Seems that a bobcat killed my turkey :( ETA: Maybe not a bobcat...what you all think??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by NRML, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. NRML

    NRML Out Of The Brooder

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    Well...my husband came out the other morning to find a trail of turkey feathers across the yard. Between the feathers and drag marks left from the turkey's wing tips, we could follow the trail of that the predator took to leave our yard. He/she jumped our 5 foot no-climb fence (which we had never known anything else to do) with the turkey, crossed the road and went straight into the state land across the street. We found the turkey covered up under a tree (with lots of claw marks in the dirt but no paw prints). We are thinking it is a big ole tom bobcat :/ We are very sad because the turkey was our favorite :( I am sure the bobcat(?) will be back. What to do now? Even if we find a way to keep the poultry safe, I am worried our goats could be next (particularly my son's little Nigerian dwarf wether). We have never...in all the years...had anything get in this yard. We have been leaving one of our dogs out 24/7 since the attack and haven't suffered anymore losses. However, I worry it may be quiet enough to slip in past the dog should it get hungry enough? We are in Arizona. Any advice?

    ETA: We have guns, leg traps, and a pretty big catch alive trap (although I am not sure how big the cat in question is) I feel bad killing it but I do not know if we have a choice? I want to keep my livestock/poultry safe...|

    ETA: Found prints at the site the turkey was. Whatever type of cat killed the turkey, nothing but feathers and a couple of tracks are left now. Two hens went missing without a trace...no evidence where they are now :( Put up a catch alive trap and a few foot traps after my original post. Judging by these prints...not so sure it'll fit in the catch alive. No luck with anything so far :(

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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    I'm sorry to hear about your turkey. The bobcat will almost certainly be back. Can you trap it? Drop by our BYC AZ thread, quite a few fellow Arizonans have recently been dealing with bobcats.
     
  3. NRML

    NRML Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the reply! We have tried to trap it but no luck so far. Now I am not so sure it is a bobcat...updated info on post
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    It sounds like a mountain lion to me. I don't know what kind of dog you have but if your dealing with a BIG mountain lion you may loose your dog as well. The reason I though of Puma is because of the tracks and the predator leaving the kill were it would be safe until needed.
     
  5. NRML

    NRML Out Of The Brooder

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    Since we have had the leg hold traps out, the dogs have been kept in. We have four American Pit Bull Terriers. My boy can be trusted 100% with the chickens while I am not home... but I do not trust my three girls alone (although I know they are excellent with the poultry while I am around). So, while I am sure a mountain lion would not want to tangle with all four, I believe one dog would never have a chance against a cougar (no matter how tough the dog is). He's one heck of a dog but I totally agree...don't want to run that chance. (On a side note, I'm wishing I had a good hound right now to track... between the hound and the APBTs, we'd have this cat treed=problem solved!)

    Here's my flock guardian (sleeping on the job). Love my dogs too much to risk losing any of them... thanks for the advice! Hoping we catch this cat...whatever species it is... pretty soon. I am tired of these sleepless nights.

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  6. TK421

    TK421 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Initial description indicates bobcat to me. If you suspect cougar, it's wiser to buy a game camera and keep the dogs inside. When/if you document that its just a bobcat, put the dogs back out. They'll be fine.
     
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Cougars are notorious for burying their kills. The pix of the foot print was poor but the size can only mean a puma.

    On 01/08/2004 Mark J. Reynolds was killed and partially consumed by a mountain lion in the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Orange County California. Orange County is the same county that Los Angles, California is located in. Marks partially eaten remains were found buried by the lion near the sight of the attack. That same day the same lion (linked to both humans by DNA) also attacked a 30 year old woman but her screams brought help form her friends. But not before she suffered horrific injuries. Her bike helmet likely saved her life.

    http://tchester.org/sgm/lists/lion_attacks_ca.html
     
  8. NRML

    NRML Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry I didn't update sooner...knew it'd be a long post and have been busy with school!

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    [4" wide mountain lion track I found across the street in wash]

    I found more mountain lion tracks out in the desert but none in my yard.

    I then left one of my roosters out of the coop during the night and cleared a perfect spot to get some prints of the animal...along with a game camera. At about 4am one of my dogs suddenly jumped up, looked out the front window, and growled...about a minute later I heard the rooster squack once...then silence. I didn't run out as I had no idea what type of cat was out there. In the am, I investigated the scene and although there were no photos on game camera, there were tracks left in the yard...and they were 2" across instead of 4" across like the mountain lion prints in desert---I then knew I was dealing with a bobcat! Whew...poor lion in desert who was minding his/her own business was getting blamed for what a bobcat was doing!

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    [The chicken killer--print in yard 2" across...bobcat track! Leg hold traps were then put in place!]

    We set out traps and caught probably the biggest bobcat I have seen!!! He got out of the leg hold trap though and ran off...hasn't been seen since, thankfully! Goes to show there are mountain lions around us but in this case, they are not the ones causing trouble!

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    [HUGE tom bobcat! Not nearly as big as a lion but over 5' stretched like he was]
     

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