Stray or Feral Cats... a threat??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by The Burg Peeps, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. The Burg Peeps

    The Burg Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2011
    We are getting 4 backyard chickens in 1 week, Barred Rocks. [​IMG]
    We recently had a neighbour come to the door and her kitten had run into our yard. This got me thinking... what if the chickens had been back there? There are no feral cats in our neighbourhood that I know of and I have only ever seen 1 cat roaming the neighbourhood (but it simply walks down the road). I was just curious if the cats would be a threat to the Hens or not while they free range my yard. We will not be getting any Roosters, I assume the Rooster would kick a cats butt! [​IMG]

    Thanks for the advice.
  2. Jeevesrules

    Jeevesrules Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2011
    Otley, Leeds, England
    Cats generally do not attack anything more that half their size, but there are brave ones. I do not think a cat would stand much of a chance against 4 hens [​IMG] keep an eye out though. always be cautious
  3. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    I can't say for all but my flock adopted 2 stray cats as their own and they respect the chickens and know their limts. They do not even bother the newly hatched chicks!!! The chickens both hens, roos and little ones let them know whose boss!!! But the one cat really thinks he is a chicken! He perches with them, sleeps with the little guys in the brooder area under the lamp, and most recently I caught him laying on the nest with eggs!!! I guess he is even helping with their hatching!!! LOL Caught him redhanded with pictures! LOL

    But I would keep a close eye out at first just to be sure. Now I don't worry at all even with the newly hatched chicks. I even think the even help to keep other predators away. The one cat has some recent battle wounds on it so either another cat or something else might have wanted to come into the barn and he apparently didn't want that to happen! [​IMG]
  4. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    I would watch cats around young chicks and pullets. I did see in the predator/pest forum a post about someone who lost some young chicks from a brooder to a stray/feral cat.

    Otherwise I don't think a cat would bother most full grown chickens (I might be a bit nervous with bantams), I have a 12 lb Maine Coon and I would put money on any of my full grown birds against him any day!
  5. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    I just rehomed a young cat (5 months) because it would keep chasing the chickens.I think you will have to be there to watch them until they are good sized.Probably by then you will be alright.I have 3 cats of my own that keep other cats from coming in the yard, but out here if I didn't have them I would worry! We get a lot of "drop-offs" out here.
    As for bantam sized chickens...I would worry more.
  6. andalusn

    andalusn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    Maybe it really has to do with how hungry the cat is and the size of the chicken. I have large, tom (feral) cats that live in a trailer next to my manure pile. The chicken, broody w/peeps included that make daily trips to the manure pile to work the dirt and look for grubs and worms. Have not lost one yet to a cat or anything else for that matter and they are not supervised. My great hunter of a cat leaves the chickens and peeps alone. Will walk amongst the hens in the barn and yard. Sleeps on the roof of a car that is about 10 to 12 feet from the feeding area and a brooder pen. Last week I found the neighbors can between my brooder box and the stall wall and it ran away from me. All of these cats can come and go at will and usually I see them staking out mouse holes and known mouse trails. They really don't bother my chickens or young birds in any way. They know the difference, they stalk the baby birds in the swallow nests above their heads. There is no absolute in this area. Someone like me does not have an issue but someone else might. I would not put it past a hungry animal to try taking on anything that appears possible. Hunger is a powerful incentive.
  7. chickenboots

    chickenboots Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2010
    I brought home a stray cat last year. She went after my hens a couple of times. She actually jumped on one's back once. My roo got ahold of her and she never touched them again. I don't know if she would have killed her but some will try.
  8. stilldeb

    stilldeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2010
    NW Kentucky
    We have a stray cat hanging around that has been here for awhile now. At first, he would sit in the garden and watch the chickens. Then he figured out he could get into the dog pen and 'share' food out of old Duke's feeder, so now Duke has a cat, and the cat isn't hungry enough to bother the chickens and ignores them. I think the cat keeps vermin, etc. away, too.

    deb g
  9. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feral cats are shot on site around our farm. Feral cats are the largest predators of songbirds in the USA.
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Cats can easily kill chicks and young poultry.

    They are capable of killing adult birds, but probably won't unless they are hungry. Oh, and hey, strays are often hungry.

    Chickens are very easy to kill at night when they sleep, so if there are cats wandering around, be sure your night coop is secure and the cats can't get in.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by