A cat nearly scared my chickens over the fence

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Austinite, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Austinite

    Austinite Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    Scenario: 3 hens, ranging 17-20 weeks old. They live in a run attached to a henhouse, but we let them out in the morning the roam the back yard while we eat breakfast out there. Yard is fenced with a normal-height wooden fence, but there's also a hip-height chainlink fence *inside* that fenceline for some reason. Anyway, the other day I couldn't be out there all morning but I let the chickens out anyway. Usually not a problem. But this time one of the neighborhood cats decided to bother them. From in the house I heard LOUD clucking and ran outside to find a crouched-down cat in the middle of the yard. Two of the hens were perched on TOP of the back fence ready to jump into a parking lot and the other hen was near another fence looking like she wanted to jump up.

    Anyway, chased the cat away. Somehow convinced the birds to get down off the fence. If they'd flapped into the parking lot over there, I could've been chasing chickens through the streets. :-(

    What should I do for the future? I'm thinking one or all of the following: Get rid of the inner chainlink fence (if that's helping the chickens get up). Clip their wings (will they soon be heavy enough NOT to be able to fly up though?). Add pigeon-preventer spikes all along the fenceline and on top of their henhouse roof which is near the fenceline.

    Thoughts? Are cats REALLY a threat?
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Usually not a threat, except perhaps to little 'chicklets' (mine adore the birds). There are lots of BYC threads on this topic.

  3. Moochie

    Moochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    North Edwards
    Depends on the cat?
    Some grey cat thought it was okay to come onto my yard early in the morning and pluck feathers off of my turken hen, scaring her over the fence. Some calico looking cat thought it was okay to come bother my chickens during the evening. The owners thought it was okay aswell.
    If it keeps coming back see if you can get a trap from animal control or from a store, and take it to a shelter. It might be a threat, but then again it might not be. Cats have different personalities, get to know this one and if it feels like a threat, do what you can to prevent it from coming back.
  4. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    i'm sorry about your problems. i just posted today about a neighbor's cat who keeps coming in my yard. This morning she broke through the roofing on one of my pens and terrorized my poor little bantam hens. The cat wasn't trying to hurt them. But now one has a fractured beak from slamming into the hardware cloth, trying desperately to get away.

    There are some cats that will attack a full grown chicken. But just having a cat in your yard is not good for your hens, obviously. They shouldn't be put in the position of trying to decipher which cat is friendly and which one is just curious.

    i have had zero luck with my idiot neighbors in keeping their cats on their property. i say trap the cat and take it to Animal Control. You may also want to only free range when you are in the yard or within earshot and several footsteps from the yard.

    Good luck and i hope you can solve the problem. Please don't listen to folks who insist a cat won't hurt a full grown chicken. There are plenty of posts to the contrary.
  5. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    Roaming cats are annoying,and can cause your birds to injure themselves. I say trap them and take them away.
  6. wvfoxhunter

    wvfoxhunter Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2011
    Lewisburg, WV
    Get rid of the cats. Come up with some way to convince them not to bother your birds.

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