Neighbor's barn cat kill my little bantam hen?!?!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CallDuckLover, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. CallDuckLover

    CallDuckLover In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2010
    Please help me!!!! I really need to put a stop to this. [​IMG]

    My neighbors have two cats that they let roam around their little farm. They are 100% outdoors. I have seen one of their cats running back over to their house from the area by the chicken coop several times in the past month, but it didn't kill anything when I saw it. Once my little sister saw the cat snooping around the outside of the tall wire fence and scared it away.

    ********* Update Chickens *********

    Earlier this week we found that our bantam D'anver rooster was missing. All that was left at the scene were huge feather trails and a hole(about 1ft deep and around 1.5 ft long) in the corner of the chain link fence which something must have dug under during the morning while my sister and I were at school around 6-7am.

    ********* Missing Hen *********

    Tonight I went out to lock up all of the chickens and found that there are now only 3 D'anver hens perching in the coop with the silkies. I was missing one of my two birds I have. I loved my little hens.. Anyways I walked around to see if she was anywhere to be found. I know that the D'anvers like to hop out of the coop area and play in the grass on the other side during the day. I walked around with the flash light to find a couple wet chicken foot prints on the ramp to the shed, but their was also a huge amount of little feathers by this fence. It looks as if she might have been cornered. Poor little girl..

    Well.. thanks for the help about what I should do. I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

  2. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Songster

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
    [​IMG] I'm so sorry to hear about your missing chickens!
    Cats rarely will kill a full grown chicken. A bantam might be more of a possibility but most cats will leave a chicken alone. If your neighbor is feeding his cats then I doubt they could be desperate enough to kill one but he really should keep his cats on his own property. You might want to speak to him about it.
    It is the hole that is the most damning evidence. You have a predator that is digging into your coop. A cat will not do this but may take advantage of an existing hole to get smaller chicks. You must predator-proof your coop NOW. There are many good threads here on BYC explaining how to do this.
    Get a trap and see what you can catch. It sounds like a dog or a raccoon to me.
    The rooster got taken first because he was probably try to protect his girls by getting between the killer and his ladies. The killer will keep coming back until there is nothing left to eat.
    I'm so sorry!
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  3. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Quote:I am sorry for your loss

    I agree, a cat does not dig under, they climb over. Sounds like a raccoon. Cats will also not take a full grown hen, or bantam. I have five cats. THey have never touched them.
    Also, they may be hunting mice by your coop. That's the reason mine hang around the coop.
  4. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Jackson Hole
    Oh I'm so sorry to read about your missing birds!

    Your local humane society or animal shelter should have "Have a heart" live traps that you can borrow - if you catch the neighbor's cat - you can decide what to do... but I would take them to the animal shelter. The trouble with outside cats is that, yes, they are great at keeping the rodent populations at bay, but they also kill HUGE numbers of songbirds - and other folks' chickens...
    Otherwise, consider getting (or borrowing) a big mean gander goose that will fix their wagon - or perhaps a large breed Rooster (but then you have all sorts of other issues with bantams and big birds that need answering as well... hm) Finally, you might think about stringing a few lines of electric fence at 3" and 5" off the ground outside your fence - that should deter most invaders.

    Good luck, and again, I'm so sorry this is happening. I hope you're able to get to the bottom of it.
  5. CallDuckLover

    CallDuckLover In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2010
    Thanks for the advice. I'm sorry too. The little hen was so young. I got her as a baby chick last spring. She had just laid her first little egg. [​IMG]
  6. i am so sorry! i have silkies and one beloved D'Anver hen. She is the sweetest little thing in the world. Yes, a cat will kill a chicken, even a full grown standard size chicken (or a duck). i know there are people who say a cat won't bother a chicken, but every single day i see multiple posts from people who have had cats, even domesticated not hungry cats, kill their chickens and ducks. So i'm frankly tired of reading people post that a cat won't hurt a chicken, as there is ample evidence to the contrary - not with every cat, but with some cats, yes.

    That being said, a cat would not generally dig under a pen. That would be a raccoon, a dog, maybe a rat. We have rats here that dig some pretty impressive holes into our runs. But all our chickens go into predator-safe coops at night. You will want to do some reading on the forum here about how to best secure your coop and pen, or you will suffer more losses from any number of predators. Sounds like hardware cloth around the perimeter at the bottom, dug a foot down and then bent outwards a foot would deter your current pest.

    Again, i am so sorry for your losses. But secure your chickens first, then maybe put out a trap and see what you catch so you know what you're dealing with.
    joel904 likes this.
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    A cat will not dig to get at its prey, but most predators will. You need to get a live trap, bait it, and catch the predator. It will be back now that it has had two meals at your expense.

  8. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    don't sound like a cat... but set a trap near where the dug hole is... it'll use it again to gain access to your chickens.
  9. MysticScorpio82

    MysticScorpio82 Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Maine, USA
    Quote:X 2. While a cat can kill a chicken, especially a young bantam, the digging indicates a different predator. A cat would simple go over the fence.

    I am sorry for your losses [​IMG] I hope you catch the bugger! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  10. WillieBoy

    WillieBoy Chirping

    Sep 1, 2010
    Catstar68.....just because a cat is well fed, doesn't mean it won't kill.I've owned cats all my life and know many cats enjoy killing for fun/instinct..I think cats kill chickens more often than suspected, and it doesn't have to be a chick or smaller breed.I recently shot a cat that killed two of my N.H.Reds for fun.The cat did not eat the hens, it had no fear of me, not a feral cat.My cat loves to kill rodents and birds, she is very well fed..While it may be true most cat won't bother with chickens, IMO plenty do...!
    joel904 likes this.

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