October 8, 2010 at 8:43 am #253370
We’re looking into getting a couple of chooks for the backyard. We’re in the research coops and breeds stage.
Our next door neighbours have about 4 “free range” cats, two of whom menace our dog. It occurred to me that cats, especially ones that don’t live here, could pose a problem with the chooks.
Has anyone else found this to be a problem?
(I have no problem with cats, so long as I don’t have to have one ;), I’m just a little worried about ‘foreign’ cats and our chooks. Next door’s seem to regard our place as theirs.)October 8, 2010 at 9:06 am #479612
We had an attack by a neighbours cat very late one winter night. It had managed to tunnel its way in under the wire and nearly killed my favourite chook (took months for her to recover and she never layed again).
We have a large wired enclosure with the wire folded outways at the bottom and anchored with soil and now also with some large concrete fencing posts to deter ferral cats.
We have 2 cats of our own who are not allowed outside and only stalk the chooks from the safety of a glass window.October 8, 2010 at 9:48 am #479613
We have 3 cats and they mostly ignore the chickens. One of the cats once hissed at the chickens when we first got them and was soundly pecked for her her trouble, she never did that again. One of the neighbors cats comes over and he doesn’t bother them either ( in fact he’s taken to sleeping in the chook house, which is fine by me as he’s already caught 3 mice and a rat.)
I am much more worried about neighborhood dogs than cats, however Ferrel cats would be a serious issue in areas near bush etcOctober 8, 2010 at 10:09 am #479614
We had cats and chooks for years when I was a kid and they never appeared to bother each other. The neighbours cats never seemed to care about the chooks either. All cats don’t mind snacking on baby chicks though!:jawdrop:October 8, 2010 at 10:10 am #479615
We had cats and chooks for years when I was a kid and they never appeared to bother each other. The neighbours cats never seemed to care about the chooks either. All cats don’t mind snacking on baby chicks though!:jawdrop:October 8, 2010 at 11:57 am #479616
My cat’s think the chickens belong so they don’t bother them but one nabours cat thought one of my girls was fair game he got the hose turned on him.
My mother has a nabour with a few chcikens and they are not bothered by any of the couple dozen or more cats around.
I think it depends on the cats and the chickens.October 9, 2010 at 6:58 am #479617
“free range” cats, two of whom menace our dog.
Erm, if the cats hassle your dog, your chooks are going to be in danger.
Always assume the worst when it comes to your chooks safety, I would bet money those cats will try to get them if they can.
Unfortunately I can tell you from experience it’s easier to build chookie Fort Knox than convince a problem cats owner to keep their pet from straying.October 9, 2010 at 7:40 am #479618
I have three cats too and none of them pose a problem to the chooks. In fact two of the often spend over night in the chook pens, together with roosting, sleeping chookens, at times when rats and mice are a problem.
I love my cats!!!!October 9, 2010 at 9:44 am #479619
We live in a town full of chooks and cats (we have 8 cats & 7 chooks ourselves) and Ive never heard of a problem between them. Our cats leave our chooks alone and they sometimes share their dinners but no one chases off the “intruders” they just eat together. Ive also found them snuggled up together on cold days!!October 9, 2010 at 7:52 pm #479620
“menace our dog” is the point to focus on, I believe. Does your dog rank low on the status scale, ie does it give ground easily as a matter of course? That might make the cats look more assertive than they are. If not, & your dog is fairly confident/assertive that indicates these cats are a real problem.
No 1 is a strong enclosure. You might also consider breeds like leghorns, Australian game etc & not the more immobile breeds like silkies (acknowledging that you may have other reasons for choosing a docile breed).October 10, 2010 at 8:16 am #479621
The dog is very much on the bottom of the totem pole; the most submissive dog I’ve seen. She barks at the cats, but from 6 feet away, and if you go outside she’ll just cry. We’ve had her for just over a year and she came that way. She’s definitely the “bottom dog” and not the top dog…only dog we’ve ever had that licks the bacon rinds in your hand until she’s sure that she’s allowed to have them…go figure.
I think we’d best tread carefully then where the chooks are concerned. We’re homeschoolers and so we’re home all day to keep an eye on the chooks and they’d be locked up at night.
We’re on good terms with the neighbours and we’d like it to stay that way, so Fort Knox it will have to be methinks.
Thanks for all the replies 🙂October 10, 2010 at 9:31 am #479622
We live in the middle of suburbia and there are tons of cats around the place. We free range our chooks during the day and I’ve never seen a cat near them. They’re in a ‘chook tractor’ at night, that is just perched on the ground – I’m sure if an intruder wanted to get in it would be easy enough to dig under, but it’s never been a problem. We have 8 chooks free-ranging and I reckon they’d give anything a hard time if it tried to attack!October 10, 2010 at 11:45 am #479623
My cat is definitely eyeing off my three day old chicks as tasty treats………..October 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm #479624
My cats (and the neighbour’s cat who would face down me occasionally) never bothered the full size ex-battery isa’s that we had – in fact the chickens chased them off a few times. Occasionally they would stalk the bantam barbu d’uccle’s, but they never caught them (partly because I made sure they knew they were out of bounds).
I think full size chickens should be fine during the day, but protect their nighthouse because a sleepy chicken is easy game.October 11, 2010 at 10:30 am #479625
I have 4 cats & 2 4-week old chicks, all of whom are currently roaming around the house together. The cats aren’t exactly friendly, but have learnt that the chicks are not to be touched. They can be watched or sniffed, but not touched.
Everyone is well enough behaved that we can leave them out together without direct supervision for a short while (but I wouldn’t trust them for too long!)
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