Monday, April 9, 2012


I watched a handsome coyote trot across my street early this morning. He reminded me that coyote pups are being weaned about now, and papa coyotes are out scouting for food.

In our area, just a stone's throw from Pasadena, CA, most coyotes mate in January/February. Like domestic dogs, gestation lasts nine weeks (63 days). While mother nurses the 4 to 8 pups, the male coyote does a large share of the hunting. He returns to the den and regurgitates the goodies so she can eat.

Pups are weaned at about 6 weeks of age.

In the early stages of weaning both parents eat their fill of a meal,
then regurgitate their stomach contents in front of the pups.
Puppies initiate the behavior by licking the parent's muzzle.
After a while, the pups are presented with pieces of meat that they must chew themselves. By late spring, pups require more food and parents go to great lengths to keep their offspring fed.

So be extra vigilant now. Keep you pets inside. Don’t leave food bowls outside. Lock the doggie-door at night. Coyotes are opportunistic eaters. Once they realize that small pets are easy prey, they'll ignore rodents and grasshoppers, their primary diet in some states.

In our community coyotes killed many small pets last year. Not only was it a tragic loss for owners, but seven local coyotes were trapped and killed by the California State Department of Fish and Game – which tells you just how bad the problem was, as Fish and Game rarely removes indigenous wild animals in Los Angeles County.

Keep your pets safe and our coyotes wild.

Get more information on coping with urban coyotes here.

Here is another good site with tips
on how to coyote proof your fences
along with a recording of howling coyotes.

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Barkman: we have heard coyotes howling in the evening just north of our house lately in Lawrence, KS. We'll keep the pets in!