Feral cats? Question from newbie.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lisebarb, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. lisebarb

    lisebarb Chillin' With My Peeps

    We've decided that we would like a few layers so we're in the process of designing a coop and researching the type of hens to get.

    There are about 10 feral cats living around us. The lady next to us on the lane has caught them, had them fixed and leaves some food out for them but they mostly hunt. They are really good hunters as evidenced by the blue jay, grackle and sparrow carcases we see around our place.

    We also have the occasional possum, raccoon and 3 foot rat snake visit us. Oh yes, and we have two small dogs, chihuahua-rat terrier crosses.

    The coop we'd like to build is one of those triangular "ark" style coops and we plan to put 1/2 inch wire along the sides and bottom to keep the hens as secure as possible.

    Still though, we wonder, considering all the critters in our area, if getting hens wouldn't be like ringing the dinner bell.

    We can train and control our dogs but the cats are our biggest concern. Does any one have some advice?
    Thanks, Barb.
     
  2. Rosie Red

    Rosie Red New Egg

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    We have cat that come over but they don't like our chickens.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008
  3. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    We have a lot of predators here, including all those you mentioned. The feral cats stay away from the chickens, and so far, no other problems with predators except wild dogs. But my run held, my rooster fought, and the wild dogs left without a meal.

    Good luck and don't worry. You can only do so much, anyway.
     
  4. robinaggie

    robinaggie Flew the Coop

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    Anything that wants your chickens badly enough will get them. Look at the threads on building coops and runs, and the threads on predators. Good luck.
     
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I've lost more chickens to cats than any other predator.
     
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Cats generally will not bother adult chickens. I wouldn't trust them around chicklets though. Dogs are too often the problem - countless posts on BYC where people's own dogs killed their chickens, and they didn't see it coming. Or neighbor's dogs or stray dogs showed up and created a horrow show. Betwen dogs and wildlife preds, you'll just need a really good pred proof run and coop. All the best to you!! [​IMG]
    JJ
     
  7. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    The coop we'd like to build is one of those triangular "ark" style coops and we plan to put 1/2 inch wire along the sides and bottom to keep the hens as secure as possible.

    As long as you have a bottom on it, you can keep them fairly safe. That is really helpful, even in a ark tractor.​
     
  8. lisebarb

    lisebarb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks everyone for the replies. I realize that I can't protect them from everything but I didn't want to feel like I was staking a goat in a T-Rex paddock either. (grin)

    I suppose all we can do is build the coop/ark as securely as possible then keep an eye out.

    Thanks again for the advise. It's much appreciated.
    Barb.
     
  9. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With feral cats, make sure you put a roof on your run as well. A cat can get into a hole about 3" in diameter.
     
  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We support an intact colony of feral cats in our barn, which also houses the coop. You can see in the homepage below how we constructed an interior porch to separate them from the chicks and how we roofed and enclosed our run. The huge bonus is that we have NO rats or mice! If you can organize well, the cats will keep the vermin at bay. We're so happy to have chosen how to work this out![​IMG]
     

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