Friday, August 28, 2009

I need a pellet gun

You have to look closely (you can also click on the photograph to enlarge it), but that's a bobcat eating one of our chickens about an hour ago. Just to the right of the tree trunk. Never seen a bobcat before in my life until this morning. I thought I'd scared him away, but he returned. The suburbs aren't what they used to be.

2:30 p.m., much squawking from the chickens. I ran onto the deck, this burly brown cat was sitting there with a gold hen in its jaws. Large animal. Not unthreatening. Short tail. (Thank God.) I ran downstairs and threw rocks at it and yelled and it gazed at me for a disrespectful amount of time, then calmly jumped over the fence and slunk down the road. 

We have a big problem.


  1. More than a pellet gun. More than a .22 I'd think (unless you're a great shot). If you can (or want to) get close, a shotgun might work, but I'd prefer a .308 for that guy.

    The worst possible outcome is probably a bobcat with a flesh wound limping through the neighborhood. Unless it's illegal to shoot them, in which case prison is the worst possible outcome...

  2. Maybe a pellet gun would scare him? The Humane Society says to call them when the cat is in sight, on our property. This is absurd. He's not going to hang out for 45 minutes on a suburban streetfront lot while we wait for someone to come with a net. And if he does, we will have no live chickens left.
    What is the solution?

  3. First of all, very cool! So cool! Second of all, awful. Awful in the original definition of the word, maybe, but awful.

  4. Hose, blasting at him? We know cats don't like water. Or would the stream reach from the balcony?
    And forgive me, since I know you are in bobcat trauma, but that is a wicked cool picture...

  5. Maybe a couple really big dogs can keep your chickens company for awhile?

  6. these havaheart traps might work.

    be careful, though, to rig up a string to the door so, if you need to, you can release the animal without getting right next to the trap.

    i accidentally caught a skunk and faced an impossible situation...

    oh and if bobcats like "live" bait, you'll have to make a terrible decision :-/

  7. my friend had a similar problem and she was told to have her husband pee around the perimeter of the yard...not sure this would work on your yard if you face the street...but it cured their problem and left their chickens in tact.

  8. If the bobcat returns, which he likely will, consider installing a low voltage electric fence around the hens' yard. This is a fairly inexpensive solution, and should discourage the cat. (I'm assuming the existing fence is high enough so that the bobcat has to climbs over it and cannot simply jump over it.) Once the cat gets a jolt from the fence, he'll likely look for another hen yard.