Should I be worried about cats with my free ranging pullets in suburbia? And what about other predat

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LoooAnnn, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. LoooAnnn

    LoooAnnn Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2013
    Hi. we live in a suburb of Portland, OR and I just moved our three chicks, now on their way to chickens, from their brooder into their big girl coop in our back yard. I was hoping to, and have been, letting them free range during the day and then I lock them up safe at night. I know it's possible to have racoons and opossums around here (although I haven't seen any in as long as I can remember, usually when they become a problem you see them dead all over the roads) and we do have your run of the mill gray squirrels. I was just alarmed by three loud chicks and could tell by their behavior something was amiss...I went out to check on them and a neighbors cat was perching on my fence above where they were foraging. I have read that chickens will attack a cat and once a cat is pecked they won't come around again. Is this true for younger pullets as well? I have seen one of our pullets run after and try to attack our puppy, but she is timid around them to start and half the size of an adult cat. We also have a cat, who is interested in the chicks but has not yet tried any funny business. Any thoughts? I really don't want to keep them "cooped up", and while I can build a larger run for them to move around the yard if I have to, I really prefer not to. Thanks in advance!
  2. BunkyB

    BunkyB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cats can be a hit and miss when it comes to killing pullets or bigger birds. If the cats have not attacked by now then I think you will be safe. But chicks, never let them run loose. Cats definitely see a meal there. When the neighbors cats visit my place they came across a brick wall, my 2 male guineas would attack the cats and scare the snot out of them furbags. As long as your birds are not lets say "robin size" and they are untouched then I think you are safe.

    As for raccoons and opossum,etc. that is a different story... Steve
  3. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 16, 2012
    My very own cat will stalk and try to kill any young birds at my place, but once they are grown or close to it it is smooth sailing with the cats and chickens hanging out. It's funny because sometimes the chickens will follow the cat around, and I'm like hey hey hey, 2 months ago I stopped him from eating you, and now you guys are going to follow him into the woods?!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Free ranging equals increased risk. I wouldn't trust a cat with anything less than a savvy full grown large fowl.

    I see you have a fence so maybe dogs are not a problem, but do you have hawks around?
  5. LoooAnnn

    LoooAnnn Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2013
    I don't think hawks are an issue here, and yes we have a fully fenced yard, dogs won't be an issue and I don't know why I didn't think about the fact that neighbor cats could get in. I've since left them cooped up except when supervised, they have a run so they are happy enough. I guess it's going to be safest to wait until they are grown to let them free. And BTW they are def. bigger than Robin size, but not full grown either. Thanks for everyone's help!

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