Barn Cats?? -- It happened fast!

mikefromnh

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
39
0
22
I have six six week old RIR pullets. I just finished their new coop which does not have a run. I was hoping to let them free range when they are older. For now we have been letting them out with close supervision.

Yesterday our barn cat who is a very good hunter was hanging around the chicks. My wife and I were both keeping a close eye on her. At first she seemed uninterested in the chicks (she has been around them before.) Suddenly she took off like a shot after one chick. She ran about twenty feet straight and jumped over a row of sweet potato plants where she hit the side of my boot:(

If we had not been there I have no doubt we would be down to five hens.

Will the hens ever be safe around the cat?
 

jjthink

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 17, 2007
4,623
44
274
New Jersey
When they are bigger, yes, most likely. When they're little, they are tempting to a kitty. I would keep them separated until the feathered ones are somewhat larger. If you teach her that they are family and that behaving around them is a good thing, she and they should be fine.
JJ
 

Chickenaddict

Songster
11 Years
May 19, 2008
3,691
50
223
East Bethel MN
I would guess probably not. Unless the cat was introduced to the chicks at a very young age it cant snap out of its natural hunt mode. Im so glad the cat didnt get one of those chicks
 

mullers3acers

Songster
12 Years
Oct 9, 2007
1,355
0
169
la porte, In
We have adult cats and kittens but never had any troubles. The kittens from time to time will attempt to pounce on the hens but they chase them right back. But I would keep an eye on the cat just to be sure it's not attempting to make dinner of your chickens.
 

JennsPeeps

Rhymes with 'henn'
11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
6,583
25
261
South Puget Sound
My cats are middle-aged and were only slightly interested in the chicks. Now they have to watch out for the full-grown birds, who chase the cats and challenge them all the time.
 

Chirpy

Balderdash
12 Years
May 24, 2007
3,788
24
221
Colorado
Cats will almost always go after a chick. Most cats will not go after a full grown chicken (at least Standard size). My barn cats are not safe around chicks but are completely fine around my adult chickens. Several of my adult chickens actually chase the cats around!

My new kittens have tried to stalk my chickens and learned really quickly who was boss... it wasn't the kitten. They now give the hens a wide berth when near them.
 

MagsC

Queen Of Clueless
11 Years
Jul 27, 2008
4,616
12
231
Minnesota
Ditto. I think chicks move kind of fast and it sets off the hunting instincts in a cat. After they are bigger I would think that it would be okay.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
238
421
SW Arkansas
We don't call Kitty "Killer Kitty" for no reason. She's proven time and time again that she can't be trusted around the chickens and I have LF brahmas! She may not be able to kill one, but I'm certain she could do some serious damage. She was a barn cat, now she's an indoor cat during the day.
I'm glad to see other people have had good luck with their cats being around their chickens, but with some cats that's just not possible.
 

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