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Chickens and Cats?

(22 Posts)
glastochick Thu 04-Sep-08 17:29:39

Would love to start keeping chickens, only we have cats. I do know people who keep chickens and cats quite happily together, and the cats leave the chickens alone. The chickens are free ranging during the day, but shut up in their houses at night. However, in all these situations the chickens existed before the cats arrived, so as kittens the cats did not decide the chickens were prey.

I do not know of anyone who has introduced chickens to adult, hunting, cats. Does anyone here have any experience, and was it successful?

I could consider runs for the chickens, but I'd rather not keep them caged IYKWIM.

sylvev Thu 04-Sep-08 18:13:04

We have! Got our 4 chickens (just at point of lay)a couple of months ago and we have 2 adult cats. Chickens free range all day and cats are fine with them. Shocked initially but now they just ignore each other. Next doors cat (big ginger tom) tries to stalk the chickens but they are big and just run at the cat. We wouldn't get small chickens or chicks, I think we'd be pushing our luck grin

crkm Thu 04-Sep-08 22:20:56

had my cat first. introduced the chickens (three of them) four weeks ago. they free range while i am at home and the cat was ignoring them. now he hisses at them a bit and yesterday they chased him round the garden!! highly amusing!! bit of a love /hate relationship!

vjg13 Fri 05-Sep-08 10:30:51

The chickens were very vocal when they first met the cats, now they just have a stand off now and again.

TheDuchessOfNork Fri 05-Sep-08 10:37:04

If you get hens that are around 20 weeks old (ie. point of lay) they'll be big enough to take care of themselves.

As others have said, there might be a bit of occasional posturing, but nothing deadly!

Doodle2U Fri 05-Sep-08 10:41:35

My cat couldn't care less about the chickens.

She loves-up with the dog as well.

She is very old and very un-cat like though!

Glasto - I'd think about some kind of run for the chickens because there will be times when you can't be around and you'll want to know they're safe and out of harms way.

glastochick Fri 05-Sep-08 13:49:36

Brilliant, thanks everyone!

So making sure they're at point of lay size is the way forward then. I've been looking into runs which are attached to houses, so the girls could have shelter as well as somewhere to scrabble around. DH and I are out at work all day so that would probably be best for them.

2 of our cats are terrible hunters. All, except one (who I don't think realises he's a cat) hunt mice etc, but the 2 girls have brought back baby rabbits and wood pigeons before now.

Time to start researching breeds I guess. I have an idea of where in the garden I could put them, so will be assessing that area properly over the weekend.

emwi Tue 16-Sep-08 20:14:49

We have killer farm cats - rabbits, birds, mice, voles, etc. and they wouldn't tackle a chicken - too pecky!

Ripeberry Tue 16-Sep-08 20:15:51

Just make sure the chickens are bigger than the cats!

DaisySteiner Sat 20-Sep-08 21:54:20

We hatched out chicks this summer and never, not once, even when they were tiny did our two cats show the slightest bit of interest in them. It was truly bizarre, because they do love a good birdy to chase and eat, but they seemed to have just decided that the chicks were off-limits and left them alone. We put them outside at about 5 weeks old and the cats left them completely alone. hmm

Debs41 Mon 25-Jul-11 11:32:42

We have chickens and cats and dogs and they all get on fine! The dogs go for walks in the chicken enclosure we have and the cats come and watch what we are doing when we go in there! The chickens chase the cats off if they have enough of them!

The dogs get to see the chickens all the time, so dont bother with them. Suppose it is like working in a cake shop all the time, you see so many you just dont fancy them anymore!!

I keep pekin bantams, which are half the size of your bog standard farm chook. They see off cats no bother. In fact, I had to rescue next doors cat from ASBO Chicken after she cornered it under a Rose bush. Chickens are quite fearsome, really, and a lot bigger close up than they appear from a fence.

msbuggywinkle Wed 27-Jul-11 10:07:33

My chickens quite like our cat (cat was here first, does hunt sometimes) when he's basking in the sun they snuggle up to him!

They are scary to cats they don't know though, they work together and corner them! No other cats come near now!

twinklypearls Wed 27-Jul-11 10:51:24

We have cats who love to hunt, they have bought home young rabbits before and will always have a go at a bird. We had the cars way before the chickens and I was a little nervous but they are all fine together . The chickens have always been bugger than the cats - which mat help. Yesterday our chickens chased one of the cats round the lawn.

lindasones Thu 28-Jul-11 09:04:16

We have cats, chickens and dogs and there is no problem. I am extra careful when I have small chicks because the cats are quite interested. Our older chickens stretch their necks in a comical way and charge at the cats if they get in the way and both cats move quick smart. Our dogs come on 'chicken patrol' in the evening to help round up the young pullets who are a bit thick and don't seem to have got the idea of going to roost yet.

Insomnia11 Tue 13-Sep-11 18:08:00

At first the cats chased the chickens a bit (esp the younger cat) but not to actually catch and kill them, just for fun though the chooks can bloody shift if they need to.

Now it feels like the chickens are the boss of the cats (3 vs 2), or they just all get along. The cats both hunt. I found out this way that chickens like carrion - they will eat almost bloody anything, even other birds...

One cat had caught and killed a collared dove, and brought it into the house and I shooed her straight out again. Next minute I looked out and the chickens were in a huddle around the carcass, obviously having nicked it off the cat! About five minutes later they had picked the bones clean and were having a game of "catch the pigeon (bones)". shock.

nancy10 Thu 15-Sep-11 23:12:57

We live on a farm and our cats have been known to kill a few of the pheasants that stroll around. So when we got chickens we kept them in their large enclosure all the time. We eventually let them out and the cats did stalk them but made no attempt to catch or hurt them. We also have 3 dogs and they all seem to respect each other.

arfur Fri 16-Sep-11 23:34:54

We got 6 ex-battery girls on Tuesday and our evil puss is TERRIFIED of them! She plucked up enough courage to pounce on the fence near them today so I held the run door open for her to come and meet them and she slunk off back down the garden in disgust - hilarious. Me and dd were discussing our girls earlier and have decided that keeping chickens makes you happy!

samnpat Tue 20-Sep-11 16:20:56

when i had chicks i was worried about the cats attacking them but i put cat in the run with mummy hen and chicks and the cats never went near them again.a fearsome sight broody in protect mode!

babycham42 Tue 20-Sep-11 16:39:38

I can also echo that bunny killer mog is scared of the chickens if anything but they co-exist very contentedly.In the past I have had a different cat and chicks and no problem - like someone else said,it"s strange but the cat seemed to know the chicks weren"t fair game!(perhaps scared of the Mummies?)
Had our cat before the chickens btw.
Just keep an eye on things at first - but you will anyway as they"re so lovely!

Tewkespeggy Fri 23-Sep-11 12:02:20

we got point of lay, and they chase the cats all the time. as with previous posts the chickens will eat anything the cats kill, which can be a bit yuk.

had to 'rescue' the cat from the top of the hen house the other day. I couldnt stop laughing.

Oh watch out too, the hens soon learned where the cat food was kept and often came into the house to peck up any leftovers. needless to say we stopped buying chicken flavour 'just in case'!

Hens are great!

Daveschooks Fri 23-Sep-11 12:31:59

We also have cat chasing chickens whose aim is to get inside to eat the cat food. One of them has nine chicks at present and has a firm eye on the cats. The cats bring them offerings of dead mice, which they fight over. Lovely animals!

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