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cats and hens.... a bit of a thick question

 
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stabcitycolleen
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 05 6:11 pm    Post subject: cats and hens.... a bit of a thick question  Reply with quote    

im only at the thinking stage of 'maybe i'll get three hens' for my small back garden.
my question is : if i get three adult hens, what are the chances of my cats doing damage to them? ive been told that the adult hens would be well able for the cats. im not sure....... can you help.
Also, how big should their 'house' be, and do they need a run if imjust going to let them roam the garden?
thanks everyone and your advise is very much appreciated.
scc

Loopy Lou



Joined: 02 Apr 2005
Posts: 263
Location: Northamptonshire
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 05 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Our cat and chickens got on fine, didn't bother with each other at all. Sadly we had to say our goodbyes to the cat a few months ago.

Mine have a permanent run, but do have supervised time in the garden.

I will let someone who knows better advise you of house size.

portwayfarm



Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 05 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hi there. Can only speak from experience we have a small holding that we used to run as a livery yard. As such there was a lot of hay/straw/feed. To keep the rat and mouse population down we had and still do have ferrel farm cats. Very up themselves, want to be stroked only when they want it, will kill you otherwise. These cats ripped the ear off a fox, and assulted my ex police dog german shepherd by jumping on its face and scratching its nose. All our dogs are scarred of the cats, so are the neighbours dogs. We have 7 cats in total that live outside and have a free reign over 60 acres. However all our cats are frightnend of the 10 chickens (warrens), especially when they fluff themselves up and run up the yard. The chickens allow the kittens to stalk them and pounce on them and then when they have had enough the chickens turn around and peck them. That is more than enough warning for the kittens to turn tail!!!

My mums cat kills pigeons and stalks the kesterals yet is scarred of her 2 chickens.

Blue Sky



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 7654
Location: France
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 05 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have five cats who get on fine with our ten hens (although very curious at first on both sides). I wouldn't worry about it too much. Our cats which are natural hunters did not even go near our tiny chick which hatched out last year. They are far more pre-occupied with mousing.

As to the run, you certainly shouldn't need one if you chicks are going to be free-ranging throughout the day. I would make sure they are secured up in the hutch at night though before dusk.

The size of the hutch? We use old outbuildings which were here when we came but if you were to make a hutch from scratch I would say that it needs to be tall enough for you to stand up in. This will enable easier cleaning out and you can put perches at various levels for the birds to use at night. We find that our older hens use the 2 foot high perches but the younger ones like to be at least twice that height. 4' by 4' should be sufficient in area for up to 6 birds. If you can get hold of a second hand small garden shed then that should serve the purpose very well indeed. (or a new one if the budget will stretch to it). Just make sure that it is well secure from predators.

Hope this helps

Simon

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 05 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hi Colleen, our two cats left the six chickens alone too! They never went anywhere near them.

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 05 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Buttons our male cat thought he would run up the garden to see what these new chicken things were when they 1st arrived. He trotted smartly up the lawn and was immediately loudly and firmly clucked at! He shot back in to the house, dignity gone and refused to go in to the garden for the next few hours. Since then they've lived in peaceful harmony, he sits on the hen house, they ignore him. I don't think cats and chickens are a problem combination at all.

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