularly vicious if a dog attacks them, but Badger and Bobbie Sue kill any coon foolish enough to come too close and get caught on the ground. Their personality totally changes from the friendly sweet dogs they normally are to unbelievably ferocious when they’re busy killing something.

      Without those two, I wouldn’t have a chicken left, even if the chickens were locked up. Coons reach through fences and tear holes in screens to reach chickens when they can. Had a whole flock murdered like that once by a coon that managed to get an arm in just far enough to grab the poor hens off the roost and pull their heads through the hole he’d made. That was before I had these dogs.

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