Is It Normal for my Chickens to Kill other animals?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by TooShort4U, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. TooShort4U

    TooShort4U New Egg

    Apr 6, 2012
    I have a lot of chickens, mostly hybirds, White leg horns, Jersey Giants, Bantams, and game birds. *The fancier ones aren't free range.* And I'm getting to be a little concerned because they all are the sweetest things to humans...but...they're killing all the barn cats.
    Seriously. I started out with 34 feral barn cats, big toms too, and now I am down to 7. I caught my chickens in the act, they swarmed the cat and completly annilied it, I don't know why, it wasn't doing anything. And they didn't eat it either, just shreaded it apart and ran away.
    I notice that they're doing the same thing to mice and moles too, and I'm not sure if this is normal or what...but I'm beginning to worry that they're all going to sneak into my bedroom and murder me in my sleep...
  2. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    It's basic animal instinct to kill predators and prey.
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    For years, I have said that chickens are omnivores, and defined that as meaning, "they basically eat anything that doesn't try to eat them." Lizards, frogs, baby rabbits, chicks, other chickens that have died of other causes - I have seen all of those at least partly devoured. Killing cats, though; that's a new one on me. I have seen chickens go berserk over hawks, snakes, etc, but never seen them gang up and kill one.
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Do what? I'd have to see that to believe it. While chickens will eat anything they can, I can't imagine an entire flock taking down a healthy cat. Yes, they'll eat mice, frogs and so forth, but a healthy cat can rip a flock apart or run away.

    Now if a cat were so sick as to not be able to defend itself I can see a flock taking care of business.
  5. NYboy

    NYboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    White plains
    More likely coyotes are eating your cats, the chickens are cleaning up the leftovers.
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    This is what I would think as well. I find it hard to believe that a flock or ordinary chickens could kill a healthy cat.
  7. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    It's normal for them to peck at dead things or immobile animals with open wounds. But there's no way that a flock of chickens would catch and kill a healthy cat. If the cat was unable to get away from the chickens, he was probably on his way out already and the chickens just took advantage of that. Coyotes are the most common reason for larger numbers of cats to turn up missing. But with feral barn cats, especially if they haven't all been captured, spayed/neutered, and released, I would put my money on Feline Leukemia or FIV as the two most likely reasons for your cats becoming so ill and infirm as to be unable to get away from the chickens. Both of these diseases can lay dormant for years before causing a cat to become ill, but once they do get sick they have an extremely hard time overcoming any disease or infection because both of these diseases impair the immune system.
  8. TooShort4U

    TooShort4U New Egg

    Apr 6, 2012
    No, the cat was more than healthy, it was sunning itself in the sun and all the sudden my whole freakin flock was on him. If I had time I would have stopped it but I was inside watching from a window...
    The Jersey Giants were the main ones, which is odd considering that they are so nice and calm around my dogs and other animals.

    So, I guess I can mark this as abnormal then?
  9. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2010
    Well, pushing the chicken envelope, anyway. Of course, Jersey Giants are a lot bigger than other chickens, and maybe a skinny barn cat is to them what a mouse or frog is to other chickens?

    Though my Buff Orpington hens last year ganged up on the lowest-ranked hen and seriously tried to murder her. I had to remove the ringleader and feed the victim on a high place for a while - so I know that chickens will go after something their own size.

    I always tell my husband when I'm going down to the chicken pen, and I'm constantly aware of the need not to fall. It's like dealing with a bull or something, only smaller and cuter...
  10. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Very Strange. I have a lot of free range chickens, many J Gs and large Orps, turkey, geese, ducks etc.... And none have ever killed anything..... Except one hen that would kill another hen if penned up with them.... Other than that, if it's not a bug or animal chow... They ain't interested. Lol. I've tried to get them to chase mice..... Most ain't trying. They will stare down a new cat until the cat knows not to mess with them, after that they have no interest. I think you need to start feeding them more... Lol

    Oh, and I layed down on the ground one day due to low blood sugar. When I opened my eyes all my chickens were staring at me from a distance with a weird confused look on their face..... Except for one punk rooster giving me the dance and stare down. I told him to make my day..... He declined. :p

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