Feral/Barn Cats

WIfarmerboy

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
43
0
22
West Central WI
I live on a farm where we have about a dozen feral / barn cats that roam around. Anyway i was wondering if i needed to worry about cats attacking my ten week olds. the other day i saw one staking them while they were free ranging but got side track by a 2x2 that i threw at it.

Stories and advise would be great.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
989
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
It will vary between cats so watch them and be careful. That said, we have a few ferals we feed once a day to keep around and although they have watched chicks as young as day olds, and 3 week old chicks let to free roam without a mom, they haven't touched one yet.
 

Boyd

Recipient of The Biff Twang
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
9,163
11
271
MI
mine havn't gone after my birds......... but my birds don't free range till they are close to full grown.... I had a real scrappy cat my kids named kitty kitty go after my favorite buff orp hen and the cat was lucky to slink away with "most" of her fur intact... still missing patches on the head though
 

Blondie

Songster
12 Years
Feb 21, 2007
418
11
151
Sharpsburg, Georgia
My Coop
I've got a couple of cats and I think it's pretty funny to watch my 10-12 week old chickens gang up on the cats and chase them out of the pasture!
I have a turken that is the ringleader.

As the chickens get bigger, the cats will keep their distance.
 

Akane

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
4,654
57
251
Most of the time it doesn't seem to be a problem. We have several house and barn cats and they never bother the birds. However we had these 2 giant ferals show up after we butchered quail in the yard. Several of the remaining quail were found dead in their pens with no visible injuries. After the quail were moved where they could not be reached a bantam pullet and a standard with a bad leg were found dead in the coop with only tiny puncture wounds on their heads. A quick search of the area yielded 1 of the giant ferals. We've been trying to trap them since and they keep harassing the chickens. There have been no more deaths but frequently in the afternoon I'll go out to find all the chickens as high up on the sides of the coop as they can get and sometimes I'll see that same cat that was around when they got killed hiding near the coop.

Today it may have been eliminated. Normally my akita is great with cats and has been trained not to chase them. I pointed out that orange cat sitting on the sidewalk and she snapped into kill mode, tore the leash from my hand, and disappeared into the pine trees right behind that cat. Lots of commotion and a few seconds later she reappears. No sign of any feral cat for the rest of the day. Only our cats are hanging about and the akita is ignoring them like she always does.

Most cats are not a problem but don't assume all cats are safe and very young birds may need extra protection if they don't have a hen watching over them.
 

WIfarmerboy

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
43
0
22
West Central WI
thanks everyone

sounds like i should keep an eye on them till they get older and how old till the hens learn to take care of themselves?
 

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