Barn Cat for Chicken Coop?


designated lawn flamingo
9 Years
May 27, 2010
Reno, Nevada
I know I know... This is going to sound stupid, but I can not kill mice. I killed one of my chickens once and it gave me nightmares for months...Im a wuss. I cant kill anything.

The problem is that now our coop is OVERRUN with mice and not one of my girls has turned out to be a mouse killer! Now I dont mind contracting out the killing to someone else...
oh this is going to sound dumb...

If I got barn cat as a kitten, and raised it in the coop with the birds...could it learn to kill and eat the mice while leaving my girls alone? Im not afraid of it getting at the big girls but i have a few teeny girls. Id love a barn cat for mousing, but all the mice are INSIDE the coop and theyre sneaky as hell and have thwarted our attempts to catch them.

does anyone have a coop barncat?
WE have two barn cats and although most of our birds are standard size, we have a few bantams, and we've had half grown chicks running around, and the cats and chooks get along fine. Actually it's funny because sometimes the cats will spar with old hens...cats bat the hen in the head...hen pecks the cat in the head...and 99 % of the time the hen wins..
We had a problem with rats but I haven't seen any for about a year now, so it's a win-win so far. Getting a kitten or two is a good idea...they'll get the message, I think, from the bigger chickens...just keep an eye out at first.
Thank you! Im thinking I should crate them inside the coop for a few weeks so they know where home is, then, right? I want them to go in the coop because that is where our problem is. The mice live under it and come out and take so much feed. Last time we did a coop clean out we caught 10 with just our (gloved) hands and every night when i go to lock up i see them all scatter. Its so frustrating!
I have cats that were raised from kittens with rabbits and bantam chickens and they all do very well together. both the chickens and rabbits free range during the day with the cats lounging around or racing to get first pick of cricket treats I don't know that I would lick them all up together in the same room though. As well as they do together cats will still be cats and the chance of them deciding that since no one was looking.... Bantam becomes cat I do leave my coop open during the day and the cats travel through freely. It would have to be personal call to leave them locked in together over night.
Hmm, i just dont know what my options are at this point. Poison is not happening, and I dont know about maintaining traps...These mice are jerks. I have two indoor/outdoor cats already that have always respected the chickens but they have never ventured into the coop.
Your BEST bet would be to contact the Nevada Humane Society and tell them that you need a good barn cat. Females are usually best.

Humane societies usually have several semi-feral cats that they place out exclusively as barn cats. They aren't vicious but they definitely aren't lap-cats, and generally are very good mousers.

All they really need is fresh water and a bit of cat food. If it were me I would cut a cat door into a plastic tote and feed/water there so she has a place to sleep at night.

I would not recommend confining any cat to a chicken coop, run, or any kind of pen because it will get bored, angry, or restless. Cats love to roam and they have wide territories.

Maybe consider installing a cat door into your coop (or wherever it is you want the cat to mouse at) if you don't let the birds out during the day. They have special doors that will only open for specific animals wearing a certain collar, so it would keep other predators out while allowing the cat to go in and do it's job.
I wasnt planning on confining the animal ALL of the time. Just at night when the mice are active. (just like I call my cats into the house at night...) Otherwise it would never even see the mice because i do not think they come out in the day when the coop door is open. I am not going to adopt a full grown cat because I own bantam birds and that would be asking for trouble.
I'm sure you have already thought of everything as we all try to do when a problem like this comes up but maybe new eyes could help come up with a different solution. What is your coop situation? Maybe there is a way to prevent mice from getting in. or mouse traps, I usually lean away from poisons especially in close contact with my children and animals, but I agree you have a big problem, not just the money going down the mice throats but also the parasites that they can bring into the coop. Maybe you could post more info about your coop set up and get some ideas flowing.
The problem with having cats in the coop with the birds at night is that it's going to freak out the birds. Cats are active at night, especially if there are lots of mice around and it's really going to make the birds nervous with their activity. And since you already have a mouse explosion, even if you had two cats in there and they both caught a few mice every single are still not going to get on top of the mouse population.

Have you considered a bucket trap? Fill a 5 gallon bucket part way up with water, float sunflower seeds or bird seed on top. Mice get in but they can't get out. That and setting lots of traps every night, whatever you have to do to get control of them. I've used poison once and only once but it got the point where I felt I had no choice. It was that or continue being over run with rodents. Got control of the situation and we've never had a problem again.

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