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Keeping a barn cat in the chicken coop? - Page 3

post #21 of 35

Our barn cats are a feral stray who showed up pregnant, and her four kittens.  My son tamed the little feral cat, she did a superb job of introducing her litter to all of their future prey, and we opted to keep them all, thinking that a cohesive family would keep other stray cats away (pregnant stray cats can be a source for leptospirosis). Now all grown up and all spayed and neutered, we are enjoying a rodent free barn and don't have to use any poison or traps.

They are kept outside and have a free choice feeder, but none are lazy - they hunt rats, mice, chipmunks, squirrels, small snakes, moles, voles, and rabbits.  They eat everything except the voles. My husband wishes they would kill groundhogs too!   But I've never seen them take a bird, and never found piles of feathers.  They would go into the pigeon cote and hunt mice without paying any attention to the squabs.  I like that they will alert us to the presence of large snakes...one will keep track of it while another comes and reports with clattering jaws.

My dogs love it when they can surprise a cat in the dog yard and give chase, but the barnyard adjacent to the dog yard is cat territory. Dogs without a human escort are not allowed in the barn, and the cats will stalk it as a group and scare it out.  My dogs are scrupulous about following me at barn chores - don't want to be caught without a human by those cats!

These are very friendly and social cats - you can't go anywhere without them trooping along.  When the kids used to have Pony club lessons in our arena, the cats would run ahead of the horses and drape themselves on the jump poles.  Anything for attention!  A nuisance but very amusing, too.

We never have potentially unhealthy stray cats on the farm - the resident crew doesn't allow it.

We lucked out with our feral cat, I hope you do, too!big_smile
__________________________________
no poultry yet! Just 1 elderly border collie, 1 young Irish water spaniel hooligan, 3 Pyrenean shepherds (small French herding dog), 6 Pyr Shep puppies, a mixed flock of Clun Forest and Shetland sheep, 4 Lipizzan horses, a wonderful son, and the best husband EVER
**see new puppy pics at www.Madcap.name**
We lucked out with our feral cat experience, hope you do too.

post #22 of 35

Just a warning - all cats are different, just like chickens, people, etc. Do not adopt a cat expecting it to be safe with the chickens - cats are predators first and foremost. Have a plan as to what you will do with the cat if it does not work out.

I have one barn cat that kills as much as he can, for sheer sport. He brings home rabbits as big as he is as well as young ones, birds, etc. He rarely eats them. He never touched a chicken, however, and the free range chickens that I had were well protected by the rooster.

On the other hand, I have an elderly cat, age 18, that is feeble with a host of medical issues. Up until a year ago, she would bring home moles, mice, etc, but has shown no interest in hunting for a year. However, about a month ago I left her loose in the same room as my brooder for not two minutes, came back to find her with TWO CHICKS in her mouth! I was an unhappy person, but at the same time, it was my own fault for forgetting that a cat is a cat.

I have found, though, that my rooster is extremely good at taking care of pests. He would kill a mouse, rat, etc without issue and I think one reason my free range chickens were safe from my barn cat is that the rooster taught the cat a lesson early on.

Every mountain has a base; no one goes direct to top but step by step with proper learning (A. Mehta)  http://longtailfowl.blogspot.com/
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Every mountain has a base; no one goes direct to top but step by step with proper learning (A. Mehta)  http://longtailfowl.blogspot.com/
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post #23 of 35

Speaking of rats.....We went to let the chickens out to forage in the front yard and they made a beeline for a dead rat.  We chased them off becuase it would have been too gross to see them pecking at it.  It was a huge rat with the head found a few feet away.  Guess one of my cats had a good time.

Would any of you let your chickens have a go at a dead rodent?  I didn't just because I wouldn't want to eat *rat* fed eggs.

Janet

Janet

Mom to three boys, one girl, two dogs, three cats, two rats and five funny chickens!
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Janet

Mom to three boys, one girl, two dogs, three cats, two rats and five funny chickens!
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post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCMomto4 

Speaking of rats.....We went to let the chickens out to forage in the front yard and they made a beeline for a dead rat.  We chased them off becuase it would have been too gross to see them pecking at it.  It was a huge rat with the head found a few feet away.  Guess one of my cats had a good time.

Would any of you let your chickens have a go at a dead rodent?  I didn't just because I wouldn't want to eat *rat* fed eggs.

Janet


Chickens are omnivours. Plain and simple.You cant catch all the rats and mice exposed to chickens.They will tear them apart and/or swallow them whole before you even get to see what they are eating.

There once was a man from Rock Hill

Who had taken his Depakote pill

He stayed fast asleep

Not one sound, noise, or peep

And had no worries, none zilch and nil.

