People often wonder if I have a cat, can I get chickens? If I do, will cats attack chickens? What about if I have a chill cat, will MY CAT attack a chicken? We love our Mr. Fluffykins, and baby chicks are adorable, and the goal is to keep both alive. To do so we need to be honest about the amount of work we are willing to put in; to keep the chickens safe and what kind of cat you have. At the end of this article, you may find that you should not own chickens with your kind of cat; because one or the other may die, or you may discover that it’s a great choice for you.
Chickens are brutal
A lot of people don’t know this, but chickens are pretty durable creatures. As much as they’ve gotten a ‘don’t be a chicken’ scaredy-pants vibe, if you laid down in a chicken pen, they would peck you to death, and enjoy every minute of it. Chickens will even gang up on one another and peck at open wounds. Here you thought Sally the gossiper on the street was bad at picking at old wounds that have mostly healed. Chickens aren’t defenseless, and a full grown chicken, or a rooster, will defend themselves if needed.
When picking your chickens make sure to add multiple to your roost at once, mostly around the same age because if you only introduce a few baby chicks with older hens…well…the next morning you’ll realize those hens run a mafia all their own. Two roosters can also fight to the death. As much as you might want the eggs, don’t buy chickens until you’ve done the research on what type, age, and breed are right for you and your family.
Domestic vs. Outdoor Farm Cat
A cat that stays indoors is no trouble to the chickens you’ve brought home to roost. If your animals are not interacting, you don’t have anything to worry about. Your cat may react or be very curious at the animals in the backyard, and why you smell like dinner, but you have nothing to worry about. If you live on a farm, or in an area where you have an indoor/outdoor cat; you need to be more careful. If your cat has a proclivity to bringing you ‘gifts’ in the form of mice, small birds, and carcasses that are still twitching you may want to keep buying eggs at the store instead.
Beware that if your cat does spell trouble for the chickens that doesn’t mean they are the ones in danger. Like I said above: chickens are ruthless and your cat might lose one of their nine lives, or be scarred for life. In the case of my in-laws who live on a farm; their cats and chickens have grown up together and live amicably. So you might be surprised at how they interact as well.
Guard the gates
Chicken and eggs might be labeled free-range, but this doesn’t mean your chickens need to have the lay of the land. Building a chicken coop not only protects your chickens from other animals like foxes, raccoons, and coyotes, but also your cat just in case. If you are buying young chicks, keeping them warm at night is essential to keeping them alive. They even make movable chicken coops with chicken wire you can move around the yard. So yes, sometimes cats attack chickens. Sometimes your chickens might attack your cat, or maybe they’ll be best friends for life.
Let us know if this article was helpful for you! Leave your comments below on whether you have cats, chickens, or both!