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Our outside kitten is looking too hungry and I'm afraid she wants to eat our chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by FarmingCityGirl, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. FarmingCityGirl

    FarmingCityGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    There's a kitten that appeared on our property. And our kids fed her. She was a tiny, frail, adorable thing. So I let her stay, hoping she'd help keep mice away and kind of be another protector of our chickens. On researching the topic, I found some cats hunt chickens and some don't. So I just hoped that because she was growing up with them she'd be different. Yesterday it appeared she may be wanting to hunt them. They were out in the yard, and she kept pouncing in their direction..and I didn't get the feeling she was just playing.

    Should I just keep an eye on her some more? Should I immediately get rid of her? The kids are going to be devastated, but I love our chickens. They came first. They give me food. I'm pretty sure they love me too lol. But the kitten loves me too...but she's kind of a nuisance to me. Ugh. Give me some advice.
     
  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have a rooster? He will make sure the kitten doesnt mess with the hens. I had the same issue I was worried about-barn cat . She has now become fast friends with the flock and I seriously think she is somewhat bonded with them. She hangs out when they free range etc. She has also taken to eating their food and drinking from thier water. My latest concern is-I am almost positive she has taken to eating eggs. last night I found 5 shells in a nestbox.....I have seen her go in after them before but usually the entire egg is gone-this time whatever it was left the shells. Its either the cat or a chicken! Anyhow I wouldnt worry to much about it hurting the chickens.....just keep your eye on them.
     
  3. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northwest Hills of CT
    If your chickens are full grown, I don't think you'll have much to worry about. My two barn cats both learned at an early age that chickens are not food! They both were stalking the hens, and the hen poofed up as big as she could, charged the cat and pecked the cat on the nose. That cat jumped 4 feet straight into the air! Ever since then, the cats have ignored the chickens. I do have to watch them with the mallard ducks. It seems a duck coming in for a landing is a very tempting target - one of my cats likes to jump up at them. They have learned to watch for it, and they just fly around her and land. I have seen my cats napping in the lawn, surrounded by a dozen sleeping ducks. One of my ducks was hit by a car last year, and managed to limp back to the house, and the cats both layed down next to her, staying with her until she died. Very sad day, but very touching experience watching the cats and birds interact.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Cats are RARELY a threat to grown chickens. My two cats will get out of the way so the birds can eat out of their bowls,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  5. FarmingCityGirl

    FarmingCityGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
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    No, we don't have a rooster. There are 12 laying hens. This is our first winter. I wanted to get through it before adding to our flock, and then I plan on getting a rooster (but I'm not sure about my added responsibilities then...do I have to do anything special to the eggs and/or baby chicks if one hatches?) I haven't even thought about the cat getting in the coop and messing with the eggs. I leave the run door open all day, she could definitely sneak in there.
     
  6. FarmingCityGirl

    FarmingCityGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
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    This makes me feel better. My dh said the chickens were too big for the kitten to attack right now...but I was worried about when the kitten is full grown. Hopefully by then we'll have a rooster too and they'll be one big happy family out there ;)
     
  7. bullsie

    bullsie Out Of The Brooder

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    We have always raised a couple cats with chickens. They are a first defense for a poultry house. We start ours as kittens in a coop. The chickens will get after them if they get annoying and the kitties learn. Keep your kitten well fed (and a place of its own to sleep - we put a small 'loft' of a 2' x 4' plywood sheet near the ceiling and a ramp to it for the cats to eat and sleep). A well fed cat is a great mouser. They will keep your coop free of mice, rats, weasels, and alarm when other predators are rooting about. We have only ever had one that killed a chicken and a home was found for him. None ever ate eggs.

    We had one cat we could never catch to spay. She never brought kittens home so figured maybe she was naturally sterile. No such. She was just such a terrible mother. Her 'last' litter was delivered in a corner a few feet from a setting Muscovy duck. For two days that duck worked her nest closer and closer to the corner till finally she had claimed the corner and the kittens. The duck rotated those little ones and tucked them in and kept them warm and attended to them like her own. But during this time the old girl would show up several times a day and nurse her kittens, disappear, and the duck would promptly tuck them back under her when momma had left. Even though we had several dozen Muscovy, it was amazing to see those kittens, even when grown, find 'mother'. Rubbing against her breast and purring at her all the while she was hissing and cocking her head up in the air in indignation. And as for the old momma cat, that was her only kittens that we knew of as we were able to trap her in the coop as the kittens were nearing weaning and get her spayed.
     
  8. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northwest Hills of CT
    Give that duck a medal! You should have taken a video of the duck caring for the kittens, that would be a sight to see!
     

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