New fat young cat in the neighborhood has been visiting at all hours

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bobbieschicks, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Looks to be around 4 or 5 yrs old. Fat stocky black cat - looks like the perfect "mouser". It keeps coming into our backyard and has gotten as close as sitting outside the coop door on the temporary exercise pen watching my bigs in the run. It has a tag and collar. I think it must belong to the renters two doors down. What is the likelihood it will try to hurt my chicks? Is it more likely just curious? How likely is it to get into my run/coop? My WL roo crowed this morning and I noticed it hightailed away - but how much of a threat is it really?

    My flock: My chicks are (2) 16 week old White Leghorns - 1 is a pullet and 1 is a rooster, (3) 13 week old pullets and now (8) 4 week old babies ((5) lavender orpingtons + (3) silkies). So far I haven't let the 4 week olds out of the outdoor brooder that is inside my coop. However the goal was to get them outside this week and put them in the exercise pen for about an hour each day to get used to colder weather & enjoy playing while the older chicks are free ranging. We are outside with the chicks when they free range. So far I haven't let any of them freerange without supervision - our houses are close together and I wouldn't want them venturing into my neighbor's yards.

    Coop/Run: I have attached with poultry staples 1/4" hardware cloth on the run door, 1/2" hardware cloth around the base of the run to about 2.5' up the sides. 2x4 welded wire on all sides. and a combination of wires across the top. All overlaps are secured with hog ties about every 4" I also have a few zip ties in there from when I needd temporary holder while installig the fencing. My run door is secured with 2 sliding/locking bolts and 1 hasp with keyed locks on each. There's no other entry into the run except under the perimeter that is buried about 1' deep and has soil around the sides and a series of leftover cinder blocks sitting on top of the soil in the back of the run that is least visible from the house.

    Here's a recent pic of my run/coop area. The exercise pen for baby chicks no longer has that wood on top of it - but that is what the cat was sitting on. And only one of those roosters is still around.
    [​IMG]

    Here's my current outside flock.
    [​IMG]

    Here's an older picture of the back of the run/coop before the run wiring was finished and the sand laid.
    [​IMG]

    If it's a threat is there anything I should do to further secure the run from this predator? Here I am worried about the occassional raccoon and fox in the area - never gave cats a second thought until now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  2. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    At 16 weeks old, mine are *chasing* the cats! Mine free range during the day, and one BO pullet in particular will chase any cat that gets too near. She's serious about it, too.

    Especially because you have a rooster, I wouldn't worry too much about nearly full grown chickens. If they just moved in, the cat is probably just wondering what the heck those things ARE! [​IMG]

    ETA: just noticed you have 4-week-olds also. *Those* might make fun squeaky toys for a cat, but it looks like your run is pretty secure, so I still wouldn't worry too much.

    -Wendy
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  3. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I've not had a problem as of yet but from all everybody says maybe look into putting some security further out from the bottom of the run and coop. Those rocks look pretty close to the bottom board. Some critters will dig under that. I would secure the HC better also. Or is that HC on the end?

    Nice looking setup you have. All the do dads are cute.
     
  4. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Quote:Thanks - yes the Hardware cloth is secured at the bottom and on all sides of each piece - on the wood I have it nailed with poultry staples and on the overlaps of wire I have it hooked with hog ties. I looked again and the HC on the bottom is a 4' panel that actually goes down into the ground and slants out for about 1' - so it goes up the wall by about 3'. It's attached at the bottom to those wooden boards at the bottom - the rocks were there to discourage digging. I'll look at what I can do to secure the bottom better.
     
  5. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Quote:Thanks - I figured I was worried over nothing and that the rooster would protect any of the bigs from getting attacked. I definitely won't let the littles out to freerange until they are closer to 7 weeks old - especially the silkies.
     

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