Cats eating chicken food & going through feed real fast.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chicks Galore3, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    My sneaky little kitties go into the coop through the pop door when the chickens are free ranging and eat the food. Tonight I saw a cat (Not mine) climbing the door to the coop and climbing through a gap between the door and the frame. !!! Fixing THAT soon. I don't know how to deter them from eating it during the day when the coop is open. How much food should 18 chickens, 12 going through a molt, eat? (plus 2 cats sneaking a snack...) I went through 15-20 pounds in one day!!!! Is it just me, or is that absolutely crazy!?!?
     
  2. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To get rid of the cats that AREN'T yours, try finding someone around you with a live trap. Local animal control officers will usually put one out for a nuisance animal. I own two of these, and I'm not just catching cats - but also racoons, possum, and hopefully the fox will get SMART enough one day to go in, too. (People say foxes are sly and won't go into a live trap - but the reality is I saw a fox interacting with the trap for a while, and he simply never thought to go AROUND to the doorway!)

    The same might work for your own cats. I live with my sister for the time being and she has three. I have two of my own that I brought with me. EVERY cat we've owned has gotten trapped in them ONLY ONCE. After that one time, they never went near it again.

    But for your cats, you can try hot pepper. Birds in general don't taste the hot pepper like we do, but supposedly cats and dogs can.



    Then again, my cats always lose THEIR food to the chickens.... lol!
     
  3. JessesGirl

    JessesGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    That should last you two weeks if they are free ranging too. But you know that. Have you got a rooster? If not can you get one where you live? He might chase off other animals. Otherwise, don't lave food out all the time, just give them food at specific times. As for how often and how much, you'll have to research that. :)
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    The commercial feeds say about 4oz per chicken, so you are going though a lot more feed than usual even if you have big chickens and they are eating a lot because they are molting. What kind are you feeding that a cat would consider eating the chicken food? The cats might eat the chickens but there usually isn't anything in standard chicken food that would attract them. Are you sure you don't have anything else eating the food? Rodents are really moving this time of year looking for winter homes, wild birds are migrating etc.
     
  5. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yep my cats eat chicken food also....and if i have a feeder outside for my chickens.....the dogs eat it too. It is the corn that is in it that attracts the bigger animals. right now my biggest problem is the sparrows coming into the pens and eating and pooping in the food. they make the crumbles turn to powder and then my chickens don't like it. ugh.....how to get rid of sparrows.
     
  6. jtakacs

    jtakacs Out Of The Brooder

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    All of these problems can be cured with a .22

    (Joking!)
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Your birds should be eating around 5lbs of feed a day.
     
  8. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    We had a rodent problem last year, so I suppose that could be part of the problem, but I KNOW the cats are doing it, I caught them in the act. I've started taking the feeder out at night, and that has helped significantly, since mice usually come out at night, and because it makes the chickens clean up the spilled feed. I'll set out a couple mouse traps and see if I catch anything.
     
  9. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's an idea. Look on Amazon for "live mouse traps". They sell a cheap plastic one for about $4 that actually works. It's just a simple rectangular container with a door that only swings inward.

    Then, during the daytime, let the mouse go again directly in front of your chickens!

    TWO problems solved at once! Your chickens get their "feed" and you get rid of the mouse!



    ...Unless you have bantams. I've seen one TRY to eat a whole mouse, but she knew it wouldn't fit and gave up on it. My leghorn cleaned it up instead.
     
  10. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    Yes, I have a live trap and my cats and chickens enjoy eating the things it catches. ;) If I can find a material mice won't chew through I want to try making my own - its in my nature. :p
     

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