Is it normal for a chicken to go after a cat?!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mommyofthree, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. mommyofthree

    mommyofthree Songster

    May 18, 2010
    We have 3 barn cats, one of which is semi-feral. She's a big beastly cat, we rarely have any strays over here because she'll let them know whose territory it is and they'll stay away. We've been watching them closely since we got our chicks and ducklings, and my cats surprisingly don't care one bit about the birds free ranging. They hardly even seem to notice them.
    Well yesterday we were outside and one of our chickens (she's only 3 1/2 months old, so not even very big) bolted across the yard and went right for the big cat who was just laying there minding her own business. The cat didn't budge and that chicken just stood there right in front of the cat, staring her down like she was trying to pick a fight!! Luckily we were outside so we broke them up before something bad happened. It's hard to say what would've happened, but I think either the chicken would peck the cat and scare it off, or the cat would try to defend itself and the chicken wouldn't have stood a chance.
    Has anyone else had a chicken go after another animal?? It just seems so weird to me. Why the heck did she run up to the cat like that when the cat was just minding her own business across the yard?? If she wanted to pick a fight with a cat, she definitely picked the wrong cat!!

  2. calicokat

    calicokat Songster

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    Yep, it's normal.

    One of my laying hens even goes after our dog once in awhile -- a 55 lb yellow lab, not small! My chickens are usually just trying to assert themselves as the top animal, and the cats and dog let the chickens win.
  3. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    One of our barncats got pecked right between the eyes once by one of the hens. None of the cats have been interested in going ANYWHERE near those chickens ever since. They all puff up their tails and skulk away LOL
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Before I let mine range freely in the back yard, they were confined to the run. My cats would sit just on the other side of the fence and stare intently at the chickens. The chickens would see the cats, and become curious, walk over to the fence and stare back. The cats would lean in, their little cheeks all puffy and their whiskers curled forward, right up against the fence to peer through the openings between the wires.

    The chickens would also lean forward. And then, POW! peck the cat right on the nose. Each cat has experienced this. Big backwards leap in the air and then a slow, dignified "That didn't happen" stroll away from the fence.

    Now everybody wanders around together as the chickens free range in the yard. The cats lay in their favorite places, the chickens apparently say howdy as they pass, but they all leave each other alone. However, my two ducks cannot resist billing any sleeping cat they encounter. The cats have learned to sleep up a bit higher than the ducks' necks can reach.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  5. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Songster

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    Quote:Sounds like SHE may be a roo.
  6. Bridget399

    Bridget399 Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    South Western PA
    A few of girls go after anything that makes them feel threatened, including my 85 pound dog! And the dog is terrified of her!
  7. GammaPoppyLilyFlutter

    GammaPoppyLilyFlutter Love Comes with Feathers

    Jun 26, 2010
    My chickens have never tried to scare away any predators, but they do run around and bump chests (I think to show who's boss). Lily once chased away a robin that was just sitting there, so I think what everybody else says is right: they just want to show who's at the top.

  8. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    Quote:Sounds like SHE may be a roo.

    Not necessarily. Please don't judge the sex of a chicken by it's behavior. Hens can be just as aggressive as roosters. I've had my little Sebright hen attack my cat and my Silkies go after squirrels. And yes they ARE hens.
  9. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Crowing Premium Member

    Chickens will proactively set the pecking order straight with cats. Yes I have seen them cross the entire yard just to assert who's yard it is. While it may appear to you that the cat was minding it's own business regarding the chickens it could be that to the chickens the cat was minding her yard and that fallacy needed to be set right. [​IMG]

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