Bobcat nearly snatches some of my chickens...

erkme73

BIT Beta Team
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
1,222
Reaction score
975
30 seconds prior, sitting inside at the dinner table, my 6yo daughter says, "Did we forget to put up the chickens?" Then we heard the screaming birds and darted outside. I caught a glimpse of the cat heading for the woods and gave chase with a bamboo stick. Watching from another view, I could see the cat was slinking and lying in wait for nearly 5 minutes, just outside of this camera's view. I had no idea the birds were were that fast - or that a bobcat could turn so fast.


 

Keyboard

Pulling my weight
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
200
Reaction score
218
Location
Owings Mills, MD
The joys of rural living!
Questions:
  1. Did the bobcat get any of the chickens?
  2. Why did the chickens eventually run in the direction of the bobcat?
BTW, When I first saw "bobcat" in the title, I was expecting to see the construction vehicle, not the animal ... LOL!
 

The Automation Guy

Getting comfortable
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
331
Reaction score
524
Location
USA
The joys of rural living!
Questions:
  1. Why did the chickens eventually run in the direction of the bobcat?
It is interesting. I can see two scenarios play out here. First, I wonder if after the initial "shock" they actually were ganging up to help the other chicken. Or second, you can see the bobcat come into the left side of the frame by the woods, so obviously it had looped all the way around the pen. It's possible that the chickens saw this too and were actually running in the opposite way of the bobcat. While I'd like to think it was the first scenario, I suspect it is actually the second.
 

erkme73

BIT Beta Team
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
1,222
Reaction score
975
It is interesting. I can see two scenarios play out here. First, I wonder if after the initial "shock" they actually were ganging up to help the other chicken. Or second, you can see the bobcat come into the left side of the frame by the woods, so obviously it had looped all the way around the pen. It's possible that the chickens saw this too and were actually running in the opposite way of the bobcat. While I'd like to think it was the first scenario, I suspect it is actually the second.
Good eye! I only yesterday noticed that it had attempted a second bite at the apple on the left side of the pen. I still can't believe none of them were snatched. Today I head to town to get some traps.
 

erkme73

BIT Beta Team
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
1,222
Reaction score
975
Mine didn't end so well....45 min of a fox in the run....and 6 dead chickens later.
Wow, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine. Since I posted my video, i lost one too. The automatic door closed on her neck. She was sleeping with her head across the threshold and didn't wake when it came down. I have it captured but am on the fence about posting it.


Eta:. Ah, hell, why not...

 

jrf

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Sep 12, 2017
Messages
169
Reaction score
91
ouch! My auto door is pretty good about stopping for something like that. Nobody needs to see 45 min of chicken kill video. What camera are you using in the coop?
 

erkme73

BIT Beta Team
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
1,222
Reaction score
975
ouch! My auto door is pretty good about stopping for something like that. Nobody needs to see 45 min of chicken kill video. What camera are you using in the coop?
Camera in coop is an Amcrest IP5M-T1179EW-28MM.

The death of the chicken from the door closer was a series of profoundly unlucky events - any one of which, had they not happened, would have prevented the accident.

The door closer has an IR sensor (like the safety beam on garage door openers). It was installed with the factory bracket, which put it about 2" above, and 2" in front of the threshold. It is quite effective, and will prevent the door from closing if something breaks the beam - and will even reverse the door if it's in the process of closing when the beam is broken.

The two chickens lying at the door were the youngest (Easter Eggers) that were just introduced to the flock a few weeks ago. They were still being bullied, and each time they'd jump up on the perch, the other hens would peck at them to get down. So they were sleeping on the floor... The one had its head extended across the threshold.

The closer is very noisy and always startles the whole flock when it operates.

The door closes 45 min after sunset, and the lights inside the coop (and on the exterior awning above the door) ramp down 30 min after that. This is to allow the chickens to have full sight (they have horrible night vision) as the door closes.

With the neck of the chicken being less than 2", with them being bullied to sleep on the floor, with them being so tired as not to wake from the sound of the door - all things conspired for this outcome.

I feel horrible about it since these two Easter Eggers had the best temperament - even running toward us to be petted. When I found her, at first I thought she was sleeping. My 6 yo daughter was with me. Wasn't a fun morning.

But, such is life. It's fragile and delicate. TBH, I'm surprised that of the 13 chickens and 10 ducks we've raised from hatchlings, this was the first (and only) casualty we've had (so far). I've also moved the senor to just above the threshold.

Incidentally, the door closes with less than 1/8" gap at the bottom, and it fully closed on her neck. She was dead immediately. The body kept moving for several minutes afterwards - much as they do when they're decapitated for processing. I take comfort in knowing she didn't suffer.
 
Last edited:

TonyR

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
7,594
Reaction score
11,411
Location
Alabama
.....My 6 yo daughter was with me. Wasn't a fun morning.
......But, such is life. It's fragile and delicate.
I am sorry this happened, but you are so right...life can have its sad moments. Frankly, it's a good thing, IMO, that our children experience some heartbreak and/or sad moments such as this on occasions, as they will be better prepared for life. Grieving of any kind is natural and therapeutic. I think we try too hard sometimes to shelter our children (my 41 year old daughter was 6 once), but certainly we hope their lives will hold more pleasant times than bad ones as time goes by...that makes the biggest, positive difference, I think. :)
 
Top