Will coyotes attack horses?
The damage and injury from nocturnal predators to horses, especially foals, can be serious. The trauma inflicted on these animals we love so much is extremely hard to witness, and the cost can be immeasurable. Physiological and behavioral stress, as well as bodily injury, often occur.
Coyote, coydogs, cougar and wolf are often the culprits and they’re becoming extremely bold as we move into their territory. Once again, the conflict goes on between man and wild, with each species attempting to live out their lives while inadvertently invading one another’s territory.
Inside or Outside?
The extra labor people put into bringing their stock to buildings or protected paddocks each night is considerable. Also, being indoors can be hard on the animals during the extreme heat of summer.
The other option is to leave livestock out during the night hours; however, the risk of predation prevents many owners from doing this. Studies have shown that even the odor of coyote, wolf or bear will increase the heart rate of horses, especially when predator movement is also involved. Little wonder.
It does seem, however, that horses tend to sense the difference between predator from another. For instance, coyotes coming into or near a paddock or pasture during the day seem to have little effect on horses. A cougar is a different story. Horses, perhaps, see the coyote as just another dog, whereas the cougar or wolf, because of their size, present a threat. Night time visits change this perception.
Hunting Behavior: Coyote, Coydog, Cougar & Wolf
Coyotes are more of a threat to foals, as they are reluctant to attack a full grown horse except out of desperate hunger, and then, they do so in large packs. Coyotes tend to be smaller and do not always run in large packs, but rather as singles or in groups of two or three. This is not the case when it comes to larger animals such as wolves or coydogs (cross between a coyote and a dog).
Coydogs, which fear humans less, are especially threatening as they do run in packs, will take down an adult horse, and are much more aggressive with their attacks. Even though full grown horses have been known to stomp or kick these predator animals to death, the coydogs remain ruthless.
Cougar clearly are large enough and strong enough to do severe damage or kill any type of livestock and they usually instill a deep fear in horses.
Wolves almost always run in packs and are efficient and patient killers.
Any of these predators, of course, will chase horses causing them to bolt into or through fencing often sustaining injuries.
These night predators are all intent on finding another meal and often become more aggressive if they are having a tough time finding available food or have experienced a difficult winter with deep snow and cold. All of these factors put horses more at risk and the risks are very real to any horse owner who has experienced these attacks.
Develop a Predator Deterrent Strategy
One thing is certain, the investment in horses is huge for most people and protecting them against harm is a constant concern and should be part of the investment. With the right safety system in place, you and your animals, as well as the predators, can live in harmony.
There are many predator deterrents on the market today that could help. However, most require the animals to come in close to either activate the device (motion activated) or for the animal to be close enough to sense the repellent smell.
What is really most effective is for the deterrent to stop these predators at a distance. This is especially true when protecting horses.
Nite Guard Solar
Nite Guard Solar® is the original predator light, designed to stop predators from a distance. Using solar energy for power, (sunlight or daylight), Nite Guard Solar lights turn on automatically at dusk and give off a powerful flash of red light that replicates the blink of a human or another predator’s eye. It has also has been confirmed by animal behavior experts that this flash of light represents an “eye” to night animals and that they are indeed being watched and feel threatened.
Nite Guard Solar’s flash of light is not annoying to neighbors and is ignored by pets and livestock. The flash is emitted through a weatherproof, soundless unit that appears to the casual, or not so casual, observer to be a security system in place—a secondary benefit that most users greatly appreciate.
Horse owners across the country are discovering the benefits of this amazing product, including Dr. David Ranson, the racing manager at Equivest Racing in Charleston, WV. Ranson said this about Nite Guard Solar:
“Occasionally in the plethora of new farm/stable products that come along there is one that truly is revolutionary and useful. In my geographical area, my farm has been haunted by coyotes which would endanger my mares and foals during their nighttime turnout schedules. Since I have placed Nite Guard in my pastures and paddocks, I have not seen nor heard these predators which could harm my valuable livestock. I can now rest well at night knowing that my pastures are safe. Many thanks from Equivest Racing for the product Nite Guard.”
Jim Meyer is the owner and founder of Nite Guard, LLC, a company that manufactures Nite Guard Solar® and Nite Guard Repellent Tape. He has written many articles concerning animal predation and how to control it. His company is recognized as one of the top consulting firms on animal predation in the country.
Written by Jim Meyer, CEO, Nite Guard, LLC, PO Box 274, Princeton, MN 55371. © Nite Guard, LLC. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of any images, illustrations, descriptions, or article content without written permission is strictly prohibited under copyright law. Nite Guard Solar is a registered trademark of Nite Guard, LLC.