cats and chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by katiekuj, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. katiekuj

    katiekuj Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2011
    We are now the proud parents of 3 new baby chicks, one black sex link and 2 Delawares.
    They are only a week old, so still in brooder but I have been taking them out to the grass w/me when the kids go outside since its been so warm.
    My cat however, is looking at them like lunch. For now, I've just been moving her inside when they are outside, but I am wondering if there is ever a time when you can trust a cat around the chickens - or how to let your cat know the chicks are off limit. I of course would never trust her alone with them, but I would hope once the chicks are full grown I can at least feel like I can turn my back once in awhile when I'm letting them roam the yard.

    any cat and chick owners with some tips?
     
  2. sophiejw

    sophiejw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Maine Coone cat (he's massive). He once had a go at my Orpington, Rosie- she just stood her ground and looked at him and he backed down. He's fine with the full size chickens but there is no way I would trust him with little ones under maybe 12 weeks. He's a big hunter but luckily his run in with Rosie seems to have put him off the chooks. Next doors cats have been fine with the chickens too touch wood.
     
  3. AKsmama

    AKsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    I never let my cats near my chickens until the chickens were adult size. Their size alone seems to do the trick for my cats, but honestly, it all depends on your cat's prey drive. If your cat has a high prey drive, the chickens may never be safe. My cat with the highest prey drive does stare at my chickens from a distance, but for some reason never really tries to get them. Mine are all standard size, though, and I would never, ever trust my cats around bantams, so bantams are out for me. And just because none of my cats have gotten any chickens yet doesn't mean they won't ever, know what I mean? When I decided to free range, I accepted the risks that come along with it, whether that means hawks, foxes, or my own cats and dog. Just keep doing what you're doing now- don't trust her around them while they are so small, and any time you do see her stalking them, let her know you won't tolerate it- squirt her, yell at her, shake a can of pennies, etc. I guess the long and the short of it is, there are no guarantees she'll leave them alone.
     
  4. berkeleysprings

    berkeleysprings Chillin' With My Peeps

    our chickens chase cats , we have 2 cats they stay clear my chickens also my chickens chase tree rats to
     
  5. Magenta_Chick

    Magenta_Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2011
    Georgia
    I have 8 BO chicks and 3 cats.

    I dont leave them alone with the chicks. One afternoon we were all out on the porch, and I dozed off. I woke up and freaked out because my yellow tabby, 'Pip' had gotten into the brooder. Fully prepared to beat the slop out of him for eating my birds, I ran over to the brooder to find him curled up asleep under their heat light and all 8 of the cuddled up with him. He lives the chicks..... but I still dont leave him alone with them, and I wouldnt trust the other two with the chicks as far as I can throw them!

    Each case is different.
     
  6. MaryFrances

    MaryFrances Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2009
    Clarkesville, GA
    I was holding my tiny black bantam chick, around one week old, when the mighty hunter Sunshine approached. I was not sure I trusted this large orange tom getting close to the tiny chick but I was holding him securely. He gave that orange nose a really good peck and Sunshine jumped. Completely surprised that such a tiny bird would attack.

    Since then, if I put this chick on the ground near him, he runs away looking very worried.

    I would not trust him at all though. I believe instinct would kick in pretty quickly if left alone for very long.
     
  7. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    Vancouver Island
    There's a program here that rehomes feral cats to acreages as mousers. I asked them about cats and chickens and she told me they've never had a problem with cats and full-grown chickens. Bantams and chicks could be another story though.

    My two cats I have are scornfully referred to as "city cats" here. [​IMG] They wouldn't know what to do with a mouse if it walked up to them and stuck itself in their mouths. One of my cats was sitting watching us play with the chicks and came up to investigate. One of the chicks tapped him in the nose and he decided he wasn't that interested after all and left. The other cat did like to nap on top of the brooder (I think because of the heat light) and watch them, but I thought that might freak them out so he's banned from the room now. Before he was banned though, he had been out several times with a chick out too and would watch them, but otherwise basically ignored them completely. He's a bit older and lazy. That being said, I certainly wouldn't leave either of my cats alone with baby chicks, because you never know and they could easily hurt one by accident.
     
  8. packmomma

    packmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Argos, IN
    My cat would definitly take a second look at a flighty baby chick. She doesnt care about the older ones. She will walk through the run, sleep in the nesting boxes, sun bathe with them. I call her my chicken coop cat. She isnt even mine, she just sorta adopted us a couple of years ago. I had other cats at the time and they were all hunters. They have since been killed or have wondered away. She still stays. We even started letting her in the house. Now she comes and goes as she pleases because she figured out how to use the dog door. lol. She is sweet but I still keep my babies locked up till they are adults or close to it.
     
  9. FlowerFarmer

    FlowerFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2011
    We have four chicks, a dog, a toddler, and a cat.

    While every cat is different (cant stress enough), our outdoor, bird hunting, yet friendly and docile cat stopped being interested in our chicks, while they ranged the backyard, once they reached 5 weeks old.
    I honestly have a hard time trusting a cat (yet I let the chicks walk all over my dog, literally), and when they were a few weeks old he would stalk them and look very interested (that's when I also put him indoors for a bit). When they were together for a close up introduction, he would soft swat them and I would raise my voice.. he seemed to get the hint that ment no. When he aproached them outside looking suspicious, the dog would chase him off. Good dog.
    Im not sure if they just got big enough at five weeks old, or if the cat simply lost interest. Now we can all hang out back together in bliss. He hardly looks at the birds, although the dog continues to watch him [​IMG] The birds don't seem to be scared of the cat at all. And they actually gravitate towards the dog.
    The birds will grow big enough to where the cat will stop seeing them as potential meals... it's up to you to know when. Better to side with caution and wait until they grow. Until then separation works... with maybe a few careful, supervised introdutions to get them aquainted.
    Hope all goes well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  10. WalkerH

    WalkerH Chillin' With My Peeps

    One cat is fine, I think she is too massive to consume anything else. And the other one just ignores them, which is odd because she is very big on hunting.
     

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