2 week old chick attacked by cat

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GothChick, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. GothChick

    GothChick Songster

    Sep 5, 2010
    Hi, I could really use some advice! I just got four 2 week old chicks on Friday. I have never had chickens before so these are my first, so I could really use some tips. I have been keeping the chicks in a cage inside the house but since it was nice out today I decided to let them spend some time outside. I was sitting outside with my daughter and the chicks when my neighbors stupid cat climbs over my fence. I tried to grab the chicks as fast as I could but the cat ran over and bit one of them and attempted to run of with it. I managed to chase and scare the cat enough that it dropped the chick and ran away. When I first looked at it everything seemed ok so I brought them all back in the house. Well now the chicks neck is bleeding! It doesn't seem to be acting weird and the blood is stopping but I'm not sure what else I should do. Please help!

    Also is their anyway I can stopped the neighbors stupid cat? I have a huge fully fenced in yard with a large wooden privacy fence and wanted to allow my chickens to free range when they were old enough but if the neighbors cat is going to attack them I can't. I have cats myself and love cats don't get me wrong but I think the neighbor needs to keep her cat out of my yard. I tried talking to her before we got the chicks because the cat was clawing up our trampoline but she says her cat doesn't go outside and just ignores us and is very rude. What can I do?

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    For the chick, make sure no one starts pecking the bloody spot, and consider a little basic first aid, like clean it with whatever (soapy water is fine) and maybe a little antibiotic ointment.

    For the cat, find out what the local laws are, see if you can call animal control or if you have the right to kill it if it is on your property or harming your animals, and consider whether you really want to do this. Some have kidnapped the offender and taken them to a shelter as a stray. There is no ideal solution that I know of.

    Take comfort in the fact that, usually, cats do not mess with mature chickens. More likely, the cat will get curious, get its nose pecked, then never go near the chickens again. Maybe you can figure out a way to give the chicks some safe outside time til they are bigger. There are several cats who have access to my chickens, and I never have a problem.
  3. Goyo's Girl

    Goyo's Girl In the Brooder

    May 6, 2010
    Walla Walla, Washington
    My only experience with a cat attacking a bird was when our cat snagged our cockatiel. The vet said that birds lack the antibodies to fight the bacteria in cat's mouths and under their claws, and he gave me a liquid antibiotic. He said the bird would probably die without it. I gave the medicine and it survived. I agree with the previous suggestion; at least apply an antibiotic ointment.

    As far as the cat problem, I have 8 hens and 1 rooster, all 6 months old. I also have 2 cats that mostly live outside on our acre and are voracious hunters. They frequently bring their "trophies" home. I did not let my chicks anywhere near them until they were more mature looking (around 4 months old). One cat is scared to death of them and won't go near, the other one (my best hunter) is curious and likes to be around them, though she has pounced at them a time or two. I suspect she would kill one if it was weak, sick, or not paying attention. Now, at 6 months old, the hens and especially the roo are starting to sound an alarm when any cat is near and they will chase, peck and sqwauk at my "playful pretender"! She makes a hasty retreat.

    There are neighbor hood cats that roam free here, as well as possum, skunk, raccoon and coyotes. My chickens stay in an enclosed large run unless I am home to keep an eye out; then they're allowed to graze the garden/pasture area. Don't know what you can do about your neighbor's cat. It's hard to keep them home and inside, and personally, I don't want to keep my own kittys from roaming free. I think you will have to be proactive to protect your chicks from nasty predators. Best wishes, from one first timer to another!
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  4. shepherd

    shepherd In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2010
    Its harming your animals. Most laws say you can kill the cat in a situation like this, and the chickens wont be safe until they are bigger than the cat so do you really want chickens in your house that long?

    Next time you see it and it sets the first foot on your property kill it and save all the headaches.

  5. GothChick

    GothChick Songster

    Sep 5, 2010
    Thanks for all the great tips! I rushed the chick to our vet because I was panicking and they gave me an ointment to put on it.

    As far as the cat situation goes, like I said I love cats I actually breed and show Ragdolls and Turkish Angoras so I'm not going to kill my neighbors cat, but at the same time we live in the city and I feel that she needs to keep her cat in her own yard. A few of my cats are allowed outside but we have them trained to stay in the fenced in area and they are only allowed out when someone is watching. It not just annoying that her cat runs all over but it's dangerous. Also the cat is a male and is constantly spraying and clawing up stuff in my yard.

    The chick getting attacked is just the last straw. I was sitting right by the chicks when the cat ran over they were only about 2 feet away from me but when I started trying to grab them quick they spooked and that's why I could grabbed the one the cat took. So it wasn't like they were wandering all over outside by themselves that's what bothers me the most. I just wish the lady would stop being so rude. She has a cat door right on her front door and when I confronted her about her cat last time she said "he doesn't ever go outside unless I'm outside" yet we see him going in and out all the time by himself. Our city has ordinances prohibiting animals from wandering around in other peoples yards so I think next time I will just have to call animal control and take some pictures to prove it's her cat.

