Farmers donate hair and urine for non-lethal coyote control

By Abdul Matin Sarfraz | March 20th 2023

Until two years ago, Topsy Farms lost an average of 40 sheep a year to coyotes. But after rethinking its relationship with the predators, the Ontario farm has cut its number of sheep killed to just two a year thanks to some unorthodox management methods.

Coyotes are territorial, says Rachel Hawkshaw, predation manager at Topsy Farms. So, the Ontario farm drew on coyotes’ own natural protective instincts to design a protection plan.

“We looked at how we would defend a territory in the same way a coyote would defend a territory, and we discovered that coyotes respond to scent marking and … territorial occupation,” Hawkshaw said.

Instead of trying to wipe out all coyotes in the area, the farm practices peaceful coexistence with just one family and harnesses the animals’ natural protective instincts to keep away other marauders.

To mark the farm’s territory, the farmers used natural scents — from humans. That includes “human urine and human hair to scent-mark along the pasture perimeter,” Hawkshaw explained.

Read more at the National Observer:

What are some other non-lethal forms of animal control that could be used in agriculture?