One of the biggest concerns of Edina residents of late are the many coyote sightings in the city. Braemar and other parks act as natural habitats for a variety of critters, from foxes to coyotes. The best way to discourage a coyote visit to your yard is by not leaving anything they might want to eat outdoors. This includes pet food, garbage and, sadly, pets.
According to the City of Edina’s website, coyotes are “opportunistic hunters and will take advantage of the easiest and most available food sources.”
Knowing this, why is Edina entertaining a proposal to allow backyard chickens? To be fair, the proposal is actually for beekeeping. Apparently, however, chickens help bees by eating the pests that we’d normally kill with pesticides.
“They’re a great method of integrated pest management,” Dianne Plunkett Latham, with the Local Food Working Group of the Edina Energy & Environment Commission tells the Star Tribune’s John Reinan.
She goes on to say that they make great pets. What she and, apparently everyone else, fails to facture in, however, is that these “pets” live outdoors. These “pets” are yummy to coyotes. These “pets” will actually act as an invitation for coyotes to move into your neighborhood and “hunt” opportunistically.
In fact, “A chicken buffet that is laid out for their easy access and convenience will attract not just a lone killer, but a pack of merciless coyotes,” according to BackYardChickens.com.
Bloomington is a city that allows chickens in residents’ backyards and it’s also a city with a huge coyote problem – one of the worst in the Twin Cities Metro. Has anyone at the City of Edina considered studying this? Have they considered that the trustees in Northbrook, Illinois voted down a similar ordinance due to their “safety concerns,” that “Coops attract predatory animals?”
Of course not.
Do you know what they have been studying? Whether or not the bees will sting residents. Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up.
The Planning Commission has already held one meeting on the subject and will be hearing public comments at their second meeting next week, on the 26th. If you’re a pet owner (dogs and cats, that is), or a parent, concerned about the prospect of allowing coyote magnets in your neighborhood, you may want to attend. And comment. Publicly.
"2009-Coyote-Yosemite" by Yathin S Krishnappa - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons