Introducing new chickens to outdoor cats

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by fytnfyr, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. fytnfyr

    fytnfyr Hatching

    Feb 13, 2013
    Hey Everyone,

    I'm a new member and have a newbie question.....

    We have a chicken coop being built right now and expect it within a month. New chickens to follow immediately afterward. We haven't yet figured on whether we're starting with chicks or pullets, but leaning toward pullets. Any suggestions toward either are's our situation.

    We have two Black Labradors that are very friendly with our other animals. They live outdoors as guardians in our fenced 1/4 acre yard. We also have 6 indoor/outdoor cats. The cats are very friendly with humans and never show any aggression towards us, the dogs, or our free range rabbits; in fact, they're friendly with the rabbits and will sometimes lay with them. None of the cats are fixed and they do hunt voles and the occasional bird.

    My big question is, do any of you have experience with introducing the chickens to the other animals (especially the cats) and what's the best way to go about this??

    When introducing the rabbits, we kept them caged for a week or so and then monitored the first introductions. I would even hold the rabbits and let the other animals smell them while we pet the dogs and cats.

    Do you suggest the same with the chicks/pullets, or is there another proven method?

    Also, is there a particular age of the chicken when it can (as much as possible) either take care of itself, or at least LOOK like it can to deter any aggression?



  2. fytnfyr

    fytnfyr Hatching

    Feb 13, 2013
    Oops, forgot to mention....the chickens will also be free ranging!

    Thanks again,

  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] Personally I prefer chicks, but there are pros to POL pullets as well. Chicks grow up to be tame, used to human contact etc, but they need special care during the first few weeks, like a heated brooder. As for the animals, well, our cats knew better than to the chicks or older chickens, though they did hunt quite a bit. Ditto for the dogs, though my DH did train them when they were puppies still. Here are some discussions on the topic that may help you:
    2 people like this.
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, fyntnfyr, and [​IMG]! Great to have you with us! I have dogs and cats as well. I have never had a problem with either harassing my chickens. I started very early on introducing the dogs and cats to the chickens and I think the 4-legged critters just came to see them as a part of the family. Now, I am getting some new chicks in late March and I have some now adult cats that have never seen a baby chick. So, I hope the experiences I've had will still hold true! I think Sumi gave you some good resources. Best of luck to you!
  5. Howdy from Florida! My dog tryied to eat mine last week but I got it back an it's ok... My bigger concern than dogs an cats would be hawks sence they will be free range
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC. Monitor any introduction of the chickens to other pets. Generally speaking dogs especially should not be left with chickens in unsupervised situations.
    1 person likes this.
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    If you get chicks, absolutely don't trust your cats around them until they are large enough to protect themselves. Dogs with a good prey drive find chickens irresistable in terms of chasing and catching - monitor their interactions closely.


    Mr MKK FARMS Crowing Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC!!!
    Glad you joined us!
  9. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG] from California, I personally wouldn't free range my chickens with dogs unsupervised.
  10. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.

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