    I'm already sooo attached to these little chicks and they are worth more to me then my neighbor liking me.
  6. Phage

    Phage Mad Scientist

    Aug 1, 2009
    San Diego, CA
    I think it is going to be really difficult to keep a cat to a limited area like a yard. They are their own boss. But shooting them [​IMG] ????

    We had a cat problem when all our neighbors had cats and we did not, so all the local cats used our back yard a a public toilet. Not good as I had 3 kids under 5 who could not play in our yard due to cat poop.

    Luckly a zoo vet friend of ours came up with a novel solution. Tiger poop. We put traces around the perimeter of the yard. "Little" cats smelt the really really BIG cat and that was totally the END of the problem. [​IMG]
  7. MissJenny

    MissJenny Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Good for you for being prepared to take pictures, call animal control and to hold your neighbor responsible. We see on here similar problems all the time with the exception that the poster with the problem doesn't actually want to go to any lengths to protect their birds.

    One idea is to take a box or a basket outside with you when you let the chicks free range -- the idea being that when an intruder approaches you can cover the chicks (or most of them with the box or basket, providing them safety while you take pictures and call animal control. In fact, take two boxes -- the second one for the marauding cat.

    Best of luck to you and your new babies -- they are a ton of fun.


  8. CathyRN

    CathyRN In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2010
    Sevier County, TN
    That tiger poop thing is hysterical. I have to try my local zoo for this. BTW....great pics of the cats with the chickens ! We have a nuissance cat living next door that always "hunts" my girls. He never gets them, but I"m sure he could. They always sound the alarm when he comes near and I always get worried. My neighbors are never home, and really don't pay a whole lot of attention to the cat. I told my husband that the day that cat lays a paw on my girls forget it, it will go "missing" for sure !!!
  9. Goyo's Girl

    Goyo's Girl In the Brooder

    May 6, 2010
    Walla Walla, Washington
    Quote:It sounds like a tough situation. I live on the outskirts of town on an acre surrounded by fields/pastures. It must be much harder inside the city where animals are in much closer quarters. I also got very attached to me chicks from the start. When the weather got nice and they were still too young to turn loose, I made a huge enclosure out of large cardboard boxes taped together, with the bottom removed. I put them in it and let them "range" on the grass in the sunshine. They loved it and yet were fairly safe from marauders. In fact, I found an old screen door and placed it over the top to protect them from flying varmints as well. A bit of work, but didn't want to risk it to let them be totally free in the yard at that age.

  10. Aymitelli

    Aymitelli In the Brooder

    May 7, 2010
    We have a few neighborhood cats that were interested in our chicks too. Ours 3 girls are now 12 weeks old (they are our first chicks) and there is now only 1 cat that will still come into our yard; yet now she stays to the far back of the yard (looking for the bunny that hides/lives under a hedge back there and pretty much steers clear of the front yard now that the babes are older.

    I was pretty concerned at first - once we moved the 5-6 week old chickens outside to their new coop/covered run, the few cats (on different occasions) would sit outside the run watching the chickens and every once in a while - lunge at the hardware cloth. Not good. I was very concerned about letting the girls out to free range and they (still) only do so when I'm home to supervise.

    Early on, since it looked like we would probably have a problem with a cat with the chicks outside - I started off with bringing the hose (powered up - high-stream/nosel on & ready to be fired at will) over near where I was with the girls when they were having their outside time. When one of the cats even came near us (too close for my comfort) - I blasted the cat with the hose. (Mean, maybe - but a lot more kind than injuring the cat or depriving the girls f outside time in THEIR yard!) She learned very quickly that getting too close to watch (or plan the attack) was NOT going to be good for her. I recommend the hose trick since it really seems to have worked well for me. While I feel pretty successful with the cat situation...

    I'm now trying to manage a hawk situation. (Who would have thought these would be the worries that keep me up at night just a few months ago??!) One just swooped on my 12 week-old barred rock. She was not injured, (No blood, no missing feathers) just very rattled. She and her sisters all went back to the run and all 3 went right onto their coop once all were accounted for. Poor little girls. They didn't even want to come out of their coop (and into the covered run, where it's safe) for treats. Uggghhhh, so now I'm wondering - Do I feel fast enough the blast a hawk with a hose?? Will that work? I feel bad, I was out there when it happened (so fast!) and I'm usually monitoring for cats - not religiously watching the sky for an arial attack!! (Though that will be the case now!!) So - 'heads-up' that you may have more than just the cat to worry about with your babes.

    The chicks are so worth all the worry though. They really are the sweetest pets to have I think.

    Good luck with your cat problem!!


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