cats and chickens??? help me please!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wjallen05, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had four cats that we LOOVED and were beloved pets but they all ate my chicks (I'm talking reached in and grabbed them, knocked over brooders, etc) and even young chickens. Only one of them actually ate mice. They pretty much laid around on the porch all day long, jumped all over our cars, and ate my chickens. I finally had to make the decision to give them away. I hated it. Anyway, we have mice SOOO BAD now it is getting way out of control. I see about 5-10 mice EVERY DAY... in our house, around our house, in the barn, in the chicken coop. My hens actually got ahold of a mouse the other day and one had it in her beak, the rest were chasing her around and grabbing it and they ripped it apart. Eww. I am torn... I want to get a cat, but then I don't. I don't want it to be a pet, I want it to eat mice, and not eat my chickens. If anyone has ANY advice they could give me I would really appreciate it very much.
    (also- we got the cats way before we got the chickens, so they were not raised with them, I am thinking that would make a big difference same as a dog)

    *is this the right forum?? I couldn't decide where to put it. LMK if I should move it... thanks...
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  2. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a cat that I just adore, I have had him for two years, and I was very nervous about getting chickens as he is an avid hunter of rodents and birds. However getting rid of him was Not an option, so I have just made sure that my chicks are out of his reach- my brooder has a lid that closes and locks so Dexter can see the chicks, but not get to them. Once they are full grown I will not be worried as Dex is scared of large birds- ravens, ducks, etc. I would say you can get a cat for rodent control, and just make your brooder/pen cat proof! Good luck!
     
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that would make a big difference too - specifically if a kitten were raised around full grown chickens. That way, the cat always has it in his head that these guys are bigger than me. My cat wasn't raised with the chickens, but they were about his size before he had any access to them, and it wasn't long before he was afraid of them. He would watch them, and he probably tried to tackle one once or twice, but after some scolding - and a good beating from a chicken - he didn't bother them anymore.

    I also imagine that if he were raised a chicken with all those mice and learned to think of THEM as food, he would grow into a fantastic mouser, and you wouldn't see mice ANYmore.

    I say go for it. And maybe if you can, get the kitten from parents who are mousers. Maybe it's in the genes. [​IMG]
     
  4. Siler

    Siler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try a young kitten or several and raise it/them with the chickens. There's always a surplus of free kittens. My next door neighbor has a sign up right now. Also my mother and sister swear by the ultrasonic things that you plug into an outlet. The sound is supposed to keep the mice away and they say it works. I have yet to try them due to having Degus as pets.
     
  5. lamoka

    lamoka Out Of The Brooder

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    We always had cats and chickens when I was younger and never had any problems with the cats bothering the chickens. It actually was the chickens that bothered the cats everytime it was dinner time for the cats the chickens would come a running and drive the cats away from there food. I watched one of the cats decide they would try and sneak up and grab a chick from the mother hen, it was quite the site the poor cat never stood a chance the roo saw it about the same time mama saw it and they both hit it at the same time i have never seen a cat takeoff so quick in my life I dont think that cat ever thought about grabbing a chick again. Most cats will leave adult chickens alone but as others have said I think the key is getting a kitten and raising it around chickens just be careful for the kittens sake as a adult chicken can put a hurtin on an adult cat if they decide to. I can honestly say in 20 years of having chickens and many outside cats we never lost a chick or chicken to a cat. "we did have many hilarious moments watching the chickens bully the cats though" maybe we just had wimpy cats. best of luck a couple good barn cats will do wonders on keeping the rodents down.
     
  6. chickenshagg

    chickenshagg THE ALPHA ROO

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    We have three cats and twelve chickens and have never had any problems. The only time we came close was when I was holding a young chick up for one of the cats to see and sniff because he would always lay on a chair and watch them in their brooder pen. He rubbed his head on it a couple of times as though he was snuggling and then all of a sudden he opened his mouth and sucked in the chicks head. My wife and I both screamed and the cat spit it out right away knowing that he had just made a big mistake. The chick was unharmed and since then no problems. Sometimes the cats will lay out in the yard and try to sneak up on the chickens. This is pretty comical because it seems as though both the chickens and the cats are playing with each other. I have seen chickens chase the cats but I have also seen the cats manage to sneek up on the chickens and then spring at them only for the chickens to scream and take off running unharmed, the cats never chase after them. Most days the cats and chickens just hang out together.
     
