Cat V. Chickens - Chickens 1. Cat zero.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by m.kitchengirl, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope this is the right thread to post in. It is a story, but also a behavior issue... hmmph.

    I have a LARGE cat, Smokey. He is a decent hunter, when he feels like it. He is declawed (not my idea, we adopted him when my friend's grandma passed away).
    I brought the chickens home when they were 6 weeks old.
    Smokey was PETRIFIED of them. He would literally shake when (and for some time after) he saw them. He was a quivering mess. He stopped using his entrance in the breezeway while they brooded out there.
    I felt awful for bringing the chickens and such anxiety to the poor cat. He is huge though, and I was afraid - until 5 minutes after I brought the peeping box home - he would try to eat them.

    Now that they are older he seems to want to join the flock. He loves to lay on the coop, comes right along with the ladies when it is treat time. He has gone so far as to eat banana from my hand when they are.
    He tries to sniff them and lays among them in the yard. I think he likes the company. I also think that his favorite backyard morsels come to him now, rather than him having to go looking for mice and chipmunks.
    I let the birds free range in a large enclosed area where my garden is, along the fence there is a huge wall of cedar, several raspberry bushes, a cherry tree & what I was told is a crab apple tree. I stay out there with them, it is my favorite time of day. I squashed a few fallen "crab apples" for the ducks and realized, they were not crab apples. I took a bite and YUM! I was in crunching away happily when Smokey came to say "Hi".
    The hens were under the tree and Smokey went to make his rounds around the yard. He walked behind the hens, about a foot or so away, and they all turned on him. He walked over, I think he thought they were making friends, and my EE rose up to peck him. The other girls - they are like a gang - started to close in on him, I got to my feet and Smokey turned and ran. They came right behind, full speed chicken run, and Smokey ran right behind my legs & they followed right around the corner. He just barely made it into the breezeway, otherwise I think they would have really pecked him. (He has a custom sized hole he made in my screen door. Thank goodness too. The chickens have never figured out how to use it.)
    My chickens are bullies. They routinely roust my ducks out of their enclosure to scratch in the duck shavings, eat their food & prove they run the yard. Yesterday I saw them repeatedly charge & chase a pair of morning doves around my yard & driveway. I really think they enjoyed it, too.

    Is this normal chicken behavior? Should I deprive them of their free range? I love all my animals and do not want the chickens bullying my poor cat (as funny as it was to watch this time, had they gotten him, how much damage could they do? I am guessing - enough.) Is there anything I can do to train them not to do this? I culled my roosters partially to restore peace to the yard. The chickens were the "Crips" and the ducks were the "Bloods". Do you think this kind of behavior is a precursor toward feather picking and other cannibalistic behavior or are they just making sure my big kitty doesn't try any funny stuff?
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Sounds like normal chicken behavior.
    Things will work out between the cat and the chickens and the ducks.

    Imp- today the yard, tomorrow the world
     
  3. shober

    shober Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They can be awful bullies!! I've seen mine kill and eat a sparrow and mice! that was a shocker to say the least [​IMG] The flock I have now ganged up on my 15 year old tabby Purda and she was so scared, but was able to run away. It is normal behavior though. Just keep an eye on Smokey. He probably won't want to go near them again anyway! Poor kitty! Don't deprive them of their free range though. They really need that and it keeps them happy.[​IMG]
     
  4. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
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    Don't deprive them of their free range though. They really need that and it keeps them happy.

    I really don't want to. They do love it. I am glad to hear it is not just my little bullies. I guess Smokey knew what was coming when I brought them in the door. "They may be little now..."[​IMG]
     
  5. tinydancer87

    tinydancer87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    While I was in the coop the other day, I saw my two polish (who were scratching next to the wall) cackle and stare at the ground. I thought there was a snake, until I got closer and realized that what they saw were two cat arms reaching under the wall. Olivia (the cat) was outside trying to get in, so I opened the door and she came in with me. Within a few minutes she was in the corner surrounded by 22 chickens and 3 turkeys, and they were closing in.

    I got her and put her back out. She still runs her arms under the wall whenever I am in and she is out, even in the middle of the night, lol.

    The chickens peck her in the arms when they can. [​IMG]
     
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not completely sure it applies to Chickens/Roosters but it is common sense that anything with a brain including chickens relate a bad experience with not liking something that happens when they do what you do not want them to do. A punishment for the behavior. Now my point. I filled up 10 zip lock baggies and keep them at certain places around the house outside. If my dog goes off the property onto the side walk I lob a Ziploc water bomb just past him and bark, NO! Well it works very good. Max also went after a chicken and I hit him with a Ziploc water bomb and he has not gone after a chick since. Now my girls started to go in my wife garden and got into the flower beds and wrecked havoc and understandably my wife had a melt down about all the work this summer and it was getting just perfect and now this happened. Holly smokes the girls were on the radar with my wife. I came home and not 1 chick was in the back in the garden or the flowers and I asked where are the chickens and she said they are having a time-out in the run because they would not listen to her and she start throwing Max's Ziploc water bombs at the girls and they haven’t been back for a day or so and they did again I just threw one over there and they went running away and scattered so far for the day so good. We will see. Between my wife and me they don’t stand a chance but the Ziploc water bomb works and then you just go pick up the ziploc bag and refill it and set it back up to throw at the next problem. It sure gets over there faster than me. I am getting pretty good with the ziploc water bombs...

    Steve
    LOL [​IMG]

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  7. abejita

    abejita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My boss hen will peck my 100lb dog on the nose if given the chance. Sometimes he goes and lays by their fence, and they all come up to the fence. I think they would be all over him if they had a chance!
     
  8. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hi m.kitchengirl-
    We have a cat named Smokey looks like yours and he's big! the first chickens we got were full grown and Smokey (who is really slow, mellow we now call Pokey) was curious and stood behind me to peek at them, when he finally stuck his head out to look at a chicken she pecked him right in the forehead! if he lays in the yard and doesn't look at them they'll leave him alone but don't dare look a chicken in the eyes if you're a cat [​IMG]
     

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