We have had an unwanted visitor hanging around the last couple of days. It is a bobcat. It’s driving our dogs crazy and making me very nervous. Though it is very beautiful, I would really like it to move on.
Bobcats weigh about 20-30lbs and can be a danger to many of our farm animals, and the smaller children. In the wild in our area they mostly eat rabbits and rodents, though they will take a young or sick deer. It is impossible to know it’s motivation at this time of year. It could be VERY hungry. It could have a litter of newborn kits. It could just be looking for an easy meal. But the fact it’s hanging out more than one day is not a good sign.
It’s likely most interested in the chickens and the barn carts at this point though I am sure that it knows that there are bunnies in the barn (by the smell). But it would take a lot of courage for it to try to get in the barn. It’d have to be starving or crazy. I’m not too worried about the calf either, because again, it would have to be starving or crazy to take on the cow and the barn dog to try to get the calf, who at this point weighs close to the same as an adult deer. Not to mention it knows it can’t pull the calf out of the pen IF it somehow gets him (we have a 6 foot high fence and the calf is too big for it at this point) and it wouldn’t consider inside the pen a safe place to eat. So definitely not worried about the calf at this point. Now a mountain lion – that would be another story for the calf.
So mostly we are concerned about the chickens and cats. Keeping a close eye on everything. And with all the security we have put in place on the coop and pen the chickens are pretty darned secure. I hope the cats have enough instinct to know he is around and to stay close to the barn. And I’m not letting the younger kids go check for eggs without one of the older ones with them.
Predators are always an issue living in the Rocky Mountains, and we have plenty of different species of them to contest with. But it is pretty amazing to see (from the safety of your home or car) a wild predator walking around in real life – as opposed to in pictures or at the zoo.