Domestic cats and chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by photo chick, May 5, 2009.

  1. photo chick

    photo chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    1
    121
    May 4, 2009
    Essex, VT
    We have a lovely hunter cat as part of our family. She works for her keep around here, keeping the squirrels and mice away from the house. But we are getting chicks in a couple of days. I realize that while they are little they are a prime target for a hunter. How do I go about introducing the cat to the chicks to let her know that they are not prey? I am hoping that eventually they will both be able to cohabitate on our property. Am I dreaming?
     
  2. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,535
    20
    186
    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    Probably can't do that. Instead, show your cat that YOU are head of the "pride" and that these are YOUR birds.
     
  3. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

  4. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Well, my cats know I'm the boss. They thought the chicks were to play with, I think. Because they would stick their paws into the brooder with their claws tucked in and head tilted in a playful way. Still dangerous to the chicks, but not as bad as a quick swipe of the claws.
    So when they stuck their paws in I would just push them back. They learned pretty quick that the chicks were fine to watch, but not OK to paw at. My female cat took up residence on top of the brooder/dog crate because of the warm light [​IMG]
    The chicks are now outside in their run and the cats ignore them in the pen. Tiger made a go for an escapee, but when I told him no he backed off and hasn't made any more attempts.

    I don't fully trust the cats or the dog, but there seems to be an agreement to leave the chicks alone while they are in their cages.

    If a chick is out loose - all bets are off.
     
  5. SarahFair

    SarahFair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    Dont trust any cat.
     
  6. preppy*hippie*chick

    preppy*hippie*chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,070
    18
    171
    Apr 8, 2009
    Centerburg, Ohio
    I got my girls at five weeks old, so the smallest was as big as a full sized banty. The cats (I have four - all voracious hunters) were instantly fascinated, of course. One became disinterested, two still exhibited "stalking" behavior. Those responded well to a good spray bottle set on jet stream along with a loud "PSSSTT" noise from me. The other cat, about a year old turned out to be absolutely enchanted by them. When they range in the yard, she's right in the middle with NO hunting behavior. She often flops down right in the middle of them & the other day I went out to find that my daughter had put some cracked corn on her side and she was lying there, unrestrained allowing them to peck it off her. Yes, she's a bit odd. Anyway, the other two still like to look but rarely even pretend to stalk. If they do it to close for my taste the PFFFT noise brings them to their senses. Sooner or later your hens should be big enough to intimidate your cat. Of course the teeny chicks would be killed outright. My point is, they can coexist. At least mine do. [​IMG]
     
  7. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    For us it was quarrentine them untill the chicks were no longer "nugget sized" this meant enclosing the chicks in a no-cat tub.
    We brooded them in the dining room within full sight of the kitchen/my desk in a clear rubbermade tub, with multiple holes drilled in the sides for air flow, but too small for paws & claws (about 36 5/8ths bit holes in the top & half way up for air flow). the cats could hear and see the chicks but are unable to access them untill the chicks are big enough to peck back and not be interesting as a snack.

    After the first few weeks (4 for us) the cats just accept the chickens as animals instead of prey, and they like to hang out next yo the run or on the coop roof, same as they'll lay next to the bunny run and chill with them.
     
  8. photo chick

    photo chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    1
    121
    May 4, 2009
    Essex, VT
    Thanks [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by