Bobcat watching the ducks in pond

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HiddenHill Heretic, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. HiddenHill Heretic

    HiddenHill Heretic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2010
    Santa Cruz, Caliphas
    So, as I went out ringing the tibetan yak bell to let the duckies know it was time for dinner, I experienced unusual reluctance to leave the approximately half acre pond in whch the ducks frolic during the day. I had shoulder surgery a week ago, so I had to set the bell down on a bench to pick up a handful of cracked corn to lure the girls from the pond. I looked to my right near a downed log about 20 feet away, and saw a bobcat sitting quietly watching the ducks begin to come up the embankment towards me. Now, I have dealt with Bobcat predation problems before with free range and pastured hens, and with muscovies before they lived in the pond. I have in the past had several easy chances to shoot the cat in the act of taking chickens. I have chosen not to, andwould prefer not to. Somehow my sense of protectionism is stronger with birds I raised from day olds, and ducks generally The pond is maybe 5 feet at it's deepest. One half is covered with giant cattail reeds 4-6 feet tall from water surface. It seems as though the ducks are aware the cat is a threat. They seem to want to stay in the pond when the cat is around. I feel like I am playing wih fire. Has anyone had bobcat attacks in the water? How well do they swim? The ducks are kept in a protected covered pen with a locking indoor converted horse stable at night. In the early AM I walk the ducks to the pond. AsI said, I know we have Bobcat,Mtn. Lion, Coyote, Hawks and Owl. I have seen raccoon once about 10 years ago. I think the main challenge is Bobcat. I'll get a pic next time. In the mean time, here are a few pics of my ducks (approx 45 Metzer assorted, mostly(40) female ducks). If anyone has Bobcat pond or water experience, I would love help.

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  2. Jeeper1540

    Jeeper1540 Chillin' With My Peeps

    im not sure, but i bet thats kinda scary watching a bobcat eye your flock
     
  3. MysticalMom

    MysticalMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2009
    Wow. That's a tough one. If you don't want to shoot it, I dunno. It would take some time but maybe get a big dog and raise it around the ducks?[​IMG] A dog will chase off stuff like that and keep it away. My dogs have chased off all the predators/wildlife from around here. (granted I'm in Southern Maryland so don't have even close to the level of predator that you do) Thanks to the dogs, we rarely even see a squirrel, rabbit or deer.[​IMG] They definitely keep all the coons and foxes and everything away. ( I wish they could get all the groundhogs!) Yet they seem to know the ducks belong here and don't even pay attention to them. (unless they're running for their lives from our menace drake. [​IMG] )

    I love animals too.. but I have to say... if a bobcat was threatening my flock.. I'd shoot it. Sorry. [​IMG] And in the meantime... My ducks would stay penned. That's an awful big chance to take.
     
  4. JosieR

    JosieR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2010
    Orange County, NY
    I've made the decision to not close my ducks up all day, I think they enjoy wandering around and exploring and that's a chance they take in nature and a chance we take here.

    The fact that the bobcat was not bothered by your presence bothers me more than it eyeing the ducks. Based on that alone I would shoot it.
     
  5. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

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    Feb 25, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    One solution besides extermination for a bobcat problem is this:


    Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Blooming chicks

    Blooming chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But do the dogs really work? I hear such mixed reviews on LSGs. How much training is involved?
     
  7. chicken boy sam

    chicken boy sam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2009
    Try electric poultry netting!
     
  8. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    Call Animal Control.
     
  9. HiddenHill Heretic

    HiddenHill Heretic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2010
    Santa Cruz, Caliphas
    I have considered electric poultry netting, but I have also watched the Bobcat jump 4 foot fencing as easily as taking an extra step. Therein lies the concern about the height of Premier and others poultry netting. Having said that, I took the girls to the pond this morning and walked the perimeter to determine what the necessary length would be for electric netting. me, 550 feet will cost a bit, but the peace of mind is probably worth it. In the mean time, here are my 2 LGDs. 8 year old lab and 3 month old Catahoula. Mostly useless against predators, but wonderful surrogate cuddlers for my girlfriend when I go to work on the farm at 5 AM. I am almost sure this is a different cat than the one who took 2 chickens several weeks ago. A few shots near the cat with the 22 seems to have scared her off for a bit, though the unmistakable Guinea call went up a few days ago, and though no chooks were gone, from the emotional state of the hens, I reckon Senor Bobcat was around. AsI believe that these are 2 separate cats, maybe Ill try a few warning shots and see the reaction. The Santa Cruz CA area where I live has increasingly fragmented wild habitat. Between our land, several neighbors, and a city park, around 600 acres of prime wildland redwood forest and oak woodland meadows exist for animals to roam. I revel in seeing wild animals, particularly predators. Raising poultry and waterfowl sometimes seems ideologically at odds with this deep desire to perpetuate healthy ecology from the top down. The challenge of protecting the birds and the beasts without an insanely costly and technology dependent solution will likely be an ongoing affair. Thanks for the suggestions. The ducks are on the pond. I am counting on feline hatred of swimming.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

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    Feb 25, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    Quote:If you were a 30 pound coyote, would you want to jump a four foot electric fence to get a delicious duck dinner if you knew there was a 110 pound Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog waiting for you on the other side?

    There was very little corrective training involved. She has been with the ducks 24/7 since she was six weeks old. At four months she did test her boundaries by killing and eating some ducks, but that period only lasted a month. Now that she is over a year old, she is free to roam anywhere she wants. Even with that freedom, she pretty much just hangs around the farm.
     

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