Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by DixieByrdRN, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. DixieByrdRN

    DixieByrdRN In the Brooder

    How big do the chickens have to be before a cat won't mess with them, OR will that ever happen? I have a great cat, but she is a hunter. I get up to 5 good morning treats in my garage daily (gag). I know given the chance, she'd take out a chicken in a heart beat. She is pretty small, so when they get real big will she mess with them? I am fixing to put them in their intermediate brooder outside (they are 8 weeks old) and I am getting so worried now that there is a real possibility of losing one since they will be out in the real world sniff sniff sniff. They have been in my garage and their baby brooder is tight as a drum, but she watches them like a hawk.
  2. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    I would never put my guard down with a cat regardless how nice the cat is. My cat runs from mice, but I still make sure he can't get to my babies. A cat is a cat under any circumstances. So why put him/her in a position to do what comes naturally, and risk a bad outcome for the cat or the chicks?
  3. DixieByrdRN

    DixieByrdRN In the Brooder

    Well, I am inclosing a run for them around the new outside brooder and I am going to try to bury the wire at least a few inches to make it more safe, but I was just wondering when they get full sized will the cat mess with them? Will I ever be able to let them really free range or will a cat try to get a full grown chicken? I knew that she would get a baby chick, but its the big size I wasn't sure of?
  4. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    I agree. Our cats watch ours constantly from the screened porch. I told my wife yesterday, "One of these days the cats are going to escape and catch a chicken!" You cannot assume they will ignore their natural instinct. Chickens never get too big. Bobcats, their wild cousin, only weigh a few pounds also but will catch a small deer when given the chance. A chicken is an easy size for them.
  5. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    I think a cat would attempt at any size. I mean there could always be the off chance that you could have a great cat like 4H mom that saved the chickens from a hawk. I wish I had the magical answer to that question though.
  6. missusduray

    missusduray Songster

    May 20, 2007
    Northern Minnesota
    When I got my first chickens, they were full grown. I got 3 hens and a Roo. My cat, who is 3 and a mighty hunter, decided to check out the coop. The roo flew and landed on the cat and the cat got scared out of his mind and ran out of the coop as fast as he could. The cat has total respect for the chickens now. They hang out in the yard together all day. My chickens are full free range. Not that I trust my cat but I think that he has learned that he doesnt want to mess with those birds, no matter how good they smell. LOL All I could say was Go BIG RED! That is my Roo.
    Ps. My cat is not allowed near the baby chicks at all!
  7. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I have a outdoor cat who is 7 and I've had chickens for 5 years and I have always let them loose around buddy. He has never once went after them. He sit in the middle of them and they come up to him and they just look at him like he is a chicken too.
    He brings me offering of mice,rats,squirrels,birds but has never once been interested in my chickens. I even have bantams that he is around too. I guess it just depends on the temperment of the cat.
    Here is buddy with my flock.
  8. Whirlwind

    Whirlwind Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Tuttle, Oklahoma
    I think it depends on the cat. My Bubba who is 19 lbs. is entirely to lazy to catch my large hens and leaves even the bantam hens alone. On the other hand my Izzy 5 lbs thinks they are fun to chase. She leaves them alone mostly now. Now babies are another story. Both think my 5 week old bantam chicks look really yummy.
  9. ChickieDee

    ChickieDee Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    North Central PA
    I can't remember how old my chicks were when I let them out. I have four cats. I just used my best judgement as to their size. If I had to guess they were maybe three or four months old. My cats all seem to respect the birds and my best hunter will go in their coop for a visit but has never tried to hurt them. Good Luck.
  10. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    Before we got chickens, my family and I visited a farmer we know. We were all hanging out in the barn, his free range chickens (banties and standard) were wondering here and there, in and out. He has a number of cats also, and a huge Mastiff dog. Anyway, I had just asked him if the cats ever bother the birds, and he said no.

    Well, in a flapping running flock, the chickens hurtled into the barn, half-grown gray cat in their wake. The cat decided her job was done, and climbed into the loft to peer down at us. I really think she was saying, "See! I can catch them if I want.. maybe another day!" It was SO funny. No, she didn't harm the birds, and none of the farmers cats ever had (or the giant dog), but clearly she thought they were fun to chase. Btw, the standard rooster was bigger than she was, and he too took off running. They have a number of cats there, and also a free range rabbit!

    I think you CAN have chickens and cats together. Lots of people do (think of farms with barn cats and free range chickens). I'm sure any cat would go after a baby chick, however. My four cats are avid hunters also, and bring in 'presents', or leave them around the yard to decay (yuck and yuck!), but so far they have completely ignored the chicks both when they were inside, and in the brooder in the garage. Better safe than sorry, though! We don't let the cats around the chicks when both are loose.

    Cats are funny creatures, though. I think somehow they make some sort of distinction. Our guinea pig is good sized, but no bigger than some of the prey they have brought home. However, she can be loose in the house, and no one bothers her at all (cats or dogs).

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007

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