10 pound hen taken by bobcat/mountain lion

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by khatar, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. khatar

    khatar Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Evy, my beautiful buff orpington hen, is missing! We were out of the house from morning to late this afternoon. When I got home I saw 6 out of 7 chickens in the flock. I wasn't worried because Evy was known to stray from the rest of the flock. Later while the chickens were going in to sleep, I looked for Evy to be sure she was okay, but I didn't see her. I looked around and found a pile of buff-colored feathers that looked like they had been torn out. I looked around some more and found more of these feathers scattered across the yard. I knew evy could not have been molting because she finished 2 months ago. It was dark so I didn't see any other signs, except some mysterious poop. Bobcats are now being spotted in our area. My white leghorn, Lily, had a cut on her comb yesterday, looked like it was slashed at. I know it probably wasn't a hawk because Evy was a 9 pound orpington, she would have been hard to just take. We also were told our smallest pullet was spotted in their front yard. She might have been spooked and fled the yard. Does anybody know what this could have been? My family is leaning towards bobcat, and we think it may come back tomorrow. Any advice, please?

    I see a problem brewing this christmas, it's not gonna go well. It killed our dearest Evy, the largest hen, [​IMG] it will come back.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  2. fancyfeathers38

    fancyfeathers38 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2011
    Im so sorry for you. [​IMG] [​IMG] We had a similar thing happen to our little Silkie hen a while back, although it wasn't a Bobcat cause we live in Oz. It was most likly the neighbors cat because all we found was a bunch of fluffy blue Silkie feathers over the fence. We spoke to the neighbors about containing their cat and they said they would, but guese what? The exact same thing happened to our hamburg hen a few days ago. A little word of advice, the best therapy for getting over the loss of your beloved birds, is spending time with your remaining flock. [​IMG]
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    So sorry for your loss. You are correct in assuming the culprit will be back. It could have been a bobcat, coyote, or fox- any one of those will grab a bird and carry it off.

    Good luck with the rest of your flock.
  4. khatar

    khatar Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I know it wasn't a coyote because the coyotes have not been around lately. We don't have foxes in San Diego, and a lot of bobcat sightings lately.

    Today we tracked Evy's feathers into the canyon in front of our house, all the way to the underbrush. There are also scratch marks on our fence and paw prints in the ground.
  5. khatar

    khatar Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    The bobcat must have been big because Evy was 9 or 10 pounds and he jumped up and over a gate with her in his jaws. I know because huge claw marks from the cat's hind legs were etched into our iron fence.

    I'm surprised the bobcat didn't come back today. I bet Evy lasted him the day with all the meat she had. (disgusting thought I know) [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  6. Chick Norris

    Chick Norris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    Chester County, PA
    We lost our first of our 6 (8 months old) today too, a Buff Orp - Nugget. When we went to lock up the ladies, 5 were in the coop and Nugget was missing. We went around the yard with flashlights until my husband found piles of blond feathers. Sigh. I am actually surprised we didn't lose one sooner, but I was starting to think we were going to be able to protect them for the long haul.

    And like you, I fear that whatever it is will come back. We have a Fort Knox style coop with huge exterior outdoor run, and it's plenty of room, but the ladies LOVE to roam and bark at the door to be let out on the weekends and weeknights. It's so sad that I'm now afraid to let them roam around the yard in the daylight.
  7. eggboy

    eggboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2010
    I suggest you trap or shoot the bobcat. Otherwise it will be back for more chicken!
  8. khatar

    khatar Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I wonder when the bobcat will return, I'm not looking forward to it I'll tell you that! I heard that a single kill can last a bobcat a few days and will not hunt unless it needs to. But from stories I heard, they came back again and again each day for more. Maybe the reason it isn't back is because it was saving Evy's meat and does not need another kill. But then why is it that some bobcats will make be greedy and kill many at a time?

    Anybody have any ideas?
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:As long as the buffet is open it will come back until the food source is depleted. I would look into securing the hens at least until the cat get's hungry and moves on, though he'll likely eventually check back in at a place he got a meal before.
  10. RHRanch

    RHRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:We do have foxes in San Diego, both Red and Grey fox. They are almost never seen though, it is unlikly a fox did this, but to me sounds like it could be a coyote. They often come in the day and snatch prey.

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