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They strike at Night?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Steve Quintavalli, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Nov 2, 2018
    Steve Quintavalli

    Steve Quintavalli Chillin' with the herd

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    So, do most large predators, foxes/bobcats and bigger, strike at night? Early or late or in the middle of the night? Typically when it is bad weather or clear skies?

    ...Or, whenever they are hungry and there is no way to predict time of day?
     
  2. Nov 2, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Most predators in populated areas have become primarily nocturnal. Out in the country, they can be seen virtually any time. The least likely time to see them is at the height of the day. They are generally most active at dawn and dusk. They hunt when they are hungry or when opportunity presents itself.
     
  3. Nov 2, 2018
    Steve Quintavalli

    Steve Quintavalli Chillin' with the herd

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    '
    Yea, that's what I figured. We just bought land in northern Idaho and I wanted to raise American Blackbelly sheep and Oberhasli goats or Soay sheep and Pygmy goats but predators are a big concern. I'm not worried about wolves but cougars, bobcats, bears and coyotes....maybe even bigfoot! This summer the area saw two bobcats, two cougars, and a grizzly bear in the area...over a two month period. One bobcat was killing the neighborhood cats (eventually killed), the other was too small and relocated. The grizzly wrecked some chicken coops and was tranq'd and relocated. One cougar was killed as it set up shop over watching a daycare and the other raided someone's backyard, attacked a German shepherd, but there were three more German shepherds!! Apparently they all took some injuries but I can only image the surprise and damage that cougar took....probably won't be going back. But all that activity, over two months within a 20 mile radius is concerning....who knows what else happened that wasn't reported. I think that those fires could have had an impact. There are so many factors....
     
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  4. Nov 2, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses True BYH Addict

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    Fires, floods & such natural disaster DO create issues for local wildlife. In a fire they love their hunting terrain, often their den/nests, the foods from plants and the others in their food chain. They will wander out n search of water, food and territory. Often they will hunt domesticated animals as nothing else out there. Now, they WILL attack farm animals but generally the larger ones only when nothing else available. Small predators -- fox, possum, coon, skunk, groundhogs, etc, often go for chickens, eggs, etc. no matter the situation. Easy prey. Dusk/dawn favorite times, night for many.
     
  5. Nov 2, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    All cats are mostly nocturnal hunters......doesn't mean they won't hunt in daylight, but they didn't spend all those 100s of thousands of years + developing that keen night vision for nothing.

    I have seen a few bobcats here in daylight, but it was nearly dark. Saw only one cougar here in daylight, and it was late in the day and she was looking for water.

    Coyotes are liable to show up anytime, tho they too like the cover of darkness. Cougars are really really rare here, but much more common the farther West one goes and NW moreso.

    I would think you might have to worry about airborne predators in Northern Idaho as well.
    American Bald Eagles both nest year round and migrate thru Idaho every winter.
    On my bucket list to visit Coeur d' Alene and see the gathering of the eagles, both golden and bald.
     
  6. Nov 2, 2018
    Steve Quintavalli

    Steve Quintavalli Chillin' with the herd

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    oh, well, in CdA this summer an eagle was saved by some women from lead poisoning I believe. Yea, there is tons of wild life out here....we saw big horn sheep on the way into Idaho and a small herd of elk cows close to the highway going north to Bonner's Ferry. Our land is west of Athol, I like the area, it is flat but mountains to the west and east. There is a Yak rancher to the east as well, can't wait to see that!
     
  7. Nov 3, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    As with any livestock with respect to predation, it's all about location, location, location...

    Fencing is going to be your number one consideration both for containment of your livestock as well as a first line of defense against predation. Your fencing is typically ~4' high (woven wire "field fence" or sheep & goat fence or horse fence) and will keep your animals in, but a coyote can jump straight up and over it. If it's a purely barbed wire fence, they'll go right through it or under it. Many folks (1st type fencing) add to this a strand or two of barbed wire above the lower fencing or a strand or two of hot wire at the top. Some folks use high tensile strength smooth wire that is electrified in place of either of the above. You can runs strands to any height you desire, alternating positive (hot) and negative (ground) wires.

    Many predators will "respect the fence", especially during daylight hours, knowing that typically the inside is a dangerous area to them (humans with guns, LGDs, etc). But there are those who won't/don't, and this is what a "night pen/barn" area close to the house is all about. You provide treats to the animals when you first get them so they learn to come when called so you can "lead them" into said night area for their safety. I feed my goats their dinner of pellets and hay inside their enclosure starting right before dusk. They all know when dinner time is and are generally inside waiting (im)patiently for me to bring them their due. After feeding, I simply close the gate with them inside. One side of that pen is the fencing at the back edge of my back yard.

    I have an LGD that patrols outside the perimeter of the night pen in the pasture, and a house dog that patrols inside the yard fencing around the house. Either or both alert when there's something they are uncomfortable with. I hear coyote packs howling all the time on all sides, typically at dusk, and at times through the night. I've watched singles and pairs saunter across my back pasture (behind the primary use pasture & ~250 yards away from the back porch), and watched one cross the property up in the front pasture once, crossing the driveway and continuing over into the neighbor's property through the woods. I have shot at them several times but have not killed any. Most of the time, they show up at odd times when I'm not armed and unable to get armed without scaring them off first. None have hassled any of my goats and I've lost no animals to predators.

    Coyotes have become quite brave and packs will hunt dogs. Generally one coyote will tease the dog into following and lead the dog away to be taken down by the pack. Generally, they won't mess with an LGD but even LGD's have been killed by coyote packs. LGD's typically work best in a team environment. How many LGD's depends on a lot of things, notably; the concentration of predators, types of predators, size of the area they will be required to keep safe, and number of animals they'll be protecting. There's quite a bit of material available on the site regarding LGDs... I love mine. They are very special animals. I am prepared to assist/back up my dogs should the need arise. If there's a serious threat, I can tell by their reactions and proceed outside, armed, to make sure they, as well as the animals they are protecting, are also protected.

    Most folks with cattle don't have to worry about predators except during calving. Bears or cougars (and possibly wolf packs) will take down a cow, but generally speaking no other (wild) predators are a concern. This isn't the case with sheep and goats. Anything bigger than a fox is a concern for adult animals and even foxes can take down babies given the opportunity. A hungry predator will do whatever it needs to do to eat. When closer to civilization, the bigger threat is dogs... strays, your neighbor's, and even your own. Most LGD owners will not allow their house dogs in the areas they expect their LGDs to protect. It sends a mixed message to the LGD as to what dogs are allowed in their area. The LGD should and wants to "own" their pasture and should not allow ANY dog or other predator inside it.
     
  8. Nov 7, 2018
    BrendaJune

    BrendaJune Exploring the pasture

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    Latestarter, I really appreciate your detailed description of predator threats, fencing and LGDs. Very clear and detailed. I will file this information away for future use!