Bobcats- Please share your bobcat stories and mishaps and run-ins with bobcats

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hayley3, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My neighbor who is a hunter, told me a week ago that we have bobcats in Southern Indiana. I was shocked but didn't worry cause I've not ever seen one. So anyway, last night I was in bed when I heard the sound of a cat like it was being hurt. It was really loud and when I get outside I see something run off which had the coloring of a bobcat and was bigger than a house cat. (Had to be for me to see it. lol) But I'm not sure. I did listen to sounds of bobcats but it didn't sound like that. I have heard house cats when they are fighting and mating but this was not the sound I heard. I know what foxes sound like. We don't normally ever see cats outside running around either but anything is possible.

    So now I'm wondering if it was a bobcat that killed my chickens when they were free ranging. Would a bobcat have killed my pygmy goat? She weighs about 30-40 lbs. She's pretty fat for a pygmy goat. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  2. RoxysAnimals

    RoxysAnimals Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definently. Bobcats can get some big prey. An adult is capable of dragging up to 50 lbs. It could have easily been one. That would actually be my best guess for South Indiana. There aren't tons of them up there, but they like hunting more at night in populated areas.
     
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  3. CGilbert

    CGilbert Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A bobcat can take down a full grown deer. So yes, it could take down a pygmy goat (or a non-pygmy for that matter).
    If your neighbor is a hunter, see if he has any bobcat traps and could set a trap somewhere around your property (in the direction the cat ran off).
    Good luck!
     
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  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Interesting links in your signature considering the topic. You should be able to get some pretty good clues as to what it was killing your chickens from those. Not all predators read the book so they don’t always do what that species tends to do, but most bobcats tend to try to bury or conceal uneaten portions so they can come back later for it. Most clues are just clues but scat or prints get real close to evidence.

    I did not witness this but I think it is pertinent since your chickens were killed while free ranging. A breeder nearby said she was washing the lunch dishes just after lunch when she saw a bobcat take her rooster. She was looking through the kitchen window in early afternoon. While many predators hunt mostly at night, practically any of them will also hunt during the day.

    One bright sunny day at 1:00 pm, I saw a possum eating at my compost pile. Possum are among the most nocturnal of critters. I’ve seen bobcats, foxes, and coyotes out hunting in the middle of the day. While the risk is higher at night, both because more things hunt at night and because of less human activity they have longer to work their mischief undisturbed. Your best protection at night is locking them in a secure coop, but they can still be vulnerable during the day.

    It is hard to see at night, especially for some of us. You might think back on how it moved more than the body shape. Cats move differently than canines. Still, that’s just a clue.
     
  5. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @RoxysAnimals
    My pygmy goat was spooked and wouldn't eat for a month following that chicken massacre.

    @CGilbert

    I don't know anything about bobcats. I've had chickens a loooong time and have never suspected bobcats because we had none but that seems to have changed. Actually the sound was more like a mountain lion when I was looking for cat sounds on youtube, but I'm pretty sure we don't have one of those. But this video is similar to what I heard:

    @Ridgerunner

    I did find what I thought to be fox poo. All indications were fox. And piles of feathers.
    Chickens were fine when I left in the morning and at 5pm they were gone. It was dark when I got home and I was frantic when I found out I had lost my chickens, with 3 terrified and hiding in the stall, one seriously injured. I don't think chickens are really stupid...especially now because the one that was injured has a fit if it's near dusk and she's not in her coop. She will let me know she wants to return to the safety of her coop. She had never done that before.

    I don't even have possums hanging around. We saw them all the time and now they are gone as well. Not sure if foxes eat possums. Need to look that up.

    My neighbor says he has traps out for the bobcat and will bring it to me when he catches it. He seemed pretty sure he would catch it. He said our deer population had dwindled because of them. I live alone with my daughter so that's a scary thought to know they are out there.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Just because you may have seen a bobcat doesn’t mean a fox didn’t get your chickens. It’s not that unusual to have multiple predators hunting your property, either different species or even the same species. That’s why good barriers are your best first line of defense. You don’t know what is out there or how many.

    I consider trapping my second line of defense. It really helps to know what you are trying to trap so you can get the right sized or type of trap, use the right bait, and set it up right. I’ve caught raccoons on three consecutive nights. That means I had two raccoons testing my barriers even after I caught the first. I’ve also caught possum when I thought I was after raccoons. Sometimes the signs aren’t as clear as we think.

