When building our facilities we made them “predator” proof. At least for the common predators we see in the area: bear, wolf, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, and the occasional adventurous child ;-). What we did not consider were stray cats.
This past week a wild cat found its way through a ventilation hole and then gorged itself on several young birds. One of which was a rare Chili Pepper cockerel showing lots of promise, a heavy loss. We were able to scare the cat off but not catch it.
It’s not just the loss of a bird that hurts. It’s the loss of the genetics the cockerel possessed. He was the culmination of meticulous breeding and careful planning. Our breeding objectives for these genetic hackle chickens span years. We have the next 5+ years planned out and the results we want to see. Losing a prized bird like this could stunt the program.
Fortunately we identified a brother that is displaying the right traits too. It’s been our practice to keep a back up, a Plan B if you will, of the birds. Thank goodness for that.
Last night we set live traps, and I just saw that we caught the cat. We will be taking it to a new home here shortly.