HOw much of a threat is this....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Vickilynn45, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Vickilynn45

    Vickilynn45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2012
    I have six chickens in my backyard in town. I have a secure coop and run, but let the chickens, which are 28 weeks old, out every day- all day. I have three dogs that don't bother them, and neither do my full grown cats. There are other cats, and dogs in the homes surrounding us that haven't been a problem at all. All of a sudden there is a strange cat that has been obsessed with my chickens. It's a huge, fat male with claws still intact. I don't think it belongs to the neighbor behind us, but it is probably coming from somewhere on that block. I just noticed it a few days ago when going out to do something and it was on the fence in back. It doesn't seem to be very afraid of me unless I run towards it yelling. I've looked out several times in the last two days and my chickens have been standing very still looking in one direction, and sure enough, there is the cat.

    So today I hear squawking coming from the backyard and I see my chickens running off and that cat heading up the run ramp into the coop. I ran outside and cornered it in my run, and then chased it out over the back fence. All the chickens were ok, and one of them had been in the coop in her nest box, so I'm guessing the cat would have found her. So I go back inside to call my husband and look out and see the cat is back again and my male cat is slowly heading towards it for a fight. The cat runs up the telephone pole out back until he sees my cat on the wood pile next to it and they proceed to get into a fight there. I finally chased it off with a stick into another backyard. Now I know this cat can't be hungry- it's fat and large. And it's not feral, it looked to have a collar on with no tag. So how serious of a threat is this cat to my chickens?? I've locked the chickens in their coop and run since I won't be able to be out back much today, and it's now snowing. I let my dogs in and out during the day so that probably helps, but they don't like to be outside all day since it's getting colder and snowy. What should I do? I don't want to have to keep my chickens locked in their run all day when they are used to the freedom of my fenced backyard. Ugh.
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I would be concerned and I'd probably keep the hens in the run until you decide how to handle the cat. It may well be that he is curious and checking things out but I wouldn't trust him. He may very well loose interest after a while, especially if you do things like squirt him with some vinegar water when you see him, use one of those long range blaster type water guns!

    In many years I've only had one big, mean, male feral cat who was interested in my chickens, never had a problem with my own or my neighbors cats but it does happen.
     
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Wait - it's Snowing?!?

    Most adult birds are not at risk from a cat, and will give it a good beating if it comes too close.
     
  4. Vickilynn45

    Vickilynn45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, unfortunately it's snowing. :( It stopped in town about a half hour ago, but the mountains are still getting it. I'm really hoping that is the case- that they would just give it a good beating. I've had other cats get in our yard, even a black one fell through the netting in our run one night and we woke up to him the next morning trapped. He didn't touch our chickens and they were much smaller. Something about this one concerns me, and maybe it's just me being paranoid.
     
  5. Vickilynn45

    Vickilynn45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll have to see about trying the vinegar thing- that's a good idea. I really hope he's just being curious. I've just never had a cat be SO persistent. He's at least as big as they are, if not bigger.
     

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