    I consider a gun my third line of defense. You have to be in the right place at the right time with the right weapon for it to work. There have been plenty of times that by the time I see the animal and get the right gun, the animal is gone. They don’t necessarily hang around and wait for you, plus your movement can scare them away. I’ve passed up otherwise good shots because of what is down-range. There are so many cattle and horses around here that I really don’t like shooting at night but at least at night I know where the houses are. Besides, it can be challenging to shoot accurately at night, especially with open sights. I find my guns most useful against skunks, possums, raccoons, and groundhogs around my garden. For foxes, coyotes, and bobcats you might get lucky but you’ll be most effective if you can establish a pattern and set up an ambush. You might need to do that for groundhogs too. They can be pretty tough to get a good shot at.

    I got some dogs that are big enough to handle coyotes but my wife won’t allow them to sleep outside. They have to be in crates in the garage at night. They help some during the day but at night they are worthless in defense. You might hear that they will mark their territory and keep critters away. I don’t believe that. Most wild critters are pretty adaptable. They learn pretty quickly there is no real threat there.
     
  7. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's true..unless you see something in the act, you really can't assume they did it. Dead chickens are going to draw animals to it.

    I could catch a raccoon in my trap every night but they don't really hang around my barn and if they did, they cannot get into the coop or they'd have done it in 10 years time. So I don't bother with a trap cause I got tired of trapping them. I am surrounded by coon hunters and the coons are very afraid of being seen so really are not as adventurous and daring as the last place I lived. I could also catch possums but I know neither of them massacred my chickens.

    Whatever this was, was fast enough to kill 6 chickens and injure 3 others. I will never know I guess. And it's bothering me. [​IMG]

    I would love to have dogs outside at night but I'm like your wife, I would worry if they were outside. I have goats and I worry about them too. Although they are in the barn, they like to go out into the pasture at night.
     
  8. chickens29

    chickens29 Out Of The Brooder

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    My personal experience with the bobcat in my property was that they hunt VERY closely, they aren't like the raccoons that keep away from people. I was only 20 feet away when the bobcat completely paralyzed my silkie, and barely even 5 feet away when the same bobcat attempted to attack two chickens. They will not hesitate to attack during the day, I have not seen it at night attacking my cat (he lives outdoors) or making noise.

    The time it paralyzed my silkie, it also killed my favorite hen at 4 PM, 3 hours later on the same day while I was writing an essay for English. I kinda feel guilty thinking back on it, but the chicken is in a better place now.

    When I was 5 feet away, it attacked right around the corner of the coop, so the wall was blocking my view. I heard the chickens making quite a bit of noise, so I went around the corner assuming it was the neighbor's dog or a deer. I was then face to face with the bobcat and it ran far, far away without looking back. You could see it leap through the woods without stopping. It had originally killed 3 chickens before that encounter but now it has stopped and it's been a month. I think it may have killed some large prey and is feeding on that, or possibly it could be scared of me.

    I cannot trap it or shoot it because it appears to be illegal here, but it is more beneficial than the raccoons it drove away. It hunts rabbits, and doesn't scratch up the coop or throw trash everywhere. I can store feed outside again! lol. If I had small children or there was a serious problem, I think I would call someone important in those matters, I forgot the name but my mom knows.
     
  9. tlundell

    tlundell New Egg

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    We live in Los Gatos, California, in the foothills right above the downtown. We have an area of about 2,000 sq.ft. surrounded by deer fence for the chickens to roam, with three coops with automatic steel doors on timers. We also have motion sensor cameras on the area at night, and this month have been visited by a bobcat at least four times (other times we have had large raccoons and a mountain lion), and last week he was apparently laying in wait for one of the coops to open at 7:15 in the morning. Very quickly killed four chickens, taking one away. It is very discouraging knowing that we can't rely on the nocturnal protection of the secure coops as keeping the birds safe.
     
  10. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @tlundell
    OMG that's awful. And it shows how smart they are too. It's interesting to know that he killed 4 but only took 1. I'm sure he returned for the others later though. I think a fox works the same way. So sorry about your chickens. [​IMG]

    One thing I did was change my routine and open my coop much later at 9:30 am. That helped for a long time. But then mine were killed right at dusk before they had roosted in the barn, which is where they normally were when I came home late from work. One day I'm gonna have timer doors.

    @chickens29
    Aren't you afraid of the bobcat? I would be and wouldn't want it around. I'd much prefer raccoons cause I know a secure coop keeps them out. I wouldn't want to walk around the corner at night and see a bobcat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015

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