SORT OF NEW TO CHICKEN REARING

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 4loveofeggs, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. 4loveofeggs

    4loveofeggs New Egg

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    Although we had laying hens and chickens in our backyard(along with many colonies of bees), I am relatively new to raising chickens. We are looking into having a 70 sq feet chicken coop and going to build it ourselves with the help of a hired hand or two.

    However, we have one domestic cat of ours who has killed birds before and left them as a "gift" on our doorstep. We also have a lot of feral cats that aren't ours and we don't fed them. They kill mice and rats for us, eat off the "head" and we throw away the rest.

    My concern is having chickens who might get injured/killed by the either the one domestic cat or other feral cats. Should we just keep the chickens "contained" all the time to prevent this? A friend of ours said that he had chickens that rats killed also. However, since we have the feral cats killing the rats, I don't think rats would kill the chickens. What do you all more experienced people suggest: keeping the chickens contained all day/night is the only thing I can think of?


    Thanks in advance for your input,

    4loveofeggs
     
  2. Jucodeo

    Jucodeo The Sky is Falling!

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    Dear 4loveofeggs, before I answer your question I want to welcome you to BYC! I understand where your coming from with the cat business. As a owner of 3 cats I have had more moles, rats, and mice end up on my doorstep than I can count! As for your new flock I am very excited for you! [​IMG] Before I answer your question if you ever need help with rasing your chickens fell free to stop by our Raising Backyard Chickens Forum here https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/64/raising-backyard-chickens there you can ask as many questions as you want about your new flock. With your protection of your chickens they should be relatively safe from the cats. If you are planning on letting them out your best option would be to build a fence. If you build a fence that is about 6 ft tall that should keep up the cats and any other animals that may try to get in. That way you can let your chickens out without worrying about predators, or your chickens flying away which they could do if they roam freely. All the best of luck!
    Justin [​IMG]
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I am so sorry about the cat situation. When ever you have predators, whether they be cats, hawks, coyotes, bears or what have you, it is best to keep your chickens in an enclosed well built run or some sort of outdoor area that is protected. We are loaded with all kinds of predators and I can't leave my birds outside unattended or at least check in on quite a bit. I have a fenced off area next to the coop which has lots of trees and places to duck under should there be an aerial attack or something got into this area. But I do not leave them there when I am not around to keep an eye on things. Much of their time is spent in their run. Build them a large run so they have plenty of room. They say 10 square feet per bird, but I still find this rather confining. My birds have about 20 square feet or more depending on how many birds I have at the time. I use hardware cloth, 1/2 inch, on all exterior parts of the coop and run... never use chicken wire. Too flimsy and coon and skunks will rip it apart and even hawks will dive right through it.

    You might check out our Coops pages for some ideas on building a nice run... https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops

    And even post in our Coop and Run construction forums for more help too...https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance

    Good luck and keep your birds safe!

    Welcome to our flock! :)
     
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! I'm sorry to hear about the cat trouble. You have some great advice above so I will wish you the very best of luck for the future.

    Enjoy your time here on BYC and all the chicken chat :frow
     
  5. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Sounds like you are planning to get a nice number of birds. I agree that a covered run would be your best option for keeping them safe. I think that even if you are out with them that a cat can move really fast ... they do in my neighborhood anyway.
     
  6. Jucodeo

    Jucodeo The Sky is Falling!

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    Yes I think that as long as their run is protected and safe no cat or any other predator would be able to get their hands on them.
     
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    I agree whole heartedly with 2 Crows - NO poultry wire, YES 1/2" hardware cloth . Also have a covering on the run. If solid it can offer some protection from the elements and also provide shade. Would also worry about your cat "catching" some disease from all the ferals. Do they "catch, neuter & release," in your area?
     
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us! I've never had a problem with cats bothering my chickens, but I have heard of other chicken keepers losing especially younger birds to them, so best to be cautious now.
     
  9. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     

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