  7. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    What AGE are your chickens when you finally let them free range within distance of the cats? I've been asking this question but nobody seems to post the age of their chickens.

    What age will a hen tell a cat to BACK OFF? I have two 10 week old pullets, and my poor cat is locked inside because he is an avid hunter and shows interest in my girls, but he is supposed to be an outside cat and is not having a good time being indoors heh.

    I was thinking of letting my pullets in the yard, then letting the cat out, and having a spray nozzle hose in my hand just in case he tries any funny buisness. Both my girls are dominant, and they have pecked him through their run fencing, but I just am curious what age my pullets should be before I can let the cat back outdoors? What age are they less vunurable to a cat attack (with the help of a hose)?
     
  8. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think you're not getting an answer because that is such a subjective judgment call. It depends on the trainability of your cat, your flock's level of protectiveness over each other, etc. Do the adults let the juveniles hang with them? Or are they separate flocks? That makes a difference too.

    I guess, if i'm imagining correctly, i might TRY it with strict observation at about 12 weeks. I think a chicken that old is a little bit unreasonable prey for most cats. But then again, like i said, i really depends on the cat. Cats that i have had have always gone for smaller prey like birds (not full grown chickens), chicks, lizards, mice, etc. So once he learns that chickens are also not playmates, in addition to not being prey, you might be alright.

    We let my chickens out with the cat probably around 12 weeks, i THINK. But my cat wasn't much of a hunter.
     
  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    I'd take a different approach.

    First, I'd want to discover WHY I had so many rodents. I have gone to galvanized trash cans for feed storage, and every possible crevice into the house is either caulked or stuffed with steel wool. No more mice, rats or roaches. Oops! Actually there are a few roaches on the porch at night. DH takes care of them if he sees them.

    Second, my cats are never allowed near chicks or the incubator. Too risky. And when they go outside, I do the same thing. Fences between them.

    Third, cats will always get on a vehicle. No way around it.

    This is like the dog threads - there's no way to predict how the animals will interact. After many years of raising chickens, dogs and cats together, it just seems easier to me to not mix them much.

    But do start figuring out how to eliminate the sources of mouse food - once you remove that they tend to move on.
     
  10. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    Quote:I think you're not getting an answer because that is such a subjective judgment call. It depends on the trainability of your cat, your flock's level of protectiveness over each other, etc. Do the adults let the juveniles hang with them? Or are they separate flocks? That makes a difference too.

    I guess, if i'm imagining correctly, i might TRY it with strict observation at about 12 weeks. I think a chicken that old is a little bit unreasonable prey for most cats. But then again, like i said, i really depends on the cat. Cats that i have had have always gone for smaller prey like birds (not full grown chickens), chicks, lizards, mice, etc. So once he learns that chickens are also not playmates, in addition to not being prey, you might be alright.

    We let my chickens out with the cat probably around 12 weeks, i THINK. But my cat wasn't much of a hunter.

    Thanks for responding, this will be done totally and closely surpervised. This week I think I will start letting the cat out more while the pullets are in the run. I will do that for a week or so, using the hose because he hates water and I know that will get him off anything, for whenever he is acting like a hunter toward them. I have an older cat who I introduced to my first chicks years ago, but can't remember how I did it! That is bad heh.

    I only have two chickens at the moment, these girls. My cat is pretty easily worked with, so I will start being vigilant about teaching him not to touch the chickens. My cat is also very small, the girls at 10 weeks are just about as big as he is. I just am trying to judge when a 'try' stalk won't be as dangerous as when they are week olds or so. When I can have a good chance to get the cat to back off through whatever means (hose heh). Thank you for responding though, I guess I will have to experiment and learn by trial and error. (but not fatal error! Will definately be careful and protect the girls)
     

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