Bobcat mitigation

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mschwager, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. mschwager

    mschwager New Egg

    Mar 18, 2010
    Over the past 3 weeks we have lost 4 chickens to a local bobcat. The last one was just carried past my office at 10:30 this morning! The chickens are free range in a small vineyard that has an 8 foot deer fence. After I lost the second one I installed electric fencing - One wire on the top and one on standoffs about 2 feet from the top are hot and all other wires are ground. For the last few chickens, the cat either didn't get shocked or didn't care.

    This is all daytime predation. The chickens are in a bombproof enclosure at night. We have had the chickens out all year and this is the first time we have had problems. We have known the we live in a bobcat rich neighborhood and were a bit surprised that this didn't happen sooner.

    I am looking at mitigation strategies and have read the archives without finding much on fencing techniques. Possibly because they don't work.

    So here is the first question. Has anyone tried fence "leaners" to successfully keep out bobcats? They are the 45 degree angled metal pieces that you place on top of the fence and lean outward. I have seen variations used to keep domestic cats confined to a back yard. Of course the bobcat is a whole new ballgame, but I thought I would ask. I could electrify alternate top wires as well without much work.

    The primary job of the chickens is to weed and feed the vineyard so I would like to keep them free ranged within the vineyard perimeter. The rows are a bit narrow for using a portable enclosure.

    The recently deceased chickens were Ameracaunas, which were pretty savy about the local raptors. One thought we had was to possibly switch to Guinea Hens which are supposedly more predator aware. It seems from reading the forum that they get eaten with about the same frequency as the others. Any opinions on this?

    Thanks, Marc
    Sonoma, Ca
  2. C&C Chickens

    C&C Chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 28, 2010
    Bay Area
    I can't speak for bobcats, but we have a cat proof fence in our backyard (Purrfect Fence) just like you described, with arms facing inward and strong plastic mesh attached. The theory is that cats don't like to climb flimsy-feeling plastic mesh, and they don't like to climb upside down. Our cats cannot climb over, and they've tried. But more importantly, raccoons have entered the yard (climbing over a tree limb), and when they tried to get out over the fence, were also completely unable to do so. So maybe a cat proof fence, facing outward from your vineyard, would deter the bobcats? Just a thought.
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Guineas will get eaten as rapidly or more so as any other bird. Guineas are more apt to scream loudly about getting eaten, but their propensity for roosting in trees and outside the coop is their undoing- they are usually the first to get snatched up.

    Sorry for your losses. I can't offer any suggestions because our bobcats are our shyest predator. Here they are deterred by a hard look in their direction.

    Good luck.
  4. eggboy

    eggboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2010
    Is it legal to hunt or trap bobcats in Ca? That would be an easier solution.
  5. Mountain Man Jim

    Mountain Man Jim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our LGD has solved the bobcat problem. Yah, some help I am, our Pyr is my answer for everything [​IMG]

  6. mgw

    mgw Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    Try to catch it in a live trap, or just shoot it.
  7. mschwager

    mschwager New Egg

    Mar 18, 2010
    I did order a trap today so I do plan on making sure this guy doesn't return. The mitigation is really for the next one that shows up, though this guy would be a good test cat to test the enhanced fencing. I have a camera trap pointed at the chicken coop to see if and when he returns. I already got one nice photo of him below.

    My next fence step will be an angled top facing outward as shown reaching about 12 inches. It is an 8 foot fence where the normal fencing goes to 6 feet. Above that will be alternating electric and ground wires as shown with 4" spaces. (* = elec - = ground).

    <--- 12"--->

    - <-- top of fence post (8 feet) , wires above will be held by some sort of bracket attached to the top of the post tbd
    * |
    - |
    * | alternating hot/ground wires
    - |
    * |
    - <--Top of regular fencing (6 feet)(grounded)

    Anyone else find it ironic that the descendants of veloceraptors are being eaten by the descendants of mammals?

  8. Birch Run Farm

    Birch Run Farm Biddy up!

    Sep 5, 2008
    Bobcats are easily trapped with coil spring traps, use a mouse for bait in a cubby set. Apply lead medicine once cat is trapped. Tan for into a nice hat.
  9. HopeMissouri

    HopeMissouri Out Of The Brooder

    Anyone else find it ironic that the descendants of veloceraptors are being eaten by the descendants of mammals?

  10. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2009
    Wesley Chapel FL
    Have you tested the electric fence to see if it even works? I built up the nerve to test mine and realized it was hitting some bushes and wasn't putting out a shock where I needed it to. False sense of security!

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