Hens, chicks, and....cats

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by spuetz07, May 31, 2010.

  1. spuetz07

    spuetz07 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2009
    Cochrane, WI
    Will mother hen protect her chicks from cats if they are all roaming around the yard? I have a broody hen, and would love to see her hatch the clutch of eggs. I am worried about once they hatch the cats are going to have them for dinner. Or, I suppose once they hatch I could catch them and put them right into the brooder box.
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. boxermom

    boxermom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Spencer,IA
    I have had broodies hatch 2 clutches so far. My cats have not gone near them. The chickens always chased the cats before there were any babies. Although the cats are very interested in the chicks, they don't go near the chickens. My 2nd batch has left their mother now. They too are fine. I lost one of them though, they scooted thru the fence where mama couldn't protect them. Don't knowwhat got them. There was a stray hanging around that day. I have remedied that problem. They even free ranged. Mama did a wonderful job of protecting them. They are about 5-6 wks old now.
     
  3. Rachel'sFlock

    Rachel'sFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    forgive me for being so off-topic, but BoxerMom, you are from Spencer, Iowa?
    I was born there, and ived the first 6 weeks, then have never been back.
    I was starting to think my parents imagined it!
    Hooray for Spencer, Iowa and her residents!!!
    Again, forgive the intrusion.
     
  4. westernmainecoop

    westernmainecoop Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2010
    I had a broody hatch 3 chicks this spring. Once they left the coop she only brought them back for water and scratch. She slept about a week and a half in the tall grass not far from the coop. She was VERY protective of her chicks even pecking at me for the first 2-3 days. Alas, we live in the sticks and they were all 4 a late night meal for some predator. I'm building a brooder box onto my coop with a fenced run. So if I get another broody atleast I can keep her safe I she feels the need to segregate her clutch from the other chickens. Wish I could help you with the cat question, We have a 14 week old kitten that has scared the chickens a few times but seems more curious than anything. She is only half the size of them.
     
  5. sophiejw

    sophiejw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Guess it depends on your cat. Mushroom, my Maine Coone is very interested in the baby chicks. He tried to go for my Orpington but she didn't move when he ran at her and since then although he's fascinated by the hens he doesn't go for them. I think if a baby chick got out though he'd have it, he's very quick and spends alot of time looking at the baby chicks in their runs. He brings back rabbits and killed a tiny wren that flew into the house by mistake once so we know he's a hunter. My other cat couldn't care less about chickens, but then he is very old.

    So although I'd love to let one of mine free range with baby chicks I think they would be Mushroom's dinner unless I kept him in all that time which wouldn't be fair on him. Guess you need to think about stray cats too.
     

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