I found a bobcat in one of my snares yesterday, which was Day Three of having snares out. It was a big male — 26 pounds. Most my chicken losses are consistent with how bobcats hunt (dawn or dusk, with a short chase, a quick kill, and the chicken carried away without being dragged), but I think I’m losing chickens faster than can be explained by a single bobcat, however big, so I’ll keep up my anti-predator efforts.
My flock size and egg output are down to shockingly low levels, thanks to large numbers of hens vanishing without a trace. I only had 13 dozen to take to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, where a few weeks ago I was routinely selling over 50 dozen even on a slow day.
The stealthiness of the local predators probably means that I can’t rely on the electric fence as my only permanent anti-predator measure — I have to do more.