At what age would cats leave chickens alone?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Willow's Meadow, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Willow's Meadow

    Willow's Meadow Chillin' With My Peeps

    502
    1
    141
    Apr 16, 2010
    I know it would be pretty much impossible to have young, small chickens around cats because the cats would try to kill them. But how old could a chicken be that a cat wouldn't bother with the chicken and would leave it alone? I was looking at the shelter's website and there is 3-4 pages of cats that are up for adoption(this shelter is NOT a no-kill shelter [​IMG]). Cat after cat for adoption and I just wanted the list to stop!!!!!! Since we moved I can have a couple cats(if not more). But they would have to be barn cats and I wouldn't want them to mess with my chickens(since the chickens live in the barn). I feel SOOOO bad for all these cats.....sometimes its so easy to forget about all those animals sitting in lonely shelters while all your animals are safe, warm, loved and cozy in the barn and the dogs are up on the bed at night. [​IMG]
     
  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    4,498
    27
    256
    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    None of my four shelter/stray cats ever showed any interest in any of my chicks - BUT - I raised them in the house, not outside, which may be a different story. The cats were here first, and range from ages one year to 10 years old. Even my nasty tom who is indoor/outdoor and kills everything frm weasels to baby rabbits has shown an interest in any bird I have in the house.
     
  3. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    10,698
    6,336
    541
    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    Just today my fat housecat who has been in the house over 2 years (originally an 8 month old shelter rescue) escaped from the house and went after my 11 week old chickens.

    No one was hurt physically but there was a lot of mental pain on the chickens part... luckily we were outside to end it quickly.

    I'm really interested in other's responses because I'd like to free range my girls more (when I'm not outside) and there's a lot of outdoor neighbor cats, I've seen one in particular go after a wild turkey poult (wish I had my camera out cause Mom was not pleased with that cat) and that cat's been in my yard a few times when I've come home from work.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    It just really depends on the cat. Most cats aren't interested in full grown standard chickens. Most cats. I have one big ole' barn cat that I don't entirely trust, he's an avid hunter known to take down large rabbits. And I've had one particularly large and nasty feral tom come thru once that showed plenty of chicken interest. Other then that my other cats over the years have shown no interest at all. Chick's and younger birds are another story.
     
  5. Willow's Meadow

    Willow's Meadow Chillin' With My Peeps

    502
    1
    141
    Apr 16, 2010
    Quote:How old were your chickens? Oh and what is the age that a standard chicken is full grown?
     
  6. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    My DS's son cat sleeps in the back yard with the chickens. When we first got the girls we taught him to leave the chickens alone now that they are full grown he doesn't even look at them. Even the 3 EE bantams that I have he does not mess with. I think that you can teach a cat not to hunt the chickens and full size hens will put a hurt on a cat I have seen one of my girls do this to a stray that got into our yard have not had any strays since. Of course our guard cat is outside a lot now.
     
  7. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,630
    13
    161
    Apr 29, 2010
    My chicks are outside on my porch in a brooder with an open top and she doesn't bother them, she acctually sits next to the box and looks down the porch stairs as if shes guarding them [​IMG] She's such a good cat! I have to close them up when I leave though since I don't trust the strays... I guess it depends and you'll just have to watch them together to see if they can interact? I doubt it they like to chase anything that moves...
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My four cats, two inside/outside and two totally outside cats have never done anything more than sit and watch the chickens, not even with the flick of the tip of the tail indicating hunting or other negative interest. I don't put the chicks out until they're 8 weeks old, and then they're in the coop for a couple of weeks before before they get out into the run.

    My 9 day old GrandChick came out with its HatchMother and was absolutely protected from everything.

    In the past couple of weeks, the two inside/outside cats have INSISTED on going into the chicken run and don't want to come in at night, but sit out there. During the day, the chickens are ranging freely (except for the coop-bound babies) so they're not hunting chickens. Finally, last night, I saw what the interest was: a little bitty mouse sneaking over to the feed!

    Each cat has had its nose pecked through the run fence ONCE, months ago. I think that took care of any interest in chickens they might have started to develop. Also, my Cayuga (duck) pair kinda scare the cats - I know they scare my two wiener dogs!
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  9. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,168
    38
    201
    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    The first batch of chicks I raised I put the brooder light on the cellar floor in a room separate from the rest of the house. Of course the door got left open and one of our cats--she was an adopted stray--killed a couple of the birds that hadn't feathered out. After that, while we were careful, she managed to get in when the birds feathered and left them alone so I'd say once they stop looking like chicks they should be ok. All of our current 5 cats--shelter or stray adoptees all--fairly well ignore all the chickens, one, in fact, is afraid of them.
     
  10. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    4,498
    27
    256
    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    error
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by