Bobcat attack and the resulting fallout

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Hamletchick, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Hamletchick

    Hamletchick Out Of The Brooder

    I lost 3 chickens yesterday in the afternoon. It had to have been before dark. My rooster "W" is very thorough about getting his girls in on time. The disturbance which included feathers and 2 bodies was all outside. When I went to the coop after work (I work swing shift) there were exactly 3 out of the 11 chickens in the coop and no "W". I found 3 more hens huddling in the goat shelter. I moved these and locked up the coop. I locked up the mini pony not knowing the predator. There have been so many cougar sitings this year. I Lost a nights sleep over this. Then this am I heard a rooster crow! I was happy of course. It turns out that "W" spent the night under the porch--he must of flown the fence. I think 3 of the barred rock hens stayed with him. Later I saw that I had all of my barred rocks but had lost 3 reds. the R Reds are younger than the original group of BRocks but they are over a year and laying. I reopened the coop to try to get everybody in but nobody wants to go in the coop that did not spend the night there. Later.in the morning .I was watching them and I began to see their body language change ...they stopped any pecking for bugs and the chickens were all looking towards the hill --the Llama was looking towards the hill and soon there appeared a very large bobcat (size of smaller rotwieller but a bit longer in body) creeping toward the chicken yard....since it was not a cougar (no tail and tuffs on face and smaller body mass than a big cat)--I ran out waving my arms and yelling and the bobcat retreated post haste. This cat had no tail --and I was told the maies can get that big. I let my horses out to run the the area near the hill behind the chicken yard.

    New problem --The chickens are all traumatized. I cant get them back in the coop. Its raining quite a bit (Western Oregon you know) So they are not picking in the yard and they are not going to the food in the coop. I don't think they are even drinking water? I am afraid to try to catch them and have them run under the coop (its built with beams and blocks and there is a nice dry scratching spot for winter out door time). I don't want them flying...I don't want to scratch them in the rain and also have them not go to the coop. I was thinking about trying to move them tonight. I am just not sure how well this will go with "W" . He likes to be the manager.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. leonphelps

    leonphelps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they will calm down. give them a day or two. have had predator problems before, I would be a little spooked seeing my pals eaten in front of me.
     
  3. Hamletchick

    Hamletchick Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks for the info and support! I tried to rest on the couch this pm with a window cracked so I could hear more. When it was almost dark, I looked out the window and saw a hen heading to the coop. I dashed out to find everyone in except rooster ("W") and one hen. there is one hen that hangs with W. I did discover that W had flown the fence again and was perched in the yard. Now he is an owl meal waiting to happen! I found the hen in the goat shed and moved her to the coop. turned on the coop light and noticed W move towards the chicken yard when I moved his hen. Once he was back in the chicken yard and could see/hear everything was ok in the coop he popped right in! I locked down the coop and now they will be confined until I figure out my next move. LLama shares other half of building. though the LLama did not save the other 3 chickens I am still happy he is housed in the yard with the chickens. His body language today helped me detect the incomming bob cat.

    I know I am quite verbose but I am hoping that there are snippets of info regarding chicken/predator dynamics that might help someone else.

    Thanks again
     
  4. cbenson6820

    cbenson6820 Out Of The Brooder

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    From my experience the chickens run into the coop to get away from danger because they feel safer in there unless the attack happened in the coop. Ive only had one attack actually happen in my coop because i wasnt home to lock the door and the chickens were reluctant to go into the coop for a few days but they eventually settled down and return to their normal routine. This summer i started noticing weird behavior from my chickens. Normally they all go in the coop and roost on the 2x4 cross beams close to the ceiling of the roof, about 7ft up. Every night i started.noticing more and more chickens roosting outside. After about the 3rd night 80% of.my flock refused to go in the coop so i went in a did some serious investigating and didnt find anything suspicious so i turned their.light on and went inside after i locked all the chickens up. I went outside around 11 for a smoke and decided to go check on them. As soon as i did i fond the reason no one wanted to go in at night. There were about 10 2 inch long hornets flying around the lights and buzzing around the chickens. My one barred rock hen looked very irritated and kept pecking at them. I ended up setting up a bug zapper and after a week the problem was solved and everyone returned to their.normal routine.
     
  5. Hamletchick

    Hamletchick Out Of The Brooder

    You reply makes sense. I have kept them locked up for now. the hunters are out and I hope that changes bobcat's routine.
     
  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep an eye out that cat is probably still around. I had one that I'd been seeing in the distance. Then one day the cat came all the way to my house in broad daylight. I shot at him three times with my shotgun. I think a few pellets hit him . It scared the poop out of him. He hasn't been back since.
     
  7. DianaMallory

    DianaMallory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How can you free range your chickens if there is such a threat to them? I live in the woods, I have many predators none of them are big cats. Coyotes are moving closer every night, but my girls are completely enclosed with hard ware cloth and I still lock them in the coop every night! I have a very persistent Coopers hawk that keeps looking for a way in. I have a big SSS waiting for him. I have lost 2 flocks to predators and I refuse to go through it again without doing everything possible to keep my flock safe!
     
  8. harveyhorses

    harveyhorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They just said they were locked up for now. You probably don't mean it this way but your response comes off VERY 'I am a better chicken keeper'
    Everyone has a different set of standards. Not right or wrong just different. You say you have lost two flocks, they have lost a few birds. hmmm.

    Glad the hunters are out, good luck. I have heard really good things about llamas.
     

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