Can my pets be a danger to chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JennyJaques, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. JennyJaques

    JennyJaques Hatching

    Mar 16, 2009
    My husband really wants to raise chickens as pets. We currently have 3 cats and 1 dog. I am concerned that my cats could hurt the chickens. They all still have their claws and are not aggressive, but I have also never seen them around large, tempting birds. Has anyone had problems with this? Can they all live together without being caged in?
    Thanks, Jen
  2. chick2good4u

    chick2good4u Songster

    The cat won't stand a chance if the birds are full grown - the birds will put them in their place [​IMG]
  3. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Crowing

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    I would worry more about the dog than the cats. What breed of dog is it?
  4. TXmom

    TXmom Songster

    You will definitely need to keep your chickens safe from your pets...especially from the dog. When the chicks are young, the cats will be a danger, but when they're full grown I don't think the cats will mess with them too much...but the dog will probably always be a danger to them.

    Here's a pic of my cat and chicks...I would not leave them alone together for a second:


    My chicks are a bit older now and they're outside in a secure coop and dog and cat cannot get to them.
  5. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Most cats will not take on an adult, standard size chicken. There are always exceptions. I've known people who have watched feral cats reach in, grab and kill their chickens.

    My barn cats would take a chick in a heartbeat so I keep a very close eye on my chicks until they are full grown. They don't get to free range around here and I don't even allow them in the outside chicken run without a person nearby as my cats will climb up and jump down into the run. However, once my chickens have reached full grown size - my cats have learned quickly they'd better stay away. I have several chickens that love to play "chase the cats" and they are vicious in their attacks on my poor kitties. My chickens even chase my cats away from the cat food dish to steal their food!

    Edited as I forgot about the dog. That's the bigger danger to your chickens. Only a few dogs can ever be totally safe around chickens. What breed do you have? People here say "my dog would never hurt my chickens" and then two years later... guess what? Their sweet dog decides on chicken for supper.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  6. JennyJaques

    JennyJaques Hatching

    Mar 16, 2009
    Wow! You guys are quick. My dog is now an old lady, she is almost 13- a very timid pit/lab mix. Probably not the best mix to have around chickens. She was abused as a pup and therefore does not leave my side. She can be temperamental and I would have to be careful with her around the chickens, but it is much easier for me to keep her away from them than the cats. My dog, Clea, is indoors almost exclusively-she is my fraidy cat [​IMG]. I was more concerned with the cat because I have one in particular that loves going outside and is curious about everything. He is confined to my yard (invisible fence)-I am paranoid about him getting hit by a car. He actually looks exactly like the one in your pick-orange tabby-very lovable, but quite a trouble maker! [​IMG]
  7. TXmom

    TXmom Songster

    Yes, my Pumpkin is quite a trouble-maker...but I think the chicks have already put him in his place...LOL. Like I said, they are outside now in a fenced run, and he walked up to the run and tried to sniff them through the fence. Well, he got a little too close for comfort and a chick pecked his nose really hard. Poor thing jumped backwards and I haven't seen him get close to the run again. [​IMG]

    Your dog might be OK since she's an old lady...I have an old lady too and she hasn't really shown any interest in the chickens. She pretty much ignores them. If they were running around loose in the yard though...I don't know how she'd act...they are definitely safer in the run.
  8. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    The dog will be the problem. You would be surprised at how fast even an old dog can be when presented with a live, running, squawking toy.
  9. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    You might also browse through this Predators and Pests forum and see just how many stories there are here titled "My dog killed my chickens". . . happens all the time.
  10. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Songster

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    My cat gives the chickens and especially the ducks a w-i-d-e berth. He goes int heir run sometimes to look for mouses but keep a wary eye out for the brids who are entranced by his long fur and twitching tail. they've sent him flying more than once.

    My dogs are greyhounds and are so far fine with the birds, but I try not to leave them unattended for very long. The one real benefit of having a large nasty rooster is he's warned the dogs off severla times.

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