Novice chicken keeper

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mikeclough
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:08 am

Novice chicken keeper

Post by mikeclough » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:33 am

Hi Folks,
After much deliberation my wife and I are now looking after four rescue chickens. They seem very happy and have vastly improved in appearance since we got them in mid-July this year when they were in a pretty sorry state. I have lots of questions but I will start with the one that was the cause of our doubts about keeping chickens in the first place: do domestic cats ever attack chickens? We have two cats, a sweet gentle female and a fairly aggressive male who I do not trust. So far so good - he has seen the chickens in their run but has not attacked. Generally he spends the daytime sleeping indoors and goes out at night when, of course the chickens are secure in their coop. Hopefully I'm worrying about nothing.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Novice chicken keeper

Post by Tweetypie » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:23 am

Hi Mike, I am also a novice chicken keeper and I also purchased some ex battery hens in May 2018.
I don't have a cat, but my neighbour has one and there are others on the lane where I live. I used to let my chickens roam freely on my large garden, so they were open to be attacked by cats should they have wished to, but none of them showed any interest. Next door's bengal cat was scared of my chickens!
My chickens (I now have 4) live in a 20 foot square, 7 foot high enclosure now, with a large dustbath and coop. This is because they ruined my flower boarders, not because of predators. ;-)
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Marigold
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Re: Novice chicken keeper

Post by Marigold » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:26 pm

My previous terrier got soundly pecked on the nose by a young pullet and thereafter studiously avoided the hens. I would imagine that any healthy hybrid could do the same to a domestic cat, though I would perhaps worry more about the possibility of daytime fox attacks if the hens were free in the garden. In the Pests and Predators section there are many sad posts about such events.
dianefairhall
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Re: Novice chicken keeper

Post by dianefairhall » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:42 pm

This is of interest to me too, as I have two cats and my three hens arrive soon. I have several correspondents who have both cats and hens and they all say that in general they ignore each other. I very much doubt you have anything to worry about but of course if you intend to let the hens free range you need to keep an eye on the aggressive cat. You won't know until you try.
dianefairhall
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Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:26 pm

Re: Novice chicken keeper

Post by dianefairhall » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:59 am

Well, we've had our hens for a week now and the cats don't seem interested in the hens and vice versa. Neighbour's cat from up the road had a sniff round outside the run but showed no interest in the hens. Good.
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