Bobcat attack - Rooster hurt


10 Years
Mar 23, 2009
Sherman-Denison, TX
Hi all - the Bobcats are back with a revenge this year. On Sunday, my hubbie and I were watching our chickens free-range when all the sudden, a large, stray dog came running up in our back yard (we have 2 open acres that are very secluded-tons of trees). As soon as we stood up, he bolted; however, it did cause all the chickens to run for cover. My old girls were smart and headed my way, but the 12 week olders took the protection of the trees and brush that line one of our creeks. While my husband took off to make sure the dog disappeared, I went looking for the young'uns and couldn't see them anywhere. All the sudden I heard a commotion not 10 feet down the bank from where I was standing and knew a bobcat must have attacked. In 1 second I was down the side of the hill and discovered it had almost killed my most beautiful young girl, Heather, a blue and gold EE, who died in my arms.

The rooster, Jet - a Black Australop, was close by and was able to get back up the embankment and seemed fine, although he did lose some feathers. However, the next day, I found him sitting in the run and then later that afternoon crouched in a corner of the coop. His crop was empty and I was sure he had not nourished himself that day. I took a second look for wounds and the only thing I could find was a small scratch on the back of his leg and what appeared to be a non-bleeding puncture under a wing. I now have him in the bathtub, dimmed lights, water, feed and egg (know he's a bit young for that, but I'm trying anything).

Question: is it possible he has internal injuries that I just can't see? Any recommendations?
the puncture under the wing worries me, could be a punctured lung, is he having trouble breathing, some times it will heal, if the other lung is ok and the opunctured one doesnt fill with fluid, just keep him warm, and if ya can find worms chickens love worms, might make him eat something and there full of nutriants,
keep us posted on how the little fellas doing, just keep him warm and quiet
I do have some dried meal worms and will give him some of those. I dipped his beak into the egg, but he ignored it. Yesterday, he was walking around the coop a bit, but today is a different story. I did put some silvadene cream (an expensive prescription antibiotic) under his wing yesterday. It's almost like the bobcat pulled out his feathers by their roots and he's in pain. The silvadene should work, but I'm worried that he isn't fighting me at all when I pick him up - not his usual MO...also his comb/wattles are not nearly as red as they usually are - I'm sure the stress of the attack affects that. How long can a chicken survive w/o eating?

abocve link for some info I posted last night about dealing with injuries.

Your poor little guy may have internal injuries

Ideally an avian vet should examine him if you are able to do that.

So sorry about your hen and I hope very much that roo will recover.

Yes it is possible, but the problem is that you can't really do anything to help him if they have internal bleeding. If you can, find a poultry vet (if not them, look for an exotic bird vet) and ask them. If you want to keep the dogs and bobcat out you're going to have to put tall fencing up and then chicken wire on the interior. You also might have to get a dog yourself, usually wild dogs don't go near where domestic dogs are (or so I have been told). Sometimes radios help keep predators away but I'm not sure how much it'll do for dogs. I have nearly half an acre of land but dogs don't come in our yard so I won't be much of a help for that. What you could do to keep your chickens in your land is use the broom, I know it may sound intense-- but that's how I keep my chickens and turkeys in the yard, every time they try to leave I chase them back in the yard with the broom, and sometimes lightly bop them on the butt with it-- it works they learn quick.

I feel your pain in losing a pet. I loved my turkey dearly and a dog killed her with internal injuries she, too, has died in my arms.

If anything I have said offended you, I apologize with deep regret.
I hope my advice had helped some.

The sad fact is that RIGHT before the dog entered our yard and the bobcat hit, I had just told my husband that I had this feeling that a bobcat was lurking in the outer boundaries, just waiting for us to turn our backs. Shortly after the first attack, I was able to round the young ones up into the run and lock them up; however, the big girls just brushed the incident off and went on scratching and free-ranging. By that point, my husband had his shotgun in hand and was patrolling the "boundaries" of our main back yard where it starts to drop off to the creeks and couldn't believe it when he came upon the bobcat about 6 feet from him and the older girls hiding behind a tree. He was able to get a round off, but those critters are fast!

I usually have a radio that I tune very loud to talk radio and leave on one of our back porches - and when I do that, I've never lost a chicken. However, Sunday, we were having a nice quiet vodka tonic after a long day of hard outdoor work and were sitting on the smaller deck which is not visible to most of the yard and that's when the attack occurred.

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