Help - cat attack?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by two toe, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. two toe

    two toe Hatching

    Oct 10, 2007
    Norfolk, England
    We are new to keeping hens having just started with 3 buff orpingtons last week.

    Tonight, on going to the hen house, we saw one of our (two) domestic cats emerging from the hen house. Our three girls were cowed inside a nest box - silent and presumably extremely distressed. However, there is no evidence of any actual violence - it is possible/likely that the cat could could simply have been being inquisitive.

    Advice would be welcome as follows:
    a) are domestic cats usually a problem for hens? (whilst our cats are domestic, we live in a rural setting and the cats seem to be fairly proficient predators of small creatures including birds)
    b) if cats are a problem - what remedies are available?
    c) anything we can/should be doing to help the hens overcome the trauma?

    Given we are novices - any advice/guidance would be greatfully received.:[​IMG]
  2. GloriaH

    GloriaH Songster

    Mar 18, 2007
    Watertown, Tennessee
    I live in the country with about 30 Chickens and Ducks. My 5 cats never seem to notice the birds. The problem I have is with my 9 dogs. They play with them to death. Keep your girls warm and fed. Maybe some vitamins. Just keep an eye on them.
  3. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Cats are more likely to go after chicks.
    Once a cat has pecked pecked soundly by a PO'd hen, it's more likely to leave your birds alone.
    My Brahma mix hen Slifer pecked and bit and spurred the snot out of a neighbour's cat that was going after Obelisk. It's been 2 years and the cat is still giving the back yard a wide berth.
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    my roo [​IMG] keeps a watch out for the cat and the cat doesnt bother the birds because of that... with no roo a cat can do damage to your girls (even in play)
  5. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    I have lost full grown hens to cats this year and last. So it is possible. Most cats avoid hens, but some are born hunters.

    Cat scratches on your hens can cause nasty infections.

    You can help the hens out by finding a really large and mean rooster that will take a few rounds out of the cat! [​IMG]
  6. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    A couple of months ago my cat staged a mock attack on my free ranging girl. She jumped and stopped about 3 inches from the pullet.. at which point the pullet finally noticed, and flapped away.

    The next day, the cat decided to accompany me into the run. I have NO IDEA what she was thinking. Anyway, she attempted to stare one of the girls down (a more dominant one). And the pullet stared RIGHT BACK at her. The cat didn't know WHAT to think! I had to shoo the chickens to the side so she could walk to the door.

    My cats are avid hunters also, and kill all sorts of furry woodland creatures. They've killed birds a time or two, also. But they have never been a threat to my chickens. Not sure why that is, but they somehow just don't see them as prey.

    I don't doubt a cat COULD hurt one if he/she wanted. Regardless, sounds like your hens are terrified! Keep them warm, dry, and happy and they should be fine, though.

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  7. two toe

    two toe Hatching

    Oct 10, 2007
    Norfolk, England
    Many thanks for all the helpful advice and guidance - seems like a great forum!

    The girls appeared to be fine and dandy this morning. I noticed on another correspondence thread that hens like cherry tomatoes - I gave ours the remnants of my crop - seemed to cheer them up no end!

    Getting a rooster isnt an option at this stage, so I suppose we will just have to be extra vigilant - the cats havent showed much interest today - it could have been a one-off ..... maybe ....?!?

    Living in hope!


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: