Feral Cat is terrorizing our flock.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by oherin, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. oherin

    oherin Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    41
    Mar 25, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    We have been fighting an unknown predator for 3 weeks. We rotate our chickens in several fenced garden areas.

    At first we suspected a hawk since our bantams were targeted. Only a few feathers being left on the ground. Then, as our standards were targeted, we noticed a gap in part of the back fence. Then, we thought fox. By this time 5 chickens were gone: 2 bantams and 3 standards in 2 weeks.

    We placed the chickens in a more secure run and up went the game camera. This week, 3 more hens went missing during the day. Also, my roo kept coming down to the house at dusk to roost. He jumps the 5 ft fence and refuses to walk back to the coop (even when enticed with treats). Jumping the fence and leaving his girls is not typical behavior for him.

    Late yesterday afternoon, we put our roo back into the run 3 times. On our 4th trip to the run, we heard the hens squawking. We made it to see a feral cat jump the fence and run into the woods. A bantam was separated from the flock but seemed to be ok.

    Could one cat have such an appetite? That is 5 standard hens and 3 bantams in 3 weeks!
     
  2. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

    415
    154
    141
    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    Did you pick anything up on your game camera?

    Is it a feral house cat or a larger cat like a bobcat?
     
  3. Majd

    Majd Chillin' With My Peeps

    932
    45
    141
    Jun 22, 2012
    I'd say a bobcat or something. ..
     
  4. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

    72,345
    22,106
    856
    Sep 26, 2013
    madison Indiana
    still sounds like a small fox,
     
  5. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

    72,345
    22,106
    856
    Sep 26, 2013
    madison Indiana
    think i would try a live trap with some tuna in it. i have feral cats around here from neighbors but they dont bother my chickens. i welcome them because they help with the mice. mabey think about guineas they are good watch dogs and they whop my cats butt all the time but they are loud
     
  6. Cluky

    Cluky Chillin' With My Peeps

    383
    9
    106
    Apr 13, 2012
    Chicago
    We have feral cats in my area. Couple of times my banties were stalked and cat would jump between them. Problem is then she wasn't sure what to do with them ha ha. In any case if cat is hungry enough I could see it take out a bantie, but not a full sized hen. Also there is no way a cat would freak a rooster out this way.
     
  7. liltigerlil

    liltigerlil Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    29
    Sep 24, 2012
     
  8. liltigerlil

    liltigerlil Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    29
    Sep 24, 2012
    Need a cat trap of meat and or tuna and oz trap cage. Problem solved just noisy.
     
  9. oherin

    oherin Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    41
    Mar 25, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    I am wondering if my chickens are just being blitzed by several predators at once. We only caught a small cat on the camera. We have seen it fleeing once. There are piles of feathers in the woods below our house. The live trap has not been effective so far.
     
  10. trekie123

    trekie123 Out Of The Brooder

    22
    3
    24
    Sep 14, 2013
    I would be surprised if it does not turn out to be a fox. As was said above, its unlikely to be a cat even a feral one and im pretty sure a bobcat would be seen on camera. Its not a hawk if feathers were found in a different area as it would not be able to carry it any distance and if it could it would most likely bring it to a roost. A hungry fox is an animal that could easily take a hen and be cute enough to avoid traps. My money is on the fox.
    Theres an idea ...lets run a book on what it is.... 6/4 a fox....2/1 a bob cat.....3/2 a feral cat .... and 7/1 a hawk..
    The book is open
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by