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What Do Coyotes Eat? – All About Their Favorite Food

Coyotes have a good diet and can eat a vast range of meat, plants, and fruits. This urban wildlife has mastered varying its diet to survive harsh seasons when food is scarce. Read on to learn what coyotes eat and their favorite food.

The Favorite Coyotes’ Food

Coyotes eat lots of food, including those that most animals will not find desirable. However, the canine does have a preference for some food over others. Here are the 15 Coyotes’ favorite food:

  • Deer
  • Carrion
  • Livestock
  • Rabbits
  • Mice
  • Birds
  • Shrews
  • Voles
  • Snakes
  • Grasshoppers
  • Grain
  • Grass
  • Apples
  • Watermelon
  • Berries
Coyote hunting

How Do Coyotes Attack Their Prey?

Coyotes primarily stalk their prey and ambush them during a solitary hunt. When hunting as a family or pack, one or two coyotes chase the prey into the larger family group, which encircles it, and go for the kill.

Coyotes typically bite the throat or head of their prey and maintain pressure until the prey dies or becomes significantly exhausted.

Also read: Are Coyotes Dangerous? Do They Attack Humans?

Will Coyotes Eat Dead Animals?

Coyotes do not just eat dead animals for sustenance or lack of choice. They cherish it and actively search for dead flesh to scavenge. They sometimes compete with Eagles and other big birds for authority over dead, decaying flesh. Coyotes are not selective with clarion and will eat about anything.

Is a Coyote Herbivore, Carnivore or Omnivore?

Coyotes are both herbivores and carnivores, making them omnivores. Their preferred diet is meat, which makes up 98% of their diet for a lifetime. They consider plants and fruits as secondary food when prey is hard to find.

Also read: What Eats Coyotes? Top 9 Coyote Predators

Coyote pup

What Do Baby Coyotes Eat?

Coyotes’ pups under three weeks feed on their mothers’ milk. Older pups are introduced to berries and small animals like squirrels and mice. Pups are often protected from predators by adults and do not find their own food.

What Do Coyotes Eat In The Winter?

Coyotes survive harsh winter months by heavily depending on fruits and any edible grass they can find. They also roam far in search of clarion or dead animals that help support their carnivore needs. They also eat small animals like rabbits and squirrels during the cold season.

How Often Do Coyotes Eat?

Coyotes can eat 5 times, 10 times, or even 20 times a day. Their eating frequency depends on how many times they come across food. Coyotes eat all year round and will never pass up an opportunity to gnaw at easy food. However, when not hungry, they will not hunt down prey.

How Long Can Coyotes Survive Without Food?

Coyotes need food daily and can only manage 2 to 3 days without eating before their organs collapse and break down. Most coyotes will die by the fourth day without food. Fortunately, Coyotes are omnivores and have access to food sources more easily.

Also read: Are Coyotes Friendly?

coyote in snow

How Do Coyotes Get Their Food?

Coyotes hunt their food based on their circumstances. Solitary coyotes hunt their prey by ambushing them and pouncing.

On the other hand, a bonded family of coyotes will spread themselves around a big prey like a deer and try to bring it down. Coyotes actively seek clarion and fruits during scarcity to meet their food requirements.

What Do Coyotes Eat in the City?

Coyotes with homes closer to urban activities than the forest generally modify their eating habits. City Coyotes will ransack garbage for edible foods and also eat ornamental fruits like grapes, loquat, and palm tree fruits.

They are highly opportunistic and often prey on cats, rabbits, and sometimes dogs.

What Animals Do Coyotes Eat? (Coyotes Animal Prey FAQs)

Will a Coyote Eat a Cat?

Coyotes sometimes pounce on cats, kill them, and eat them. However, coyotes are rarely lucky with cats as the latter is very slick and can escape through the tiniest spaces. Research confirms that cats only make up 1% of city coyotes’ diet, confirming how difficult it is for coyotes to catch them.

Do Coyotes Eat Snakes?

Coyotes do eat snakes, and they do so a lot. A coyote will often try to kill a snake if it spots it, and most of the time, the altercation often ends in favor of the coyote. Coyotes prey on both venomous and non-venomous snakes.

Do Coyotes Eat Eagles?

Coyotes, including large adults, cannot prey on eagles. Firstly, eagles are exceedingly strong and have the advantage of flight over coyotes. An eagle and adult coyote face-off often ends in a stalemate or the eagle flying to safety. Eagles, however, find it easy to prey on coyote pups.

Do Coyotes Eat Dead Animals?

Coyotes feast on clarion, especially the dead flesh of white-tailed deer. Their metabolism allows them to digest dead meats at the point of decay. Coyotes eat all types of dead flesh and are not selective.

Do Coyotes Eat Mice?

Mice are one of the smaller prey that coyotes love to eat. They ransack mice hideouts in the forests and garbage and kill them for food. Just like mice, coyotes prefer to prey on rodents than larger options like deer.

Do Coyotes Eat Foxes?

Coyotes will eat foxes like any other meat but rarely do as they need to kill a fox to eat it. Coyotes are naturally bigger than foxes but prefer not to confront them due to the risk of injuries. They will go for smaller animals than hunt the craftier and highly resilient fox.

