pleaseHelp!! half my flock killed!! bobcat??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by DepotMudilk, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. DepotMudilk

    DepotMudilk Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2013
    Yesterday I lost my ducks, pekin & a swedish blue mix. My favorite chicken a buff orpington and this morning I realized one of my redstars seemed in shock and has a large patch of feathers ripped out of her neck. I live in a densely wooded area near a saltwater creek. The birds have a large fenced pen with a coop in the middle. bird netting over head and lines running even higher on the fence posts to deter jumping.Lots of running palmettos and trees to hide under. Yesterday what I believe was a bobcat jumped over broke the ropes and took the birds out and into the dense underbrush. I found my big pekin with her neck broken & stashed under a palmetto. I found the male duck further in the woods with his breast eaten out. I was unable to find the chicken last night but found a pile of feathers near my house which hadnt been there earlier. then the rest of her remains I found in the woods this morning which was just feathers, a little bone a foot & broken egg. :( i have a red that jumped out of the pen & was running the property during the attack. Maybe my buff escaped too only to be caught a few hours later? i buried the ducks & spent the sunrise this morning hunting. I found what looked like a domestic cat skull & a series of burrows & tunnels. near an oak hammock. Is it normal for bobcats to take multiple kills at once? Could it have cubs? The attack happened around 12 in the afternoon and it only had about an hour to do it. what should i do for my redstar? She loved the ducks & roosted on the ground with them most nights. She doesnt appear injured just the missing feathers. Shes just been sitting on the ground very lethargic closing her eyes. I am considering buying a coyote trap does anyone have experience with this working? Any help is appreciated!!!
     
  2. DepotMudilk

    DepotMudilk Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2013
    [​IMG]

    Track from inside the coop.
     
  3. nikkers390

    nikkers390 Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's hard to see the track clearly, but It may be bobcats. I had several similar incidents. First time the cat pried a big enough space to crawl through the gate of the run. ( dead birds only 1 partially eaten.
    Saw big cat prints and some small ones. (mom and kits) Mommy was teaching the kids to hunt in MY run. We saw the cat, so no doubt.
    Reinforced the gate.
    2 nights later, it found a space in the shade cloth (imstalled to keep out hawks, not bobcats) with just enough room to jump in, grab another chicken and jump out with it.
    Reinforced the shade cloth - tight, no spaces.
    a week later, dug up under the fence1 chicken dead, one pulled out through tunnel.
    Added wire to bottom of fence, laid down a "skirt of wire and covered with heavy pavers.
    AND added electric wire.
    Last week 4 dead ducks, 3 dead chickens. This time the sucker climbed a tree, bypassed the electric wire, tore a hole in the shade cloth and proceeded to massacre. The run is really too big for us to use wire on top. It's like 50' x 35'.

    Ready to throw in the towel!

    My advice, rebuild the run and coops to the specifications of FORT KNOX. Camp out in the yard with loaded shotgun.
    Sorry for your losses.
    Good luck!!!
     
  4. DepotMudilk

    DepotMudilk Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow so sorry you've lost so many! Persistent little sucker. I saw a coyote on my property early last year then lost 2 chickens in the summer & had a bobcat walk through my yard a few weeks later. I hunted this morning but I know they're very difficult to find so im hoping the trap works. Did the kittens go over the fence as well & did your remaining birds go into shock?I hope you get yours !
     
  5. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2014
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    Wow, I am so sorry for both of your losses, that's horrible! I have nothing to offer other than once an animal, fox, bobcat, raccoon etc...finds a way to get an easy meal they will be back. No real way to stop them other than ridding your place of the offending animal and making your areas completely predator proof against future attackers. My father had a pack of raccoons that were able to kill a bird almost every night until he killed all of them. Even when they couldn't get inside the coop they'd somehow grab the sleeping hens and pull as much as they could through the poultry wire and eat those parts. He re-homed his hens shortly after that.
     
  6. nikkers390

    nikkers390 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The remaining chickens did not go into shock, but they were very flighty and nervous. One chicken even found safety riding around on my shoulder. She was the last to be killed - after 4 attacks. I was heartbroken. I felt I let her down and I was very angry!!!
    Trapping a bobcat is very difficult according to some hunters I talked to. A snare is supposed to work better. Shooting was their method, but she is still here.
    The kittens seemed to find the easiest way in, either under the fence or through the gap in the gate. We tried trapping the kits with have a heart trap with no luck.
    For the racoons, I bought some Duke traps which trap their paws and are mostly safe for other animals. Tonight I will set them up and see what happens. I saw their tracks around the pens this morning.
    I love the wildlife. If they were not intent on killing my chickens and ducks. I would love to see them on my land.
    This is WAR.
    Florida has so many predators that when you think it's safe, you get blindsided! My friend lost a goat to an alligator in her own pond. she and the kids used to swim in there and never knew the beast was there. Hawks are plentiful, crafty and hungry. They even fly into barns to catch chickens.
    My friend calls her place Jurassic Park!
     
  7. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is hard to tell with the picture but did you notice claw marks at the tips of the toe prints on the tracks? If you did then it was not a cat, cats retract the claws when walking about and they don't show up in the footprint as do a dog's claws, if there were claws you have a fox or coyote, no claws, then likely bobcat. A fox can climb a fence and I know for a fact that fox love to eat house cat, I have had them come busting through my yard chasing house cats before.
     
  8. HatchCraft

    HatchCraft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry you are having so much trouble with the bobcat. The good news is they are easy to catch in a large live trap. They are not trap shy, but keep in mind they hunt largely by sight. The best bait would be a whole dead chicken , rabbit or squirrel. I have resorted to using fresh road kill at times. Bait presentation is important,the bait should be securely hung from the top the trap with a piece of wire or string for maximum visibility at the very rear of the trap. Place the trap in an area where the is cat likely pass and scatter a handful of feathers or fur near the entrance of the trap to help get the cats attention. Some people use a live bait cage attached to the trap , but I have better luck without live bait. I live in North Fl and have caught dozens of bobcats this way. Snares work well but there is a learning curve involve. Snares are also indiscriminate killers. You may catch a small dog or house cat before you catch the bobcat. I never had any luck using bait like cat food or fish. Good luck trapping.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here in Wisconsin snares cannot strangle the animal they have to stop closing at a certain size and hold the animal alive until the trapper arrives to dispatch the critter
     
  10. nikkers390

    nikkers390 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I will have to try that. I'm in SW Florida. I hope I have the same luck as you did. I realize that as one is caught, there will soon be another tho claim the territory. Hopefully after all the poultry killers are gone, the new cats will be those who prefer raccoon, squirrel and rats. We got plenty of those.
    I put out a couple of duke traps for the raccoons last night using marshmallow as bait. No takers. I'll try it for a couple more nights, then change the type of bait. These guys seem to prefer chickens.
     

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