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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickaboom, Nov 4, 2008.
mine were interested when they were chicks , now they out weigh the cats
My very wild Dusty cat stalked the bantams next door but one day the largest hen flapped her wings and stretched and I thought he would kill hisself getting away. I could just read his thoughts( Giant Dinasaur chicken run for your life. )
He quit stalking and never bothered them again even the bantam with 9 chicks who raised them in the yard. However I have seen cats jump and catch birds all over the place. If it doesn't have a moma hen about it would be in peril. Jean
That's one good kitty. I worry about my one banty. I don't think my cats or the neighbor's will mess with the others but I don't want to find out by losing the banty.
cats are interesting animals, very 'instinctually' smart. like sharks. they have a built in program that is very efficient at killing things at certain sizes.
like mountain lions (cougars they call them here) they rarely attack anyone over like 5' 6", or men who are young and healthy (less than 5'6") there just happens to be a size threshold that a mountain lion will mess with. there was a man attacked in the redwoods a few years back and he was elderly, i think his age and agility factored into the attack cat's are smart like this (and silly dumb in other ways too - like chickens)
house cats are similar, 10 week pullet may be fair game, 12 week may be too big. cats prefer mouse size things i think even rats are a bit big for them.
Obviously, it won't be a 100% answer, but this is my experience. Our indoor/outdoor cats are terrified of our full grown hens. We never let them near chicks. But friends of mine who have barn cats have occasionally lost hens to them. I think that barn/feral cats are the most likely, but so rarely that I wouldn't worry a whole lot.
thanks for everyone's reply. I think I'll go with watching my one big kitty very closely and the little girl I think will steer clear. I don't have a rooster and my hens are so so docile.
My big boy seems to be stalking them lately, it's worried me a lot.
I've been having 5 chickens for over 2 years in my backyard. Neighbours cats come to visit and go. I never worried about neighours cats harming my chickens. I didnt even close their coop at night so in the morning chickens would freely walk out.
But the last weekend night , right after midnight it happened. One of the cats attacked my chickens. I woke up from lots of chickens noise, Run out to my backyard and saw my chickens running around in the dark backyard. Then I heard a scratching noise of a cat trying to jump over the fence.
I just thought that the cat scared my chickens. After I found my chickens an dplaced them back in the coop I realized that I cant find one , teh friednliest one. I was lookign with a flashlight everywhere in the backyard and then fund lots of the chickens feathers near bush.
I was very upset.
Next morning I found more feathers, followed the trail , found more on the fence... Picked over the fence , in the neighbour's backyard and my dead chicken was half eaten there... I am so upset, never thought that cats , comign to visit and watch my chickens would strike like that...
I put a door on the coop and close it at night to keep my chickens safe .
Wow, I am a newbie my chicks are about 7 weeks, because of all your information my little chick was treated for fleas/lice/mites and although she is much smaller than the rest is starting to flourish (yay!!!). And is finally starting to grow. I too have barn cats and was wondering when to let my chicks out in the yard.....12 weeks sounds good. I am hoping for the best, and the one pullet who has turned out to be a rooster gets to stay Although he is a bantam.
I'd say that cats will be FAR more likely to go for chicks and young birds or tiny bantams as well. No cat in it's right mind is going to take on a full grown LF bird. Maybe a horribly starving feral cat, but even then, the sheer size and fight in a normal chicken might be a bit much.
If you feel better watching your cats, by all means do it. I'd venture the cats are more curious than anything... and once a hen gives them a good scare, they'll leave them alone