Do Coyotes Eat Owls?

Coyotes rarely ever eat owls because the latter maintains a safe distance. Coyotes only catch owls by sneaking up on them when the latter is on a scavenge on land.

Do Coyotes Eat Skunks?

Coyotes eat skunks only when other preferred animals and fruits are scarce. Skunks are only secondary options and are not considered major prey to coyotes.

Do Coyotes Eat Badgers?

Coyotes sometimes eat badgers if they can find them. Badgers are relatively slower than most prey coyotes prefer to hunt. It is important not to confuse honey badgers for badgers. Honey badgers are much stronger, and coyotes do not try to hunt them.

Do Coyotes Eat Wolves?

Coyotes do not hunt or eat wolves, except dead ones. Coyotes typically avoid wolves as much as possible, including vulnerable younger members. Wolves will always win fights against coyotes and kill them. This dominance naturally makes coyotes wary of wolves.

Do Coyotes Eat Lizards?

Coyotes eat lizards whenever they can catch them. While coyotes prefer rodents and squirrels, they also eat lizards by chasing them down and killing them.

Do Coyotes Eat Deer?

Coyotes eat deer. A single coyote will find it difficult to take down a deer. Typically, a pack of coyotes is needed to chase, encircle and dominate a deer. Whitetail deer are one of coyotes’ favorite foods.

Do Coyotes Eat Turkeys?

Coyotes hunt wild turkeys whenever they find them. They are one of the major birds that coyotes actively hunt, as they are slower than most birds. Coyotes use their speed and ability to maneuver and inflict fatal injuries on turkeys.

Do Coyotes Eat Grasshoppers?

Coyotes eat grasshoppers even though they don’t always catch them. Grasshoppers are not the primary food for coyotes as they are not very satisfactory. Coyotes only focus on them during scarcity.

Will Coyotes Eat Dogs?

Coyotes see dogs as easy meals and will try to drag them from human neighborhoods and kill them when preferable food sources are scarce. Coyotes are much stronger than the more domesticated canine and will always win an altercation.

Do Coyotes Eat Raccoons?

There has been no documented record of coyotes preying on raccoons. Coyotes barely ever try to kill raccoons. It is a fight they know isn’t worth going into just for food. They may try to target younger raccoons as they can easily overpower them. In most cases, Coyotes will leave raccoons alone.

Do Coyotes Eat Bighorn Sheep?

Coyotes eat bighorn sheep. It is rare for a single coyote to hunt and kill a bighorn sheep without help, so several coyotes need to come together to overpower them. Coyotes will prefer easier prey to hunt down bighorn sheep.

Do Coyotes Eat Rats?

Coyotes eat rats and actively hunt them. Coyotes are experts in chasing down most rodents, and rats are no different. They fish rats out from garbage and shallow holes, which is why it is important to dispose of garbage always.

Do Coyotes Eat Other Coyotes?

Coyotes eat other coyotes, and the phenomenon is quite common. A family of coyotes can attack a strange solitary coyote from another pack, kill it and eat it.

Do Coyotes Eat Frogs?

Coyotes occasionally chase, kill and eat frogs if the latter share the same habitat. Like smaller mammals and rodents, coyotes see frogs as easier prey and actively hunt them.

Do Coyotes Eat Elk?

Coyotes eat elks only when they find them dead and decaying. Coyotes cannot overpower elks, even as a pack. It is extremely unlikely for coyotes ever to kill a live elk.

Do Coyotes Eat Fish?

Coyotes eat fish and try to catch them in shallow waters. While fish are not their favorite meals, they are small, which makes them easy to handle for coyotes.

Do Coyotes Eat Bison?

Coyotes would naturally eat bison if they could overpower it. However, the success rate of doing so even as a group is extremely low. The only time coyotes get to eat bison is if they are dead. Coyotes can eat any dead animal, and a dead bison is one of the lots.

Coyote in grass

Do Coyotes Eat Plants (and What Plants Do Coyotes Eat)?

Coyotes also eat plants and grasses, even though they account for a lesser percentage of their diet than meat. See the plants and fruits coyotes eat.

Do Coyotes Eat Grass?

Coyotes eat grass and do so quite often. Grass accounts for a substantial part of their herbivores’ diet. The canine specially selects the choicest grasses that are fresh for sustenance when preferred prey is not available.

Do Coyotes Eat Berries?

Coyotes love berries and eat them just as often as they eat grass. Coyote pups are introduced to berries as soon as they can start eating due to the fruit availability in the wild. Coyotes actively seek berries and will continue to eat from a tree as long as it keeps producing.

Do Coyotes Eat Fruit?

Coyotes eat fruits, including fresh ones they can get from a tree or remnants they can find in the garbage. They prefer to eat apples, berries, and watermelons. They are also big on intercontinental fruit eaters, especially when they live near people. They eat grapes, loquat, and palm tree fruits.

Do Coyotes Eat Apples?

Coyotes eat apples quite well and try to get low-hanging ones. This animal will eat just about anything. Their only challenge is getting the food. Coyotes go to great lengths to get apples which they naturally enjoy.

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