Kittens with chickens... ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by irishbelle5573, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. irishbelle5573

    irishbelle5573 In the Brooder

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    Not quite sure where to post this, but here goes. I have an established flock of laying hens, guineas, and Muscovey Ducks. They all free range in the afternoons about 3-4 hours. Well, the ducks are out all the time now as they refuse to be cooped anymore and rarely leave the pond. My husband wishes to add a couple of yard kittens to help control the field mice that sometimes invade when the nearby hayfields are cut. He has spent the last couple of days cleaning up after the mice and setting traps. No, the birds are not catching and eating them. Apparently they have sense enough to stay out of the coop. These kittens are about 8 weeks old and weaned. I am wondering... since they are kittens would they integrate well with the animals we already have, or grow into chicken killers regardless? Thoughts? Advice? Thanks!
     
    Rainbowskyes likes this.

  2. Mary's Backyard Chickens

    Mary's Backyard Chickens Songster

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    l definitely don't recommend keeping cats and/or kittens around chickens. Sometimes they won't kill chickens, but, they can, better to be safe than sorry. BTW, this should have been posted on the "Predators and pests" forum.
     
  3. Rainbowskyes

    Rainbowskyes Chirping

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    I am NO chicken expert, but I am on my 2nd chicken flock, about 8 yrs of having chickens. I have always had cats. Personally, I have never had a cat bother my full grown chicken. If anything I seriously would worry about the kittens getting attacked by the chickens. I have four Parrots as well and my cats never mess with them except to maybe use the top of their cage to sleep and then get their toes bit. I do always keep my young chickens separate and safe from the cats and dogs and do not introduce the cats until my chickens are old enough to be out in the coop and no longer under the brooder lamp. And do keep an eye out on how every gets along until I am sure there will be no problems. A couple pecks on the noggin by your hens, will mot likely give your kittens a good healthy fear of your girls. Again ...Im not an expert, that is just my experience.
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Tho I've never had cats and chickens at the same time,
    from my extensive reading @Rainbowskyes hit all the nails on the head.

    The birds may well go after the kittens, as they are new 'intruders'.

    I might be more concerned with how to acclimate the kittens to stick around,
    but maybe you have that part covered,
    have read a couple good things about acclimating barn cats.
    Main crux was to keep cats confined to a cage for a week or so to get them used to being in the space and you feeding them. Might even move cats cage outside while birds are ranging so they and the birds can eyeball each other without mishap. Open cage placed in barn(or wherever) later could become cats 'bed' and/or 'safe place'.
     
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  5. Lol....Cats are fine with Chickens and Ducks...My Cat and the Cat from next door do not bother with my Birds..I have Broody Hens that raise Chicks outside with the Flock.Also Call Ducks and Ducklings out..The Kittens will not be an issue.....A Bird as big as a Chicken or a Duck will not take crap from Kittens or Cats...
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
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  6. mill-j

    mill-j Chirping

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    Yes cats are fine with chickens. When we first got chickens our cats used to try to catch them :) they never succeded. You know, if you think about it... a full grown chicken is a little larger than even a big tom cat, when a cat trys to catch a chicken, the chicken is startled and the first thing it does is flap it's wings...promptly hitting the cat in the face. It only takes about 2-3 times before that cat is afraid of not only that chicken but all the rest.

    I can't say the same for dogs though... We don't have one but the neighbors do :(
     
    irishbelle5573 likes this.

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