Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Selena, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Selena

    Selena Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Port Orchard, WA
    Do domestic cats pose a big threat to adult standard chickens?

    We have a very small neighbor cat (Max) who spends all day bumming around our chicken pen watching the chickens. It makes DH uncomfortable (though, he's never liked this cat anyway) but this cat is not large, is not bright (DH pitched a rock at it once when it was younger... just to scare it.. but accidentally got it on the head. He was aiming for just in front of her.) For some reason, she LOVES us. When I'm in the yard she spends the day with me.

    I noticed her around the pen, and it appears that she's more interested in just watching the chickens than stalking them. She lounges in the sun, and sometimes when it gets too warm, she'll lay down right next to the fence where the shade tarp is and where I have my guinea run right now (until they get bigger). Strangely enough, the keets will sometimes lay down next to her and she doesn't show any notice.

    So, I'm fine with her.

    I'm curious about the other 4 cats my neighbor has. Though I've not seen them too much around my pen (other than to beat up Max, who then spends her time in a laurel hedge cuz the others can't climb it [​IMG] ) I am aware that they are normal sized and wonder if they'd try to go after a regular sized hen.
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Yes, an adult cat can kill an adult chicken. However, it doesn't happen very often and it's almost always feral cats that do the killing.

    I have multiple, large, barn cats who completely ignore my chickens. They will walk right by them when the chickens are free ranging or lay down in the run with them.

    Now, little chicks are most certainly at risk and will very likely be taken by cats. I have to protect my chicks when they are little from my cats.
  3. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Our barn cats are leary of the adult standard size chickens although Im sure they could kill one if they wanted. They dont seem to want to take the risk of getting hurt by the chicken, I guess they arent hungry enough thanks to my sister and the cat kibble she puts out. However, they will take chicks or juveniles if they had the chance. I see one of them hanging around two of our coops, but those two coops also have mice living underneath the coops. Of course the cats arent hungry enough to kill the mice, either. Gaaah.
  4. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    Selena ~
    I would befriend the cat; it appears the cat thinks you already have! It will keep rodents out of the chicken run/coop and feed. Our cat loves to look at my hens. They are 3 months old, so quite large. This cat is probably about the same age and smaller than the hens. He enjoys watching them, and even 'stalking' them in play. However, the wyandotte gave him a good peck the other day as he tried to walk past her. [​IMG]
    If the cat hasn't shown any predatory moves, I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure he's mainly enjoying the company ~ your's and the chickens.

  5. stacym

    stacym Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    Kennard, Nebraska
    Sounds like Max just wants some company. The poor cat is the low cat on the pecking order and keeps getting the tar beat out of him/her. Max probably won't be too much of a problem. It depends on how well fed the cats are. My outside cats are actually scared of my chickens. Of course they are rather large, very fat cats.
    I lived on a farm/ranch were we had 20 cats in various barns on the property. In the whole 40 years we raised chickens only one cat ever attacked the chickens. He went after the broilers that were in a pen. (netting had a hole) He did it every chance he got. (he had to be rehomed) We had free range Leghorns,RIR's and Banties and none of the other cats ever went after them.
    Right now I am letting my ladies out of their pen to eat in an enclosed area. It doesn't have netting on the top so we have to be vigilant. It's even more important now because critters are gearing up for winter and they won't turn down an easy kill.
  6. Selena

    Selena Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Port Orchard, WA
    Yeah, I didn't think Max would be much of an issue, just because she hasn't shown any major interest.

    I mainly wanted first-hand knowledge to pass along to my DH to calm him. He keeps trying to find excuses to force the neighbor to keep the cats off our property. I for one think he's being an idiot. I mean, really, it's not like our cats are allowed outside (every time they get out we get a flea outbreak inside the house. I don't know where they're going, as my DH and I go outside all the time, but the outbreaks revolve around the cat escapes. Hmmm.) Anywho, we have a LOT of stuff in the yard... trucks and cars, and excess from jobs he's worked on. (What's it with carpenters and wood collections?!) We had a mouse/rat issue last year, though it's better this year. So, I'd rather keep the cats in our yard, but I do also worry about the other cats (not Max).

    Once DH even tried using their poop as a reason to keep them away. We have an acre, 2 dogs, a flock of chickens... and he's worried about a few cat piles? [​IMG] Lame, really lame.

    I wanted to do my research about the likelihood of cat attacks before I argue him. [​IMG]
    It's funny, you get married and kinda become a lawyer too. LOL

    Thank you for your info. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: