will a feral cat eat my chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by eggsidental farmer, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. eggsidental farmer

    eggsidental farmer In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2009
    occidental, ca
    i was going to adopt a pair of feral cats (neutered and spayed) to help me with my mice population...the lady assured me that my chickens would be safe.
    what do you all say? i haven't gotten my chickens yet, and will be getting teenaged chickens--about 10 weeks old--who will be outside the aviary during the day (behind some fencing) and inside the aviary in the early morning, late afternoon, and when i'm not home.
  2. CHIC

    CHIC Songster

    Aug 18, 2009
    I wouldn't let them come in contact with the cats, especially while the birds are still small. I don't think a cat could resist that kind of temptation. When the chickens are fully grown, I don't think it would be as much of a concern because of their size compared to the cats.
  3. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    At 10 weeks old, my CHICKENS were eating mice!!! And moles, and lizards, frogs if they could catch them....I'm sure lots of folks have great luck with cats -- two neighborhood strays -- one stalks the chickens, (hasn't caught one yet as far as I know) and the other ignores them completely. I'd hesitate to do it myself, though, unless I raised a cat from a kitten and the birds were bigger than it was.

    Good luck with your decision!
  4. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Songster

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    I have some feral cats around and I was worried about my 10 week olds, but to my surprise the cat didn't bother with them. When the chicks came over to inspect the cat dish, the cat ran off!

    Yesterday I was in the garden and the cat was here so I put some food out. The girls came wandering over (they are now almost 4 months old) and I was alarmed when the cat hissed and refused to move, so I chased him off.

    I'm not worried though. I think the girls are big enough now and the cat won't bother them.

    Good luck!
  5. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    I think it just depends on how big the chickens are. None of the neighborhood cats nor my own have bothered our chickens. When they are small, I am more concerned about rats and racoons getting them than cats, so I keep them in a secure cage until they are feathered out. We also have a dog to help protect them.
  6. eggsidental farmer

    eggsidental farmer In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2009
    occidental, ca
    so how big IS a ten week old chicken? does anyone have a picture of a ten week old chicken?
    i am expecting the cats next week; the chickens next month...i think i will keep them in the aviary unless i'm out there, at least initially, until they're bigger. i just worry that a cat will attack and eat a chicken?
  7. RedStarDaddy

    RedStarDaddy Chirping

    Aug 18, 2009

    Here is my own tale concerning feral cats and chickens. It sure set my mind at ease when I saw that.

  8. imanerd

    imanerd In the Brooder

    Aug 28, 2009
    Saucier, MS
    I have a large bob tail cat that loves to hunt. He'll catch anything that moves - birds, squirrels, rabbits, etc. I've even witnessed him do a 4ft back flip to catch a moth. But he never messes with the chickens no matter how small they are and we didn't have to "teach" him to behave this way. Maybe he just knows that the chickens are part of the family???

    Here's a few pics:
  9. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009
    I heard a ruckus this morning coming from our chicken tractor, and when I went outside to check, I spotted a large cat trying to figure out how to get inside the tractor. I scared it off, but now I've got to consider my next step. Obviously, our six foot wood fence is no deterrent. We enjoy letting our chickens out every night for about an hour while we watch them, and every day we have to move them from their coop to their tractor. I can't imagine how awful it would be to see one of our precious bantams picked off by a cat right in front of our own eyes.

    I've seen this cat in our neighborhood before, but I don't know whether it's a stray or somebody's pet. It doesn't have a collar. Now that it knows we have chickens in our yard, it will keep coming back.

    I know if I trap the cat and take it to the humane society, it will be euthanized. I'd like to try some other options first. I'm think of trying a product called Shake Away (made from dried predator urine) and also something called the Scarecrow, which is device that blasts water when its sensor is tripped. Both of these things might also help deter raccoons and possums.
  10. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    YES! YES! YES! a feral cat will eat the chickens I lost 4 to 'friendly' feral cat

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: