What was it?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jan Doling, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Came home around 5 pm yesterday while it was still daylight. No livestock. Finally found the rooster near the porch rafters, muttering to himself. Found bits of black fluff which we figured was the roosters month old chick, but then a piece of it moved and we found the whole chick under it. He fussed loudly for hours afterwards. Ran to the back porch and the bunny and cage were missing and the sawhorses were dismantled (it had all been laced together with close line and was no longer even attached to the porch column. We found the cage about 30 feet away towards the woods. The bunny's tail was the only intact thing we found. The chicks cage had been been split apart at the wire seams and punched in. I had really wrestled with that roll of fencing to get it in a circle with in an old coffee table. I had wrapped it around itself twice and had a kiddie pool strapped over the circle for a lid. The pool was still in place. We never found the other chick. Whatever it was never made much noise as my roommate was home with the flu and never heard a thing. The dog came back that night, shaking. We found one live goose this morning at a neighbor"s about a mile away. We had lost 4 older chicks a week before and thought we had beefed up our caging arrangement since then. My kids won't even go outside now. They think it may be somewhere on the 20 acres waiting for them.
     
  2. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Probably one o' those Florida black panthers come up outa the Everglades.
     

  3. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    Sounds big and strong. You have any bears around?
     
  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Yes Jan, bear attacking livestock is not unheard of in the Fort Christmas area, even rescently. Any where east of Biflo is their areas, there to the coast.
     
  5. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there have been sightings of both bear and panther in the neighborhood. Would a bear break cages and eat chicks and bunnies? Either way, I'm with the kids on this one...we're staying indoors! Will a bear or panther break through closed windows to get us? Black panthers? I thought that was an outdated political group. Aren't Fla panthers tawny intead?
     
  6. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Probably that Florida swamp ape that reports continue to surface on. :D
     
  7. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .....................Bears are omnivores and will eat just about anything that interests them if there is nothing to dissuade them. fordy.. :)
     
  8. jacobs

    jacobs Well-Known Member

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    I think you need a bigger dog. Bears usually won't come in the yard if there is a dog loose unless it is snack sized. My sister had a problem with black bears raiding her chicken coup and would let her dogs out to chase them away. One night the dog (125lbs) chased a bear around the outside of the barn 5 times before the bear ran off. Also, bear meat tastes good! If it's a big cat I don't know. Haven't had much contact with cats but am sure they wouldn't like big dogs either. If you have a dog tied up outside they might alert you with their fantic barking just before they get eaten. Generally a bear will shy away from direct contact with humans so you should just have to yell to get the to leave. FL doesn't have grizzlies which are an execption.
     
  9. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Our dog is only medium sized, but barks bigger :haha: She's ashamed of having hightailed it out of the homestead when the going got rough and still can't look at me without drooping and squinting. I'm just glad she finally came back...alive. The kids threw themselves at her and have just about hugged the stuffing out of the poor thing. We're just marshmellows... all of us in this family!
     
  10. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Never heard of a panther coming thru a window, but know that bears can and do rip their way into houses and cabins. Do you have an electric fence you can put around the area?
     
  11. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    No, can't afford it anyway. A neighbor asked me what weapons I had. I told him a 25 caliber handgun. He said it would only make the panther madder. A coworker suggested that cats don't like water. Great, I'll just hose it down with the sprayer on the kitchen sink! If we shut one eye and don't think about it maybe it will wander back wherever it came from.
     
  12. jacobs

    jacobs Well-Known Member

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    Get a bigger gun. You can probably get a used 410ga shotgun fairly cheap, buy a box of slugs for the bears and cats and a box of #2 shot for any other varmints and that should take care of any critters you have coming around. Shoot for the head or neck. If you miss the sound should scare him away. After a couple of shots even a bear or cat know that a meal isn't worth getting shot at. A 410ga is small enough that a 10yr old could shoot it if need be. As far as your 25cal it could be enough if you're an expert marksman. My grandfather killed a 350 lb brown bear with a single shot from a 22cal rifle!
     
  13. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    When I was a kid, we used to put down something edible and surround it with mud. We got some nice racoon and squirrel tracks in the mud that way. It was always fun to go out the next morning and see what had visited during the night.

    If you were to put out meat in a muddy patch and put up your dog for the night, you might find out what has been eating your stock.
     
  14. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, Terri, but if the paw prints were too big, I'd have to pack up and move. Maybe I'm better off not knowing. No more outdoor critters until we have better cages.
     
  15. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i think if it were a bear, it would have been torn up even worse. it's big and hungry, but i don't think as big as a bear. you can smell when they've been there. course, it's something big enough to scare your dog off. panther?

    don't think you need to worry about your safety. wild animals want to stay as far away from you as possible. having said that, you might want to sit up the next few nights and see what you can see. i bet money it'll be back to see if you got him anything else to snack on.
     
  16. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    I could even be a big dog. It is not a bear this time of year.
     
  17. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I don't know if you have them in your part of Florida, but the wild pigs are omnivores too, don't object to doing a bit of work for a meal, and can send a dog into hiding right quick.

    When we lost livestock, we were told to plow a couple foot strip around the area, so it would show prints. The mud sounds more practical.

    Good luck,
    Meg
     
  18. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) I am sorry for your trouble. I have got to say though that invited it in.

    The circumstances that you discribe(keeping in mind that I can't actually see them)sounds like an open invitation to a predator. And it could have been any number of species. It doesn't make much difference WHAT it was..the thing is you need to get proper, secure housing for your critters and then none of them will be lost to anything.

    There are a number of books available and some good websites on poultry housing that you can build pretty cheap. Mine are just 2 X 2's and welded wire, attached to a secure little house. I used the neighbors staple gun to put them together.

    Good luck with things, I hope you do Ok in the future.

    LQ
     
  19. snoozan

    snoozan New Member

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    Although mountain lions are not supposed to be in Kansas, there have been too many of my neighbors and friends spotting the things for me to be comfortable. I have a smaller yet braver dog that is scared of larger dogs and livestock, but will stand up to them if she thinks I'm in danger. She'd probably run, though, if she saw a bear or mountain lion. So I keep my livestock in a pretty tight house, and watch what my dog is doing when I'm working outside. If she sees something and runs away, I'll be right behind her!

    I wouldn't count on a 25 caliber handgun as anything that could stop a bear or a panther, unless you are a damn good shot like jacobs grandpa, or extremely lucky. Notice that he used a rifle, as well, and that does make a difference. Handguns are for close range, and there are only a few out there that are extremely accurate beyond 50 or 100 yards. Trust me, you don't want to wait until they're in range to start shooting. I wouldn't count on a .410 either, even with slugs. A youth 20 or 16 gauge would be a better choice, as it has a shorter stock and barrel for children or small framed adults. Large framed adults can use it in a pinch. (And slugs could possibly ruin a good barrel, so make sure that its a gun that isn't worth hundreds or thousands) The local zoo is armed with 12 gauge slugs and 000 buckshot for any breakouts. Your best advice would be to call up a few different dealers, and find out the standard rifles, handguns or shotguns hunters in your area use to hunt bear.
     
  20. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i went back and read it more carefully. the loss was a rabbit and some chicks? that really doesn't sound like bear food. a neighbors dog could easily cause that much havoc and chase your dog away. coyote will eat small dogs, too.

    i'd say your dog could have done it, except he wouldn't chase himself away. :haha: