Kittens and chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by kindir, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. kindir

    kindir Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2009
    Connecticut
    I have a mouse problem. I can't poison them because I have dogs and if one dies where my dogs can get at it, the dog dies. So I have 2 twelve week old kittens coming (born out of barn cats - these are not house cats by any means). They come from a farm with chickens and the parents don't bother chickens, but is there anything I should do to reinforce to them that chickens are off limits?

    They can't get in the various coops, but I have 2 bantams (1 roo, 1 hen) who free range since they don't do well in captivity even with a large indoor/outdoor area. I'm going to close up the kittens in the barn for a couple of weeks to show them where they live but the bantams go in there too.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    My cats will go after chicks, but I've never seen them try to get an adult, standard o bantam. And 3 of them have scary hunting instincts. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  3. kasey08

    kasey08 Aunt Kasey's Farm

    Mar 29, 2010
    Scottsboro, AL
    i had a kitten eat my chicks so idk what would help just be careful
     
  4. kindir

    kindir Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to know. My coops are all covered in hardware cloth and VERY secure so they won't have access to any chickens except the free range bantam roo and hen.

    It was sort of funny, I did have a friend of mine say perhaps I should be more concerned about the KITTENS! lol! She may actually be right, I'll monitor the situation and see who has the upper hand... [​IMG]
     
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    My Coop
    I would carefully watch your birds' response to the kittens if they are very small. When I first got chickens I really worried about my cats eating them because one cat ate wild birds almost daily [​IMG]. Once the chickens were a couple months old I didn't worry about it at all; but I also wouldn't exactly trust a kitten around chicks. I think cats learn to fear the chickens. My birds tormented my adult cats. It really must have freaked out those city cats to have the tables turned on them and have such large birds chasing them. They would mob my adult cats and I would occasionally have to step in if they trapped the old man cat. Enjoy your new cats!
     
  6. ORChick

    ORChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2007
    Oregon
    I have 5 cats - all housecats, but spend much of their time outdoors. 2 of them are mighty hunters, and the other 3 can, and have, brought down a mouse or two. All 5 of them will go to great lengths to avoid the chickens. My first rooster was a small Hamburg, but he made sure those cats learned respect, and they haven't forgotten though that rooster has been gone almost a year and a half. That said, I would never allow the cats contact with less than full size chickens. Babies and teens, when I have them, are in the covered brooder or the covered run. The little ones would be too tempting, and the teens might be safe, because of their size, but would also be very inexperienced. As to "training" the cats - well, good luck with that [​IMG] Your rooster, even a banty, can do that best. The kittens, while kittens, are much more at risk than your flock, assuming that your birds are adult.
     
  7. beckyschicks

    beckyschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2009
    Iron Ridge WI
    [​IMG]
    This is a picture of my cochin roo and my dog and cat.(and of course my daughter feeding them raisins.) They all get along great. My cat just turned a year and is a big mom's boy. He is an outside cat and catches about anything, but leave the chickens alone. Even my pullets he doesn't bother. Actually he only chases that roo and in turn the roo chases him, I think it's a game. That roo is very "special" and I swear thinks it's human. All I did to teach all my animals that these chickens are mine is, when they were young I would pick up a chicken and have it flap to the ground and if the cat or dog showed any interest I would yell NO in a scary voice. I kept doing this until the cat or dog showed no interest or looked scared when the chicken flapped. It's the flapping that drives the instinct to chase. I have never had a problem and my chickens free range all over the property. The cat was harder to train than the dogs but he got it. Good luck with your kitties.
     
  8. kateseidel

    kateseidel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 9, 2010
    My barn cats are excellent hunters, my chickens are free-range, so it was important they work it out. I did not let the hens out until they were the same size as the cats. The cats took a few shots at jumping after the hens, the hens turned and pecked the crap out of the cats. Now they generally get along okay. At snack time, the cats come running and the hens move over, but they all share the snack. I am, however, very aware that should my cats come across a chick one day, they would eat it in a heart beat. But they have a healthy respect for a grown hen!
     
  9. mangled

    mangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our cats also learn to have a healthy respect for the hens. Mine co-exist quite well, and like the previous posters, mine will share snacks with each other.

    That being said, I did lose my favorite EE hen to a pair of feral tomcats who worked together. The ferals I watch out for.

    The barn cats live and let live, but all bets are off if a chick gets out.

    I think at 12 weeks, they should be okay. My hens can be pretty vicious with the smaller kittens, I watch the littler ones pretty closely.

    Good luck with your kitties.
    Em
     
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Well, every time a cat makes a move toward a chook spray them with a hose (soak `em). If one of your chooks is naturally aggressive (some will walk right up to a cat and throw out the hen hackles) reinforce it by hissing at, and chasing the cat a few steps (hen will also go after cat). It is hard to know without really observing the interactions for a while. The cat below (Blacktapuss) showed up last Dec. as a dump (tiny kitten). Managed to trap her two sibs, but she was too `cagey'. Had to pay $40 for the pound to take the two - cheaper to humanely retire them myself. She had all winter to observe the flock and vice versa. She gets her butt kicked by both the chooks and turks if she gets feisty. On the other hand, we have an indoor Manx that would kill all the birds just to keep his claws sharp (will never see the outside world).
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Oh, we `fix' all our indoor and outdoor cats (seems to keep things calmer overall).

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010

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