cats and dogs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by smallcitychick, May 19, 2010.

  1. smallcitychick

    smallcitychick Songster

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    Feb 23, 2010
    Central Washington
    I am a first time back yard chicken owner is happily growing her first flock. Currently I have a dozen chickens in a backyard coop with attached run. The only predator I was really worried about were hawks, so I have a roof over my run as well as the coop. They've been outside for about 3 weeks now and this week we've had our first run in with the neighbors' 'predators'.

    Problem #1: I have one neighbor right next to me who has a large standard size poodle. He's not the problem, it's that the neighbor has a little yappy dog owning friend that comes over often. The dog has run into my house when I've had our back door open, and I frequently find dog poo all over my yard from the yappy dog. I've talked to them about it, but since the friend doesn't come over often and the neighbor has fenced their entire yard nothing has happened. Monday I suddenly hear a bunch of chicken screaming and dog barking and I run out to find the yappy dog chasing them around and around the coop. I picked him up and put him back in the nieghbors yard. 15 minutes later he was at it again. This time I picked him up and he cried and struggled a great deal before I got him back in his yard and the minute his feet touched ground he ran back over to our yard. The good news is that I now know how he's getting in to our yard, the bad news is that it's between a shared fence with rasberry bushes planted on each side. I think I've figured out a way to fix it with a concrete paving stone or two and some chicken wire, now to get in there with out getting scraped up.......I did tell the neighbors again and they seemed concerned and made sure that none of my chickens were harmed, and then kept the dog inside for the rest of the visit. So I *think* this problem may be solved.

    Problem #2: a neighbor across the street has a large cat. It's been over in our yard all the time, ever since we moved here 5 years ago. In fact, I'm not even sure if the cat is tame or if they just set food out for it because I've never seen a collar, and it runs away as soon as it catches sight of anyone in our family. When we first moved here the neighbor asked me if it bothered me (she was the post office worker so I saw her frequently, but she's since retired and any time I knock on their door there is no answer) and it wasn't a problem. This is the 3rd time I've seen the cat out in front of my chicken coop just watching chickens. The chickens seem less frightened of the cat than of the dog and of our lawn mower. I guess I don't have to worry too much, because I'm pretty sure that the cat can't get in at all.

    So I guess my question is: Do I need to worry or do more to protect my ladies (and man)? I'm pretty vigilant about checking the coop several times a day incase some of the chicken wire comes loose or if there's any digging going on. I think there's some sort of granuals or repellant of some kind that supposed to repel neighborhood dogs and cats that I can get at our hardware store. But I don't want to spend $20 on something that won't work. I can't do an electric fence of any kind because we have a 6, 4, and 1 year old that play outside frequently. Suggestions?
     

  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I'd still put in the electric fence. It won't permanently harm any of the kids. They'll touch it once and then never again.
     
  3. smallcitychick

    smallcitychick Songster

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    No, an electric fence isn't an option. [​IMG] I grew up on a farm and know my way around an electric fence, but my 6 year old is special needs and there are several reasons why having him and an electric fence in the same place is a recipe for disaster.
     
  4. bakerjw

    bakerjw Songster

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    Kids learn quick. I once got shocked by my dads electric fence. Note the use of the word "once".
     

  5. FlyingFChick

    FlyingFChick Songster

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    May 1, 2010
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    I agree with NOT going the electric fence way too! I know my daughter LOVES to just sit outside of the run and talk to "her girls" and feed them treats. She is also 4. A 1 year old won't understand what an electric fence is and you know how fast they are... [​IMG]. I wouldn't take chances with my kids either. Sorry I don't have a great solution for you though. I guess as long as the wire is secure and it is dug into the ground so that they can't dig under, you should be fine. Especially since they aren't big animals you are dealing with! Good luck to you!
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  6. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

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    Western Washington
    Paintball gun.
     
  7. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Songster

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    I'm an advocate of electric fence chargers. If you're worried about your kids touching it and getting shocked then only turn it on after dark when the kids are in for the night and the predators are out looking for a free meal.
     

  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Fix the fence. And check it often for weakness. Vigilance is the key to predators, even if you got rid of yappy dog there's likely something else that will come through the hole. Maybe your neighbor would help too, in the interest of being a good neighbor.

    As far as the cat. It is rare that anyone posts that a cat harmed a full grown large fowl chicken. I don't think I've seen a post where anyone has seen a cat attack a chicken. Now a sick, desperate, or starving cat. Or little chicks now that's a bit different. I have several pet, stray and ferals living around me and I have to protect the cats from the chickens.

    Good luck

    Imp

    ETA- Hi Central Wa. from Western Wa.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  9. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Songster

    If the cat is well cared for, it is unlikely to harm grown chickens. Someday sooner or later a serious predator will come to your yard, they always do. You can build a sturdy pen that will protect against most predators. You don't have to have electric, just use hardware cloth and use sturdy and durable building materials. Make sure to bury or apron the wire around your pen. I have done this, and the racoons and the bobcat that visit my yard weekly can't get to them.
     

  10. smallcitychick

    smallcitychick Songster

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    Feb 23, 2010
    Central Washington
    Thanks for the help everyone! I really am not kidding when I say that an electric fence won't work. My son (now 6 yo) got 2nd degree burns on his leg when he 2 because he sat to close to the base board heater. He has a disorder in the autism spectrum and his sense of touch is not as sensitive as most and can lead to some serious injuries. Not to mention my 1 yo DD not realizing what an electric fence it.....

    Anywho...I specifically built a sturdy chicken house and run to protect against racoons and hawks (I know we have hawks, and there are racoons about 30 miles away in the state park, but not sure if they venture into this tiny town). So I guess if it can keep a racoon out it can keep a small yappy dog out. [​IMG]

    I love the idea of a paintball gun, although, I'm pretty sure my neighbors won't like it much [​IMG] The cat that comes and visits is a fat cat with a glossy coat so I'm sure that it's well fed. Haven't had any problems with the dog since my original post.
     

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