Visited by a mountain lion....scary!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JenMT, May 11, 2009.

  1. JenMT

    JenMT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 21, 2009
    Kalispell, Montana
    Hey All!
    Any ideas for protecting my flock and discouraging visits from a mountain lion? I have heard of electrifying the run but I'm wondering if there is anything less expensive I could do. Is it the smell of chickens that is attracting them, my coop doesn't really smell at all but my Flock Block does smell a little bit? Is there a certain smell that discourages or turns mountain lions off? Montana Fish and Game will come out today to confirm, but they will not trap or relocate a mountain lion, they said that all mountain lion habitat is already claimed. I'm 95% sure we had one on Saturday night, the hens were pretty anxious/nervous and all the area farm dogs were going nuts. I thought that someone was hurting a woman in my backyard because I woke up to a horrible sounding high pitched/woman-like scream for about 10 minutes. I almost called 911! (stupid) I turned on my outside porch lights and made a bunch of noise while I went out to check on the chickens with a flashlight. It never occured to me until yesterday that it could be a mountain lion, I really just assumed that it was an injured dog or deer or maybe farm cats fighting. We live in rural Montana about 1/2 mile from the Swan Mountain Range in one direction and 1/2 mile from a lake in the other direction. Most of my neighbors have wooded or partially wooded lots but mine is in alfalfa...no trees, we all have 5 acre lots. (I keep the coop closed up at night and the run is 5 foot tall with 1 foot dug into the ground, chicken wire over the top. The whole coop is inside my 1 acre orchard and garden area which is surrounded by a 6 foot heavy gauge deer fencing but I'm sure if a mountain lion wanted to get in he could. I found a web-site that let me hear a mountain lion scream and it really CONFIRMED my assumption....any suggestions for me? Thank you for your input!
     
  2. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Jackson Hole
    Scary is right! The trouble is that Mountain Lions are easily habituated, so it's best to nip it in the bud immediately. You can contact the Cougar Fund for really well schooled advice. They're a great resource.
     
  3. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    My husband and FIL saw a mountain lion or something of the sort down our dirt road about 5 years ago. Said it was a large brown cat with a long curvy tail with black tip on the end. We have since heard its screams every now and then. Especially during deer season where some people like to kill a deer, remove the tenderloin, and discard the rest of the animal in the woods or ditch...We hear it more at these times. The first time I heard its scream I ran in and shut the door LOL My husband tried to call back out at it (he is good at animal calls) and it was 'talking' to him. It hasn't ever bothered us so we just leave it alone out there.

    Good Luck
     
  4. JenMT

    JenMT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 21, 2009
    Kalispell, Montana
    Quote:What does habituated mean? Does it mean they do the same thing over and over, meaning he will keep returning?
     
  5. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    You could do an electric setup relatively cheap (under $80) for everything.
     
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    We use electric fences all over our property with solar chargers. They were really inexpensive, as Boyd said. They are also very effective. The only predators we have problems with are of the air-borne variety. Good luck.
    Scary, scary, scary! I think bears and bobcats are bad enough. I would FREAK OUT and have to move if a mountain lion showed up at our place.
     
  7. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    You would need a real high fence, for the lion can jump an easy 10 feet. Best thing is a good dog and 2 friends, Smith & Wesson. At least a 30 cal.
     
  8. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] If we had mountain lions here...I dont think I could even poke my head out the door after dark!!! [​IMG]
    You people are brave!!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. chicksgalore

    chicksgalore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2008
    That must be an incredibly bone-chilling sound...
     
  10. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Jackson Hole
    Quote:What does habituated mean? Does it mean they do the same thing over and over, meaning he will keep returning?

    Habituated - it means that a wild animal has established something un-natural (not a normal part of the ecosystem) to them as a food source, and they lose their natural fear of human presence... therefore establish a habit of coming to a particular confined and available food source.

    ... if this happens unchecked, not only will it come back over and over, it may begin to protect it's food source, and losing it's fear of humans along with that makes for a potentially sticky situation.

    Here, before I cause undue worry, these folks are amazing, they can explain much better than I can:
    http://www.cougarfund.org/living/
    If you're really worried, contact them by phone.

    With a little information and help, you can head this off - it's early enough that it shouldn't be too difficult (easy for me to say, right?)
    Good luck
     

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