Concerns about Stray/outdoor cats

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Megan81159, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. Megan81159

    Megan81159 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2015
    My family is going to get 5 silkies and a golden laced polish in a couple months, and one of our concerns for their safety are the cats I see now and then. I'm not sure whether the cats belong to someone who lets them roam whenever they want or whether they're strays, but I'm just scared they'll attack our chicks. For around the first 2 months, they'll be closely monitored when outside. When they're fully feathered at 3-4 months, they'll be staying outside full time. I babysitted my friend's chicks before for two and a half months, and at around the beginning of the second, we noticed a cat watching them from atop our fence a few times, and my mom saw them chasing our chicks two or three times. We never lost one to the cat, and I've heard that once chickens are full grown, they won't be bothered. But with Silkies being on the smaller/lighter size even when full grown and the Polish having obscured vision, will their adult bodies be enough to deter the cat?

    We have a relatively big backyard, so when the hens move into the coop, they'll probably be free ranging during the day and in their coop at night. I've heard that that is enough, but I see the cats during the day almost just as often as in the evening. In the past few years, I've come across a few obvious kills the cat made, with bloody feathers scattered onto the ground and the body nowhere to be seen. This scared me at first, but the birds (the flying ones, not poultry) I've seen around that the cats hunt are small and probably aren't even close to half a full-grown silkie's height.

    For deterrents, we already have automatic sprinklers that come on for an hour or so each day, but from the aforementioned experiences, this hasn't seemed to help (they've also been responsible for the death of a few plants over time). I'm not allowed to keep roosters, it's too late to install chicken wire into the ground, and we don't have any dogs to scare the cats away. Any suggestions? Am I stressing too much over this?

    Btw, if you made it his far, thanks so much for reading this long post. Your advice is very much appreciated.
     
  2. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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