1. NormansGal44

    NormansGal44 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Apparently we have a bobcat in our area. We are already designing our coop to be raccoon and coyote proof (I hope) with only one entrance door to the run (with two locks) that is human height. The hen house clean out door and egg box door will be inside the coop and also lockable. We are using hardware cloth along the sides and a galvanized metal roof on top. I will also be adding a 2-3' 2"x4" wire fencing apron around the base and at least two sides will have gravel or logs on top to keep erosion down. Any other suggestions/advice? I read that bobcats are most active three hours before sunset and three hours after sunrise (plus after dark and before sunrise). Is that your experience with them? I guess my chickens won't be free ranging during that time! [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    I haven't seen any lately, but we had a cougar try to get into our rabbit cage a couple years back. It was made out a 2x4 wood frame with 2x4" welded wire doubled up to make the squares 2x2". And the top was 1/2" plywood.
    The rabbits got a good scare, but the cat didn't leave a mark on the cage besides on the plywood top.
    If you have a hardware cloth fence doubled up with some welded wire, I think you'll be ok. That cougar was way bigger than a bobcat.
    We saw the cat in the middle of the day. I don't know when bobcats are most active. Wikipedia?
    Also, will you put a roof/wire fence on top of the run?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2011
  3. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Shortly after we put in our first run I stood on my deck and watched a bocat try to get in. First he went to both gates inte the run and tested to see if he could pull one open or get under then. They are metal gates with cinderblocks buried long ways down across each threshold so he couldn't. Then he stood up and checked to see how high the run wire was. He couldn't jump that high. He systematically tried all the doors and hatches on the coop sides not protected by the run. Finally he decided to dig under the run edge. I buried hardware cloth down 12 inches then out 12 inches. About 6" down the cat hit the bits of barb wire and hardware cloth pieces I'd tossed into the trench befroe I backfilled it. He yowled and shook his foot so he hit something.

    It was a good hour before the cat gave up and left. Since then I've seen evidence of a couple attempts to get under the wire by something. Anyone that got itnot he run would still have a solid closed coop door to ge to everyone locked safely away at night. So far, knock on wood, we haven't lost anyone to predation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  4. birdygirl123

    birdygirl123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a mountain come in and kill my Emu. He jumped a 6 foot wall to get to her.. We left at noon, and got home right after dark, and she had been gone a while. I learned a huge lesson here. The 6 foot wall was the only thing without electric. I have 4 huge dogs.. I put them away when we left. From now on, they stay out while we are not home. Was a hard lesson to learn..

    Edited to add: It wasnt a MOUNTAIN.. but rather a MOUNTAIN LION.. hahhaaa
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  5. NormansGal44

    NormansGal44 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Yeah, wikipedia. I wasn't planning on putting fencing on the top since there will be the roof. All access will be blocked with securely screwed in/nailed 2"x4" pieces. I don't want to make it extra easy on mice. [​IMG] Should I add fencing on the top under the roof??
     
  6. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Yeah, wikipedia. I wasn't planning on putting fencing on the top since there will be the roof. All access will be blocked with securely screwed in/nailed 2"x4" pieces. I don't want to make it extra easy on mice. [​IMG] Should I add fencing on the top under the roof??

    If there are gaps between the walls & the roof, I would. A hungry predator will do just about anything to get in (and make a mess doing it), & it's always better to play it safe. Cats & possums can climb.
     
  7. katydidit

    katydidit Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2011
    Bobcats are a crepuscular animal (most active/hunts at dawn and dusk). I have a similar experience with them, and would worry far more about raccoons getting access into the run than a bobcat. Raccoon little hands are way more dexterous than most people give them credit for!!

    As far as a "safe" time to free range your chickens, well, there isn't really a 100% guarantee that just because bobcats prefer to hunt at dawn/dusk, that they wouldn't take advantage of a slow moving fattened up chook wandering about at lunchtime. However, bobcats are extremelyyyy skittish- if you've got one hanging around, lock the birds up for a few days and keep a gun on the porch (if "taking care of" the bobcat isn't your thing, a warning shot or two might be enough to make him rethink coming back for awhile).

    My vote is to free range them! I have a friend in the mountains who has hawks, eagles, cougars, black bears, coyotes, bobcats, coons and oppossums. She free ranges her 30+ hens daily (along with 3 mighty protective roo's) and over the years has only lost a few- but they "know" to come back to the coop before the sun starts to set over the hill. Your choice!!
     

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