Problem with hen attacking cats

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Its Just Us Chickens, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Its Just Us Chickens

    Its Just Us Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
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    My barred rock hen keeps pecking the cats running them off from there food.
    Now she's actually hurting the cats. Ripping hair out, breaking the skin. One of my cats has a large sore on his leg where she keeps pecking him in the same spot over and over.

    Is there any way to get her to not do this?
     
  2. hollyk

    hollyk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2008
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    That is one gutsy chicken! I would think the cat would have defened itself by now. I dont have any advice- any thing I would rub on a chicken to protect it a cat would probably lick off. Could you feed the cats in a high spot the chicken can't readily get to?
     
  3. Its Just Us Chickens

    Its Just Us Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
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    Both of my cats are scarred of the chickens and try to avoid them. I've started feeding them after the chickens go to roost. But the hen is getting a little more agressive now. When the cats are napping on the steps, she decides to pick on them.
    She's at the low end of the chicken totem pole, so maybe she's taking her aggressions out on the cat cats. [​IMG] IDK. At first when she started doing it I thought it was kinda funny, but now that she's hurting them, it needs to stop.
     
  4. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    My barred rock was the most curious cluck I had, and that drive to get food is really strong, so I don't know if you can train her not to bother the cats - mine would take bones away from my JRT - she was very brave and persistent!

    If you can't separate them, is it possible for you to feed the cats in the evening - after the cluck has gone to roost, or in the morning before you let her out of the coop/run/barn?

    If you've clipped one of your cluck's wings maybe you can put the cat food up higher than she can reach (although this may encourage your barred rock to try to fly.)

    Sorry that she's hurt one of them - but remember, she is a little feathered T-Rex! She'll keep going after that wound as long as it is available...

    Good luck!
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I am sending you my cat. Her name is Killer Kitty. You can feed her any ol' cat food. She will catch mice, rabbits and songbirds for you. She will leave these at the backdoor for you. No need to thank her, she considers these things the best of gifts.
    When she has learned a healthy respect for chickens, please send her back.
    Thank you! [​IMG]
     
  6. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think you can teach a chicken to not eat cat food. They love it. I think you just need to figure out a place for the cats to eat, safe from the chickens.

    We have several cats, most of which go in and out, and we feed them indoors. But we have a couple of them who don't get to come inside to eat because they had started spraying indoors. Chickens love cat food, and we have dogs, too, so we had to figure out a way to feed the outdoor cats, without leaving cat food for the dogs to scarf down, or for the chickens to get. What we did was build a small "cat house". It's about two feet tall, two feet wide, and 5 feet long, with two compartments. Each compartment has a cat flap on one long side, for the cats to come and go. The cat flap wasn't enough, because when we got another, smaller dog, she was able to stick her head under the flap and steal the cat food. So we put a couple of doors that slide open on the opposite long side, and that's where we put the food dishes. The cats come and go as they please through the flaps, the dogs can't reach the food, the chickens can't manage the flaps. It works great. The outdoor cats get fed, and they have a shelter as well.

    We use heavy ceramic containers for the food. Lighter ones, like plastic bowls, get knocked over when empty, pushed around, and can be hard to reach. Ours are ceramic popcorn buckets we found for about $2 at a thrift store. They hold about 5 cups of food each.

    People worry about cats bothering or killing chickens, but in my experience, except for baby chicks, the chickens intimidate the heck out of the cats, and sometime attack them. I saw an 18 lb. Maine Coon cat beat up by a 1/2 lb. banty hen.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:So I've read, many times. My cat must be the exception to the rule. About once a week we try introducing her to the chickens, as we'd really prefer not to have an indoor cat and every time she proves that she only wants dead chickens. My roo attacked her last time and she kept right at it.

    She's a former feral and has other strange habits we attribute to that as well. For now, she's an indoor cat during the day while the chickens are out. We feed her indoors and let her do her prowlng at night.
     
  8. Its Just Us Chickens

    Its Just Us Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:LOL!! [​IMG]

    Helen will have your cat whipped into shape in no time.
     
  9. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:So I've read, many times. My cat must be the exception to the rule. About once a week we try introducing her to the chickens, as we'd really prefer not to have an indoor cat and every time she proves that she only wants dead chickens. My roo attacked her last time and she kept right at it.

    She's a former feral and has other strange habits we attribute to that as well. For now, she's an indoor cat during the day while the chickens are out. We feed her indoors and let her do her prowlng at night.

    Yeah, that's unusual, all right. I think you're only the 3rd or 4th person I've ever known to have a real chicken predation problem from a cat.

    Mine (I have nine) sometimes spend the night in coop, if they're down there hunting mice and get locked in by accident. In the morning, they're meowing piteously to be let out, away from the big scary chickens. There's an old doghouse out in one of the runs, the cats sometimes hide under that, while meowing piteously.

    I had a pair of peahens once, and that same Maine Coon thought he'd try to stalk and startle one. While he thought he was stalking the one, the other circled around, snuck up behind him and pecked his tail! He must've jumped about 5 feet straight up! It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Maybe you need peafowl, turkeys, or an emu!
     
  10. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would follow the other suggestions of feeding the cats up where the chickens can't get or feeding in an area the chickens can't get to.
    When I lived at my previous place there were already "barn" cats on the place and I would find cat(s) and hen both curled up in the same nest box. This was not uncommon especially in the cooler months.
    I never figured out if the cat was in the box first or if the hen was, I suspect the cat entered the nest box while the hen was laying and found them to be the perfect electric blanket.
     

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