? About Barn Cats

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mylilchix, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. mylilchix

    mylilchix Songster

    We're thinking of adopting a pair of barn cats to help ease our chipmunk problem. These cats live strictly outdoors, and their current diet consists mainly of what they kill. Do you think I'll have a problem with them getting at our chickens? Our flock consists of 7-9 week old chicks. They live a secure run (as far as we can tell).

    Thanks, Sonja
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't know if this is always true, but I should tell you that the barn cats I've known in PA and NY have steadfastly refused to eat chipmunks. They did kill a few, often in a 'mangled and left to die' way, but they just would not eat them or if they tried the chipmunk did not stay eaten if you know what I mean. You'd probably want to investigate this further in your area before getting the cats.

    Good luck,

  3. dogzrule5

    dogzrule5 Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    Sanford, NC
    I just logged on to ask about the same thing - great minds think alike!!

    There are so many cats in need and I have (still) a serious mouse problem in my barn.

    What would keep the barn cats from going after the chickens? I don't have any plans to hatch out eggs or add to my small flock.
  4. farmgirlie1031

    farmgirlie1031 Songster

    Apr 26, 2008
    My cats are great at mice and sparrows and leave the chickens alone but I'm not sure all cats would be that way. My one cat tries really hard to catch chipmunks but they escape down their hole before he can get to them. In the wintertime they killed a ton of moles but now it's like they can't get to them as there are mole hills all over the place. Mine were house pets before they became barn cats due to the no pets in the house rule here but they adapted really well to the life.
  5. mylilchix

    mylilchix Songster

    From what I've been told this pair has been chasing ground squrriels and chipmunks, altough we do have mice too. Yuck!! I just don't want them to think my chickens are lunch, too. KWIM
  6. boilerjoe_96

    boilerjoe_96 Songster

    Apr 4, 2007
    West Lafayette, IN
    Kill chipmunks = yes
    Eat Chipmunks = most likely not...(though I have seen it)

    If you are adopting and not feeding why would they stay? what are you offering a cat that it can't get anyplace else? Just looking from a cat's point of view. I have seen many a cat go unfed when just acquired turn around and leave because of no food. Now if either has kittens then the cat or kittens may stay....

    I only feed mine once a day and limit it in non cold weather. Cold weather twice a day because I am a softy and like my cats. Even feeding them and giving them some love at times they disappear..not sure if by choice or they are coyote dinner, but they are gone....

    If they are hungry they will hunt for mice and birds and baby rabbits, stuff they like to eat.

    If they are not hungry they will still kill things...just not spend quite as much effort....

    Of course this is all is just, IMHO....
  7. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    You really should feed your barn cats. The cats will stick around and consider your barn home, if you feed them. This will also keep them healthier and a healthy cat can catch more rodents.

    My five spoiled rotten barn cats are fed well. They still keep the mice, rats and even pocket gophers out of yard & barn. They are not interested in my chickens or guineas at all. I do not let my chickens out in the yard until they are grown. (i think a little chick would be just too much temptation)

    Four of the five even love attention.
  8. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Central NY
    If the chickens are big enough, the cats won't bother them at all. Just watch small chicks. My barn cat only bothered the chicks and a very small bantam once it was older and slow. The larger chickens were safe even if they were free ranging. In a run if covered, you should be OK. The turkey poults are in an enclosed aviary set up in the barn to keep them safe from the cat. We too feed our cat dry food each day. Just a little once a day. He kills, but does not eat them.
  9. geareduplyn

    geareduplyn Songster

    Jun 2, 2008
    Salley SC
    If you really want a cat to work for you keep them well fed. They would much rather kill for entertainment than for survival.
  10. texasreb

    texasreb Songster

    May 18, 2008
    I agree with the majority: feed your barn kitties; they'll still do the job. Also, please consider vaccinating and altering them. They'll be healthier and less likely to roam.

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