Cat eating my chickens!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jak2002003, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Its took me a while to work out what has been taking my bantam pullets. One every few days vanished.

    it always happened at night when the house lights are out.. or when we are out in the daytime.

    Tonight I turned off all the house lights and waited. After a short while I heard a pullet cheeping and I went outside very quietly and then shone a torch on the coop. There was a huge domestic cat with its front legs through the wire pulling through a pullet. It ran off as soon as I turned on the torch.

    I don't know how to stop this cat. My bird fee range in the daytime.. and I have lost 6 birds now. I was thinking about making a run.. but, as I saw tonight, the cat can get them through the wire too.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    The easiest solution is to cover the current wire with 1/2 inch hardware cloth - it's a matter of using wire that is too small for a cat to reach his/her paws through and strong enough to hold up against them pulling at it to stretch an opening to be big enough.
    This is better than trying to figure out how to eliminate this particular cat as removing the predator does not make your birds any safer from other cats who will move in once this one is out of the territory.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  3. Xtineart

    Xtineart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've wrapped my coop with fine garden mesh (the kind you use for climbing plants) it wouldn't stand up to serious attack but is enough to stop rats/mice/small birds from getting in through the wire? costs pennies for a huge roll and I just put it on with a staple gun. Probably wnough to deter a cat. Also been told that they wont jump onto any soft surface, so stretching it over the top of the run leaving it slightly loose would stop a cat trying to get in from above.

    sorry to hear of your lose hens. always sad to lose a chicken to a predator.
     
  4. Mallory8502

    Mallory8502 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree if it isn't this cat it will be another one. If it were me I would still get rid of this cat... It will just reproduce.. and probably keep harassing your birds even if it can't get them.

    I just bought a humane trap from TSC literally yesterday and it was about $60, but they had a smaller model that was only $25 that may work for cats. If it is feral I would say having it put down at the humane society would be best, or a bullet. You could relocate it, but the most responsible thing would be to get it fixed first. Spay today loans out traps for free of you plan to do this. I think the actual neutering is either free or extremely low cost. But unless you are in the middle of nowhere, that cat may go bother someone else. Not to mention how hard it is for a feral cat to survive like that. Unless you have a friend that wants a barn cat, I'd put it down.
     
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you everyone for the good advise.

    The cat keeps coming back... even after my dogs chase it away it will return a few minutes later. Its a huge male feral cat.. its actually bigger than one of my dogs!

    I have rapped the hens sleeping quarters with finer mesh.

    But its a very small coop.. .only used for roosting. So I feel very bad keeping them in there all the time.

    So I bought a huge wire bird cage and put all the chicks in there. I can lay in on its side.. like a chicken tractor.. and the chicks can peck at the ground under the wire.

    The problem is there are 3 different age broods in there, and they are all fighting. The bigger ones pecking the smaller ones! They are also trying to get out all the time to be with their mothers.. which hover around the cage.

    Its stressing me out! I hope they settle down after a few more days. I have covered the cage top and 2 sides with solid boards to give protection from rain and sun.. and also they can go back into that area then the cat comes to the front.

    I was worried about the smaller chicks not being old enough to keep warm in the night. but when I add their mother she attacks the other chicks!!!

    I don't want to start spending more money on more cages and only have a couple of chicks in each!

    I am going to have to think of a way to organise them.. and their mothers.

    That cat is really annoying me! Its always around now. I think I may buy a humane trap and take the cat far far far away if its keeps making trouble.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    It's going to keep making trouble. It knows where to find a chicken buffet. But please - don't dump it off to be someone else's problem or potentially starve to death or live the rest of its life having to fight for food and territory. Just kill it. It's apparent you don't live in the U.S., so I don't know how easily it could be shot, but if you can't kill it, please find someone who can. It's cruel and irresponsible to trap an animal and dump it off somewhere.

    As far as your chickens, is it possible for you to build them a run attached to their coop so they can all be together, rather than in separate cages? It does sound like they're a bit crowded.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. RASS

    RASS Out Of The Brooder

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    YES, a live trap is the best. Then you can decide how to get rid of the cat. I lost 5 ck. in one week to a coon which I saw on trail cam. I caught him in the live trap and have no problems now.

    Good Luck
     
  8. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Sadly I can not shoot it. Its illegal for me to have a gun here. I am sure the cat will have no difficulty finding food someplace else. Its 'wild' and very fat as it is now.. and very much top of the cats around here. I just live in a very small village.. one of many.. in this area that is mostly rice fields. There are plenty of other animals for it to eat.. mice, rats, frogs, wild birds etc. The place is swarming with creatures. Its just got the idea about this easy fast food now.

    The chickens have a run.. but snakes, mongoose, and even the cats paws. were getting into it.. despite me constantly fixing it. It was like a security jail, but things always found a new way in.[​IMG]

    This year my chickens are totally free range in the day. and they are great at avoiding predators.

    At night they sleep in 3 smaller 'coops' (which are actually large wicker baskets). The ones in the photos are the half sized baskets used for a broody hen. Their normal baskets are about 3 times bigger.

    I am moving house in 2 months.. so I don't want to start constructing costly runs and new coops before I go just for the sake of one fat lazy cat.

    However, I have found someone to build me a solid welded wire run and coop. on the new land. I won't be taking chances there!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    Sorry - I didn't look at your location before replying. I still am not an advocate of trap-and-relocate, but we'll just have to agree to disagree. [​IMG] Thank you for sharing your pictures. Your chickens are beautiful!
     
    1 person likes this.

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