We want to get some barn cats, we want to get some to help prevent rats. If we get them how do we keep them from killing our chickens. Does anyone have barn cats. Our birds free range and stuff, so they would have access to the birds. Please help!!!
We always have an assortment of barn cats around the place. So far not one has hurt a bird. Matter of fact they are terrified of the adult birds. My chickens steal food right from the cats mouths and the cats just back away glaring. Your best bet is to start with kittens so they grow up respecting those big birds.
All that said, I'd never trust any cat around a chick. Once they reach 8 to 10 weeks the danger passes if they are a large fowl. I also deny my cats access to my silkies. They don't act interested in them, but I worry since silkies are so helpless.
My birds are all bantams, I hope that isn't a problem. I will wait longer then 8 to 10 weeks before I let them around the babies. I think my birds are smaller then yours. I guess I'm not gonna be able to let my Faverolles free range anymore. They are so small that might be asking for trouble. Anyway thank you its good to here you haven't had any problems. So do you keep their food and stuff in the barn or where do you keep it?
Adopting a barn cat is a wonderful thing to do but you have to be careful with Bantams. One of our house cats got out a couple days ago and killed one of our old english games hens and badly hurt our silkie roo. This was the first time they showed any interest and I was pretty bummed out. A couple of our cats are only interested in rodents however so make you if you do get some kitties, they are bird compatable. Good luck
My wife and I have had many barn cats, we call them our coop cats. We keep our chickens within a coop and yard. We start with kittens at 2 months old. We have a place for them in the coop that is not accessible to the birds. We feed and water the kittens there and only there. They can get out of the chicken yard, but, its not easy until they are grown. We also socialize with them in the coop and yard and return them to the coop at night until they are about 6 months old. After 6-8 months we continue to feed them in their space in the coop, but, do not try to confine them at night to the coop, they have their own chicken proof entrance. We have had good luck using this method with maybe a 70 - 80% success rate with raising cats that prefer to do their hunting in and around the coop. We have not had any cats attack the chickens, although they will swipe at any bird that tries to take its catch.
I hope this helps.
My wife says that girls work best for this. She says the boys, even when "fixed" like to roam to much.