After several years of keeping pekin bantams (cochin bantams) free range in my tiny garden I have for the first time started having problems with the neighbourhood cats. In the past I have known my girls to chase all cats from the garden but we have some new cats in the area and they are definitely a threat to my newer chickens who, although full grown, are not as large and fiesty as my previous girls (two of which died last year of natural causes). I have personally chased cats out of the garden a lot recently and this morning I was luckily present to witness a serious attempt on my most dominant girl so I have had to shut them away in the run for safety.
I do not know what to do now, I cannot reasonably get a cockerel as I live in close proximity to many houses. I only have 3 hens, I could probably add another 2 but there are no guarantees that the larger flock would be a deterrent. I have thought of adding a larger pair of hens but the best types for smaller gardens (and that won't bully my little ones) are pretty docile so may not do the trick either. I was thinking an orpington or brahma. Any advice welcome. I'd really rather they didn't have to be shut in all the time as the grass in the run will not tolerate it and they will soon be without a grazing area.