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Chickens and neighbourhood cats + general advice pls

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cassvanm, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. cassvanm

    cassvanm In the Brooder

    Jan 19, 2012
    NE Victoria, Australia
    Hi - I am a very new chicken owner - literally it's been about 15 hours! Anyway, I was not expecting chickens, as my 8yo an 6yo daughters each bought a bantam home, and it was not planned.
    So, I ducked down to the local Bunnings (I'm in Australia) and quickly bought a fowl house. Put it together, but looking at it, I think it is wayyyyy too small (about 12sq feet).
    There is a part of my yard where I can put the fowl house, but also fence it off for them to have some good free-range space. I plan to lock them in their fowl house at night for their own safety, however I'm worried about neighbourhood (and my own) cats during the day - does anyone have any recommendations or advice?
    My chickens (named Sally Speckles and Tulip) are only young - 5-6 weeks old - so are still quite small.
    I also have concerns about having the chickens in the fowl house all day due to it being the height of summer here at the moment, and we typically reach around 35-38c (93-100F) during the day, and the fowl house is metal - WAY TOO HOT!!!! My backyard also has two golden retrievers (excitable and a bit silly), so I don't feel I can let them range free in the back yard.
    ANY advice would be awesome.

  2. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Songster

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    12 Sq feet is plenty of room for 2 bantam size chickens, they only need 3-4 sq feet per bird.
    To deter cats and other animals from sniffing around and getting interested, sprinkle crushed red pepper all around. Chickens don't feel the burn but cats do. Peppers actually help chickens in blood circulation too.
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    I would build a run for them,but until that is done you just let them out when you are out.Make a fence with plastic fencing,bamboo,and zip ties.Can't let such little things out on their own without a run.

    Here is a cat run.It would be good for the bantams.


    I tended to some cottontails babies when my mower went over the nest. When they were a few weeks older I let them loose.Not 5 minutes later one was screaming as a cat ran off with him.My poor ds was right there to see/hear it. You want to do all you can for those bantams,so your kids don't have to deal with predator loss. Cats and dogs would have fun with these moving targets.

    I kept mine in a playpen first in the house,and then in the garage.Yours are so small the house would be ok if there was super hot days.

    I see them in your avatar.Very cute!

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