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jtsutherland 09-06-2011 11:35 PM

Protecting Horses from wildlife
Hi there! I heard there was a Bobcat or cougar in my area. My horses are in the barn at night but have a small turn out attached to each one that is about 16'x24'. Is there anything I can do to protect them from an attack?

ilovemyPhillip 09-07-2011 12:14 AM

A horse is fight or flight, if they're threatened I would bet they try to kill the predator. :) sorry no suggestions.
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lubylol 09-07-2011 12:16 AM

If you're worried, could you keep them in the stall? Or is it open to their little pens..? If you have electric around their pens then if the animal tries to attack it will get zapped. Hope the ponies stay safe :)
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Joe4d 09-07-2011 12:23 AM

Barn dog some type of sheep dog, or pyrenese, they have been guarding livestock since their was livestock.

Beauseant 09-07-2011 12:30 AM

A bobcat shouldn't attack your horse unless it has rabies.

They aren't much bigger than a fat Garfield type housecat, and prefer not to risk death to find a meal by attacking something so much bigger than them.

Think of it in bobcat terms: why risk death or injury attacking something so large when there are tons of voles, mice, chickens, squirrels around......

Don't know much about cougars mealtime habits, but it would be rather difficult to mistake one for a bobcat as cougars are much bigger....

WildAcreFarms 09-07-2011 05:45 AM

how bout protecting wildlife from horses ? :)
When we were kids we raised Arabs. we had one stallion that ran with 4 mares and their foals. We found NUMEROUS dead stomped dogs, coyotes and foxes in our horse pasture. I think it was the Stallion and the lead mare.
They just did not put up with any canine or wild animals near the heard.

I don't know if it was about protecting the foals or the heard in general??
but those horses has over 100 acres to run on too.

Just saying that some horsees can and do protect themselves. Not that all will or can but ours always did. My horses I have now don't even PLAY when the dogs mess with them the horses
stomp the ground right by the dogs like "Yes I CAN STOMP THE TAR OUT OF YOU IF i WANT TO SO HIT THE BRICKS" AND mY DOGS (bulldogs) GENERALLY TAKE THE HINT.

iridehorses 09-07-2011 06:32 AM

Welcome to the forum!

I agree that the bobcat shouldn't be a problem with the horses but the cougar is something else. I like the idea of a livestock dog but many owners around here use donkeys to guard their horses from coyotes, dogs, and pigs. It is amazing how protective a donkey can be. I've heard that some have also used llamas.

I would certainly lock them up at night in their stalls since it seems to be an option.

Beauseant 09-07-2011 08:24 AM

I disagree that the horses should be locked up at night based on what the OP "heard". I mean, we ALL know how heresay works....and we've all "heard" that people see all kinds of things , from UFOs to sasquatch to yeti....

I would take what you "hear" with a grain of salt. After all, how in the world could anyone with good vision mistake a bobcat for a cougar??!! It being this bobcat/cougar either does NOT exist and people just need something to talk about, or it is ONE or THE cannot be both bobcat and cougar.....and telling the difference is EASY to anyone with the fact that what you "heard" was that there was either a bobcat or a cougar tells me that whoever started this heresay didn't actually get a good look at this animal or they would know the difference. or that they made it up.

Ask you local law enforcement, call the local dept of agriculture and ask if there have been any reports of livestock missing or killed or any cougar reports.....don't make life decisions based on heresay

As for bobcats, they are everywhere in our rural country.....they are not a threat to horses.....unless rabid......

so don't give in to those who want to spread fear or worry.

Check up on the rumor, and that IS all it is, a rumor....YOURSELF with the proper authorities in your area.

QOS 09-07-2011 08:25 AM

A lady I know that lives about 40 miles from me lost her stallion to (they believe) two cougars in a 40x40 pen a few months ago. He was a huge QH and we believe he couldn't get away from them in that small of an enclosure. It really shook everyone up. They believe it was two young cats. They called in the Forestry Service, etc. about tracking them, but as far as I know, they were never caught. It is rare but it happens...we were just shocked as it was a full grown healthy QH that weighted 1250 lbs if he weighed an ounce. They may have caught him on the ground sleeping. I would say leave them out - they would have no place to go in a stall.

Beauseant 09-07-2011 08:33 AM

Again, the OP needs to contact the local authorities to verify this supposed sighting they "heard" about before buying the story.

The same also with the above post. "they believe" the horse was killed by two cougars and whether the cats did it or not or if the cats were even sighted, i would hope this person reported it so that others may be on alert and protect their livestock. If they did not report it, it is again nothing more than heresay. Just what one person none of us know says...

OP, call the dept of agriculture or forestry service or even local law enforcement in your area before letting people's "stories' run away with you.

And I encourage all who have sightings of cougars or other large cats(bobcats are small and very very abundant and rarely a threat to livestock) to report it to the proper authorities so it can be investigated and so that other livestock owners are aware of this.

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