Feral cat colony

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lilmizscareall, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. lilmizscareall

    lilmizscareall Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was wondering when this day would come...
    I bought my house only a few months ago and in our offer, we agreed to maintain the feral cat colony that has been here for the last 8 years. The cats are fed daily, twice a day, are spayed/neutered and generally keep to themselves.
    I moved my chickens out to their coop sometime last week. They've been getting supervised outdoor time almost everyday. Our coop run is currently unfinished.
    Today it is pouring down raining, and the chicks hadn't been out for a stroll in a couple days so I let them free range. As far as I knew, all the cats were hiding, because of the rain. So I went about doing a few dishes. When I went out to check on the birds, one was gone. A 6 week old silkie. (I know, I made the mistake, it was too young)
    Is there anyone out there that has a cat colony that lives "peacefully" with their chickens?!?
    Will a Roo be big enough to protect a flock from the cats.
    I need some constructive advice, so please don't reply with shoot/trap/surrender...
    I understand that keeping chickens and cats may prove to be impossible, but I need to see if others are even doing it out there, first.
  2. Frankie Ruiz

    Frankie Ruiz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2013
    Long Island, New York
    if the cats were raised around chickens then they shouldnt have a problem. but if theyre not then it will be extremely hard to teach them that the chickens are not there food
  3. BusyBlonde

    BusyBlonde Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2011
    Bessemer City, NC
    I don't have a colony of Feral cats, per se, but I do have a few Feral's that have chosen to live on our property. I also have one of our indoor cats who likes to go outside on occasion. I raise large fowl - Barred Rocks, Marans, and have a couple Guineas. The cats do not bother our chickens, when the chickens are free-ranging I have seen the cats just a couple feet from them, but they all mind their own business. I do have roosters, but for the most part the cats ignore the chickens and the chickens ignore the cats.

    When I hatch chicks, I keep them in a large brooder, and when they're old enough to venture outside they have a separate pen attached to the brooder that is fenced with welded wire and chick wire, and surrounded by the adult pens/free range area. I have never lost a chick to a predator that way. If one of my broody hens raise chicks, they are in the brooder but are allowed outside with their mother from day one until they're fully feathered and big enough to find their place in the flock. By that time, they're not an "easy" meal anymore.

    My roosters are wonderful protectors, and if you can, it's worth having one or two. They'll put an aggressive cat in its place pretty quickly. They watch over the entire flock, and will sound an alarm if they see a predatory animal approaching. Mine are aggressive towards strange dogs, hawks, and other large birds.
  4. lilmizscareall

    lilmizscareall Chillin' With My Peeps

    These would be the first chickens the cats have ever seen. I honestly didn't think they had any hunting instincts left in them, because if I miss a feeding, they swarm me.
    I've learned my lesson, the hard way... These cats don't know me and I don't know them.
    I can have roosters, which I brought home today, but they in quarantine.
  5. Frankie Ruiz

    Frankie Ruiz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2013
    Long Island, New York
    hopefully the rooster will hope. i think a game rooster would be best ive heard they protect their hens the best
  6. tankerman

    tankerman Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 7, 2012
    Sonoma county
    My Coop
    Feral cat colonies are a scourge.

    Urine, feces everywhere and they spread fleas

    They decimate song bird and small reptile populations.
    2 people like this.
  7. Frankie Ruiz

    Frankie Ruiz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2013
    Long Island, New York
    i meant to say help*
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    x2. Those cats will be happy to take out any small birds, either young ones or especially young bantams. Full sized adult birds of the larger dual purpose breeds should be safe. Broody hens (large ones!) will protect their chicks pretty well. Cats are top predators, and feral cats spend their time hunting, food supply or not, because thats who they are. Food is nice, but more care is needed; are they wormed? Vaccinated? Not good to be around, and not at all safe for your 'house cat' to interact with. Mary
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    If I was maintaining a feral cat colony and had chickens, I'd have 6 ft. welded wire run fencing with a couple strands of electric (running off a hefty charger). Our flock likes to hang around on the back deck, all arranged up against the sliding glass door. One afternoon our well fed, 20lb, indoor, Manx was `parked on the table about 4 tt. from the sliding glass door. With not so much as an `up, up and away!' he leapt at the flock, and was knocked out cold (and twitching), when he struck the glass, for about three-four minutes before going about addled (but none the worse for wear) the rest of the day. Our outdoor cat was a `ditch cat' (dumped by the road) that I happened to see out by the chicken run one January morning, eating some spilled canned corn (just a tiny kitten) and, now, years later, she still eats canned corn and dirt bathes with the chooks when the roo allows it. However, she can go up and over 6 ft. welded wire fencing faster than she goes up trees to grab squirrels. A GOOD Roo is definitely an asset. But our Manx would make short work of even the meanest roo (the Manx is doing a life sentence indoors). Our outdoor cat, `Blacktapuss', with `another' squirrel: [​IMG] Roo `intimidating' doe (likes to charge them), and serving the cat with equal `arrogance' [​IMG] Trust in good defenses, i.e., `predators, here/prey, there', and you'll be able to enjoy your chooks and the cats.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have seen a cat attack a grown large fowl hen before (small hen about 3.5-4 lb). She flew up in the air and was able to escape.

    So depends on the cats, depends on the size of the hen.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013

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