Mr. Bobcat You Are NOT Welcome Here

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by williams coop, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. williams coop

    williams coop Out Of The Brooder

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    Recently I was pulling into my driveway around 9pm to discover something that I have never seen on my property in nearly twenty years. As I pulled down the driveway to the bottom parking lot, my lights shone toward the creek bottom that runs through our property. All of the sudden I notice some movement in the headlights of something that moved in behind my daughters car. All that I catch is a quick glimpse of the creature. I say to my wife, “that’s probably another rabbit”. Well just moments later the mystery is solved and being a Backyard Chicken farmer I suddenly realize I have a full blown problem on my hands as the 30+ pound bobcat emerged from behind the car to make his quick escape. My wife’s reaction was that she held her breath and in a shocking tone we both said “BOBCAT”! My son that is ten years old and my number one chicken partner let out in disbelief a big, “oh NO”! I went from Mr. Hyde to Dr. Jeckle or from a peaceable farmer, to a hell-bent warrior with an unmovable determination to protect my flock. No doubt, this rascal was casing my place out and my coop to feast on my sweet little innocent ones, bobcats ARE “opportunistic hunters”! In North Carolina a predator such as bobcats that become a nuisances to livestock seal their fate and in my opinion, reserve a 12 gauge double alt 3 inch magnum buckshot shell for themselves which I have waiting for Mr. Bobcat upon our next encounter if there is one. However, I know that it is impossible to give 24 hour personal security for my flock and since they are free range chickens and are going to remain so, I had to take other measures to protect them. I went the next day and purchased two #2 foot-traps and did some research on the most effective way to trap my nemesis and found that a “Flag Set” was very effective at luring the culprit in and ending his mischievous plans. I also put the word out on him in our community which is a small close nit rural community to alert others to beware. In addition to steps already mentioned, I also installed four "Solar Nite Eyes" around the perimeter of my coop in hopes that they would keep any night time intruders away. I know that there “mixed” opinions on these high-tech gadgets, but I am willing to test their effectiveness. So far, thankfully, all of our chickens are unharmed and to the best of my ability and with God’s help, they will stay that way! I am fully aware that bobcats and all animal act from “natural” tendencies and instinct and are “supposed” to kill things that are weaker and more harmless BUT…. I am also fully aware that my sweet little flock are depending on me to stay the superior creature at the top of the food chain in this matter to keep them safe, happy, and healthy to which they gladly will reward my diligence everyday with those beautiful and fantastically delicious eggs. Anybody that wants to comment, feel free to do so and thank you for allowing me to vent. J
     
  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I had a bobcat come visiting earlier this summer. My coop cam caught him 3 different days in broad daylight (10am, 1pm and 7pm) within 15 feet of the coop. I came across him in person at 10pm on evening, as I was taking in the feeders I keep by my pond, and as I got within 20 feet of one of the feeders, he was eating the duck food from the feeder! All I had was a flashlight, so I yelled at him and chased him away, and I have not seen him since.

    Last week on my way home from work, I saw a bobcat dead on the road, not sure if it was the same one as it was a few miles from home.

    I checked with the State DEP warden on what my options were, as it is illegal to hunt or trap bobcat in CT. The warden explained that if I live on agricultural land, and a predator is threatening my family or livestock, I can remove or kill the predator if necessary. So I bought a large cage trap to trap him with, but he seems to have moved on and I have not seen him since
    [​IMG]

    .

    Good luck in catching him!
     
  3. williams coop

    williams coop Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2013
    North Carolina
    Wow, that was a close encounter! Thanks for your informative comment thomasboyle. It sounds like your ahead of your intruder as I am trying to be with mine. I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina where wildlife is abundant and where the people have learned to live along side of the animals. Farming has always been a major part of this area and I was raised on a farm. One of the things that most people around here feel strongly about that have any type of farming is that they don't want their stuff messed with by man or beast and I am pretty sure that most anybody can understand that position except for the wildlife of course. As with anybody that has poultry or fowl, we should be aware of how vulnerable our livestock are as I think most do and will do whatever they can to protect them. The thing for me however, is the question of is what I am doing effective enough to prevent loss. So far it seems to be as it has been over a week now since any sign of an intruder. I just hope it stays that way! Nobody likes loss but I think (and hope) that you and I are on the right track to prevent it. Good luck, and let me know how it turns out for you.
     
  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You may have come across a young male (this years litter) that has been kicked out by mom and run off by the resident male in the territory from which he came. He is probably looking for his own range. So hopefully he has kept going.

    Here in Missouri bobcats are quite common but cougars are not but every year usually late fall or winter one is spotted or killed in the state They are always male. A young male that has been ran out of moms territory and searching for his own.
     
  5. williams coop

    williams coop Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2013
    North Carolina
    Thanks scooter, that maybe what happened. Either way though, I hope he got the message that he wasn't welcome :) I cant imagine having to deal with cougars!
     
  6. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2012
    Good luck!! You're going to need it!! We've had many run ins with bobcats. We no longer let our chickens free range because of them.
    Our teenage daughter was out in our yard with the chickens back in Feb, when the bobcat jumped over our 6 ft wood fence, grabbed a hen and was gone in
    seconds. This was very upsetting. We own about an acre but have many houses around us. Too close for any safe shooting. The bobcats have come back many times
    looking for more food but couldn't get to the chickens who are safety locked up in their new expanded run. We have 2 game cameras that let us know what
    is moving around outside. Got a picture of the bobcat last month but we have had no more losses(knocking on wood)
    [​IMG]

    That's our chicken coop in the background.
     
  7. williams coop

    williams coop Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2013
    North Carolina
    Thanks Janet, good luck to you as well with your intruder(s). A few things that I believe that might have deterred our predator problem is that we do have a 65 pound (chicken friendly) retriever that patrols our place during the day. At night we also have 4 motion sensored flood lights that cover the entire backyard when they are triggered. After our encounter, I decided to installed 4 Solar Night Eyes that is supposed to deter predators as well. So far, (thankfully) something must be working, its been nearly a month since any sign of any bobcat. I noticed in your picture that it was took during dark hours, that is when the Night Eyes are working. That might be something that you would be interested in?
     
  8. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    And a fully secure run is the only way to go with such predators about.
     

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