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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Antics--chickens and cat

Cannot load a picture--sorry. As I went out to feed the hens and lock them up, I looked to my right, between the house and chicken pen. There is about 15 feet between the house and pen. The back corner and about 6 feet of the house overlap lengthwise and are where the chickens had to come to get to me and the door. They heard and saw I had food. There was a cat lounging in the middle of the space where they would run. All at once the chickens saw and heard me. At that moment I realized the cat was between us and facing me. They had about ten feet to run to get to the cat and another 10 feet to reach me.




The hens went from nothing-to-ninety, and Maggie May was about two feet from the cat and going to jump over the cat when the cat heard them. The cat whirled/jumped in a defensive move of about 90 degrees, sitting crouched instead of the casual lying about on her feet pose. The hens pulled up short when the cat jumped. Then, Maggie May decided to run ahead to me for food, followed by Patsy Cline. Thelma would not advance more and take a chance on getting near the cat. sigh So, I had to walk toward her and between her and the cat. Since her protector came close to the cat, she decided she would run to get food.


The hens are so much fun to watch. If you are thinking about getting chickens, you just don't know how much fun you will have.


Most of the cats are either afraid of the hens or just ignore them. But, the cats like to sit near the hens. We have a few new cats in the yard that are overly curious and might mistake my hens for chicken dinner. But, from what I have seen, the hens set them straight on that. The hens are not aggressive like a rooster or mama hen would be. However, if a cat is aggressive, the hens usually startle, make lots of noise and flap their wings. Those two things absolutely terrify every cat I have seen interact with the hens. .


Cats do stalk the young chickens, but so far have only gotten a chick.


Your turn
Do your chickens ever accidentally frighten a curious cat? What do the roosters do to innocent cats?

10 comments:

  1. I enjoyed hearing that chickens aren't easy prey for cats.

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    1. The cats seem not to want to try to kill full-grown chickens. The chicken frighten cats. They will stalk a small or young chicken. A chick is just dinner. I think it is the size, squawking, and flapping that makes the cat afraid. Now, if I had a rooster, it would actively go after the cat. I am quite sure the cat would lose even if it stood its ground.

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  2. It would be an ambitious cat who would take on a chicken - much less a rooster.
    Mind you, I have known some ambitious cats. One of ours lusts after cockatoos - which are bigger than she is and have impressive beaks and claws...

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    Replies
    1. She is ambitious but not stupid. She looks and lusts but takes no action.

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  3. Two of my hens have quite the nasty disposition if they feel they are being challenged. The other hens are passive.

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    Replies
    1. Michelle,
      I have heard of hens with rooster personalities. I have never had an aggressive hen except for establishing pecking order.

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  4. When we moved to this house 33 years ago, we inherited chickens and a big rooster. We brought with us an old tom cat we had adopted in the city because we felt he was too dependent upon our feeding him to leave him, even though really he was just a stray and came and went as he pleased. There was an old garage on the property and as soon as the car saw the chickens, he ran in the garage and didn't come out for a couple weeks. He had never seen birds that big! When he finally did get enough courage to venture out, he always skirted the chicken yard by a good 10 feet. He was not going anywhere near those chickens. Too funny.

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  5. Jane,
    That is hilarious. Besides taking him from his element, you took him to a land of giant birds. Thanks for that entertaining story.

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  6. We always had a dog, then got chickens, then the cats were adopted after neighbors moved out and left them. The dog had an adjustment period with the chickens. She wanted to chase them when they first arrived.
    Our cats never bother our chickens, but they do watch the chicken tv just before dark. I watch it in the summer, but in winter it happens when I am still at work. It is quite relaxing.
    The cats and the pointer dog are also protective of the chickens if a predator comes around. They know the chickens are part of the pack.
    Animals are amazing.

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