Cats and Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Barry Natchitoches, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Tennessee
    I have 7 hens and also one semi-cripple duck (the duck was given to me by a farmer friend of mine who could not keep the duck.)


    I also have a four and a half month old Maine Coon kitten who was dumped in the neighborhood and decided to "adopt" my family.


    I have a fenced in chicken yard (13 by 7 feet) and a 6 foot by 3 foot by 2 foot high henhouse inside the yard. But once a day, about an hour before sunset, I let the hens out for a free range romp in the garden.


    The hens are still larger than the Maine Coon kitten, though she grows larger every day. Maine Coons are supposed to be very friendly, gentle cats -- though they do grow to be bigger than most cats.


    I've started to see her, from time to time, stalk the birds a bit when they go out to free range. It hasn't gotten out of hand or anything -- most of the time she just looks at them, or else does her own thing around the yard. It's only happened twice, and the two times that she went after a hen I swept her up immediately and locked her in the pet carrier for the rest of the time the chickens were out in the garden.


    But it is making me wonder: will she give these chickens more of a problem when she gets older (and bigger)?


    Is there something I can do to try and keep her and the chicks on friendly terms?


    The thing is -- she is bigger than the duck already, and more mobile too. But she gets along just fine with the duck. She has never done anything to hurt the duck. In fact, I once went out to the duck's little pen and found her sleeping right next to the duck, her back up against the duck's side feathers.


    If there is something I can do to help make sure she grows up respecting the chickens, I'd sure like to do that. I'd hate to have to get rid of the little kitten since she really is a lovely little cat...
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Most house cats will learn to leave the hens alone after getting pecked on the nose once or twice.
     

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