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There once was a man from Rock Hill

Who had taken his Depakote pill

He stayed fast asleep

Not one sound, noise, or peep

And had no worries, none zilch and nil.

Reply
post #25 of 35

I'm glad you're going to give one a shot!

We have a "barn cat".  She was a dump & run pet that made her way to our doorstep; pretty little thing with a flea collar but no ID.  She was already spayed, a pre-trained hunter, comfortable with dogs, and tolerant of children.  Couldn't ask for a better cat!  She's very petite but catches things as large as a juvenile rabbit.  We do feed her -- she hunts to please us and will bring her kills to the door and mew like crazy to let us know when she has caught something.  She has caught a couple of little birds but mostly she hangs out around the garage and coop and catches rodents.

I introduced her to the chicks the same way I did the dog -- in a controlled setting and making it clear the chicks were mine.  Neither pet has ever made any attempt to grab a chicken and the chickens range with the pets around.

post #26 of 35

we have several barn cats.

born and raised litterly in the barn.   Mom has taught them how to hunt and as they have always been around the chickens they know them as "friends" not to be hunted.

I dont trust the barn cats with the little birds, but they will run from the big girls (those beaks are sharp).

They catch all types of critters and would expect a good mouser to also go after a rat.

But that said,  i dont know if a ferral cat would accept the girls as something to be protected and not attacked.    Ours have always grown up around the chickens so they knew they were friends....

post #27 of 35

I think the only thing they would bother would be chicks.

3BCM, 2Welsummers, 4 Barred rock, 6 EEs, 6 BO, 6 SL wyandottes, 5 Sebrights, 1 campine, and 2 feedstore mysteries. 2yaks and 18 sheep. 5 dogs and a "few" cats
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3BCM, 2Welsummers, 4 Barred rock, 6 EEs, 6 BO, 6 SL wyandottes, 5 Sebrights, 1 campine, and 2 feedstore mysteries. 2yaks and 18 sheep. 5 dogs and a "few" cats
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post #28 of 35

I acclimated all my dogs and cats to the chicks and ducklings - but never left them alone with them!

My cats are getting sick of the 4 hens running them off their own food dishes.  I think this is fuel for the recent events of "cat charge on Mallard in early flight."  Training is never done.  As dynamics change, retraining is imperative.

Jealousy can cause issues.  I don't make over the birds when my obsessed, stalker dog is nearby.

Chick In Delight

My every success leaves a trail of failures. Often, the failures are the most fun. 
If you like pictures, check out my BYC page.
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Chick In Delight

My every success leaves a trail of failures. Often, the failures are the most fun. 
If you like pictures, check out my BYC page.
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post #29 of 35

I have about 7 feral cats and they love to catch, kill and eat rodents.  They don't mess with the chickens or other animals.  All of the feral cats that I have just "show up" on my property and then I enjoy seeing them and I feed them and then I become attached to them.

I feed my feral cats both dry cat food and canned cat food.  People tell me that I feed them too much and that they won't want to kill and eat mice and rats but I beg to differ because of the kills that they make and the evidence that they leave at the back door.  All cats will be different, so you have to keep an eye on them.

I found this feral cat in his dog igloo with this tasty snack.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/6612_big_head_close_up.jpg
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/6612_sundays_kill.jpg

They took this fella down one Friday night and left it at the back door for me to see it on Saturday morning.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/6612_friday_night_1.jpg
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/6612_friday_night_kill.jpg

NPIP Certified -115 Chickens, 19 Geese, 19 BR Turkeys, 7 Rabbits, 120 Muscovy Ducks , 9 Guineas, 9 Peafowl, 8 sheep, 1 Goat and currently have 100 broilers to be processed March 2014.  And it's broody/hatching season all over again for 2014.
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NPIP Certified -115 Chickens, 19 Geese, 19 BR Turkeys, 7 Rabbits, 120 Muscovy Ducks , 9 Guineas, 9 Peafowl, 8 sheep, 1 Goat and currently have 100 broilers to be processed March 2014.  And it's broody/hatching season all over again for 2014.
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post #30 of 35

good pic friend,

My cat Scrapper is ferel and he eats dry cat food (dry's) and kills mice,rats,baby bunnys,and chipmunks and eat em (wet's), so his food pyramid is as follows:

dries
and
wets

There once was a man from Rock Hill

Who had taken his Depakote pill

He stayed fast asleep

Not one sound, noise, or peep

And had no worries, none zilch and nil.

Reply

There once was a man from Rock Hill

Who had taken his Depakote pill

He stayed fast asleep

Not one sound, noise, or peep

And had no worries, none zilch and nil.

Reply
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