Cats and Chickens?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by FractalFarmer, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. FractalFarmer

    FractalFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2008
    SF Bay area CA
    Wondering if anyone can help us. We have feral cats that we are re-homing for rodent control. there is a mother and her three kittens and they have been living in the dog run for 2 months. We think its time to let them loose and have a few concerns about the chickens, since they will be sharing the yard. Mainly we're worried about the chickens eating the cats food, since they will be outside cats. We're also worried about the cats running away. I'm not too worried about the cats attacking the chickens though. Chickens are scaaary.
     
  2. texasgirl

    texasgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can feed the cats after dark when the chicks are asleep, they don't really need food out all day.
    Or feed on top of a table or shelf or something.
     
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Fractal Farmer,
    Texas girl is right. I have 1 Feral and 3 strays basically living in my backyard with the chickens. The hens rule!
    The first thing they do when I open the run is race for the cat food. Never been a problem as far as their health is concerned. I too feed the cats first thing in the morning before the run is opened, and after dark in the evening mostly for the cats safety. Last year I had another feral tom living in the coop. It was his during the day and the hens at night. I spent about 4 months wondering why there was always a big flat nest in the coop. Then I opened it and found him fast asleep. I've read here on BYC that others feed their chickens cat food.
    Good Luck with the cats
     
  4. FractalFarmer

    FractalFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SF Bay area CA
    Quote:Good idea, I'm sure that will work just fine. Thanks!

    Quote:LOL at the Tomcat sleeping in the coop. Funny! Our chickens definitely love the cat chow. They got a taste of it when some spilled, and it was a mob scene. I throw a few kibbles around when I go into the cat cage (or "Kitmo", as we call it) just to get the chickens away from the door so I can slip in. They know that's where the motherlode of catfood is, and they all gather 'round at feeding time, watching the cats eat. The cats love watching them too of course.

    Hopefully everything will go well once that gate is opened. I'm a bit worried that the cats will run off and never be seen again. That's why we've kept them caged up for so long--the feral cat lady said to let them out after a month, but it's been two. The kittens are a bit tamer than true ferals, but only one of the 3 will let me pet her (but NOT pick her up. I still have the scars from the time I tried THAT).

    Let me know if anybody has any words of wisdom on how best to release them. I think this weekend will be the time since the weather will be good. Wish me luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Fractal Farmer,
    I've had several ferals and strays over the last 10 years and never had a problem with them running away. I don't think they will leave an easy meal. Most of mine have tamed up a little, and I have one who moved inside. Unfortunately with the feline AIDS and Leukemia epidemics, and the other hazards of living outside they often just disappear. or show up hurt. The coop cat showed up with a broken leg last spring. It would have cost over $1000 to have it pinned, and he would have needed to be kept quiet and inside for months. At the same time my bottle raised inside feral kitten needed $2000 worth of gastric surgery. I bit the bullet and saved the pet, but couldn't also do the $1000 for an unfriendly stray. If I ever were to win the lotto, I think I'll start a foundation for feral cats. I'd call it Universal Health Care for Ferals,[​IMG]
     
  6. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    As long as they have a safe place to sleep and food they should stay around. If any of the kittens are male they might wander off unless you get them fixed.
    Good for you for taking in ferals! [​IMG]
     
  7. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree- your cats shouldn't walk away from a free meal. They may not let you handle them, but a steady food supply should keep them. I remember- did you get them fixed yet? That will slow down the roaming instinct. It's wonderful of you to help the ferals you have; keep feeding and they may just reward you double (in dead rats and outdoor companionship).

    I have one feral female who's been around for 5 years now, even taking it on herself to come in when the door is open and occasionally submitting to a bath and Advantage (but she can turn around and really tear into you if she has a mood shift, so I'm VERY careful with her and keep her out mostly). She kills rats and mice and leaves me the "presents" in the back yard, which I must remove before the hens go out and try to eat them. The other female I trapped and had spayed/shots is still out near the woods but comes everyday about the same time for a free meal, and it looks like the 2 feral kittens I brought in the beginning of September are here for the long haul. I'm a sucker for the underdogs and cats- just wish I had more resources. If I ever move, I'll have to take my strays with me.
     
  8. FractalFarmer

    FractalFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2008
    SF Bay area CA
    I got the cats from a loosely organized feral cat group in our area. We volunteered because we had such a big yard (for the area, anyway: 3/4 acre). They were already spayed and vaccinated when they were dropped off, so we're in good shape there.
     
  9. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    So many people with feral cats.
    So many people trying to pet or pick up.

    Note to self:

    Beat the current stock market
    Buy more stock in Neosporin
     
  10. Penske

    Penske Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Massachusetts
    Good for you to take on and care for ferals!!

    I started an organization here in 1999 and we have spay/neutered over 1400 ferals and adopted out hundreds of kittens through the shelter. T/N/R WORKS!

    We have 24 ferals that we care for (they have little houses, heated water bowls and food) Many are 15 years old! We have no mice and no rats!

    Our chickens have a fenced run. They all peacefully co-exist.

    As far as releasing the cats, sometimes it works and sometimes, it doesn't. We had a cat years ago we were trying to re-locate, and I kept it in a big cage in our garage for one month, then loose in the garage for a month with doors cracked at the bottom to "smell" new surroundings, I dumped his "poo" in the woods so his scent was here, put his blanket in a house, ...even with all of that, the cat was seen again, but not here. He ran 7 miles back to his original territory!

    So, don't be too hard on yourself if it doesn't work. I'll send good wishes your way and hope that it does though! You might try getting feral kittens that are unable to be tamed and release them after they have been spay/neutered. They'll stay as they will "grow up" in your surroundings.

    Hope this helps!

    Lisa
     

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