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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today was the first day I set my 2 pet chickens free in our yard. My main concern was that we have 3 adult cats and 3 kittens running around freely--they might decide to attack and/or kill the chickens (one of them hunted down and ate the 4 chicks we used to have--they suddenly disappeared from their cage and we eventually found their feathers strewn around the front and back yards).

I took our female adult cat (currently mothering three 3-month-old kittens) near the chickens and she immediately arched her back, giving them the evil eye. I was a bit surprised since she didn't seem to mind the chicks when we brought them home. Maybe she felt threatened by the big adult chickens this time?

The fur along her spine was standing on end, and she was hissing. I knew she might attack so I quickly picked her up and brought her to the far end of the yard where she commenced simply staring at them.

I tried to bring her closer a few more times but she wriggled out of my grasp and wouldn't go nearer. So, I don't know if she'll be satisfied with just watching them, or if she'll attack when I'm not around. She is an outdoor cat only semi-domesticated, and I'm pretty sure she goes out at night with her kittens, possibly to hunt.

I don't know if this is a predator-prey thing, or a territorial thing. I'm thinking maybe the latter because we give her plenty of food, and she's used to having the run of our yard all to herself and her kittens.

Do you think the chickens should be guarded the whole time they are out of their cage, or is it safe to say that the mommy cat won't attack? The chickens are adult size, but I don't know if they can defend themselves as they've never had to peck for their lives before.
 

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Why take a chance? I would keep them separated, even tho your cat showed fear rather than predator interest when you brought her closer to the chickens....actually I think you were lucky you didn't get scratched or bitten by your cat the second time you did it. Momacat tho may change her mind about the chickens and see them as prey another time.
 

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True. I guess we'll just have to let the chickens out an hour a day, possibly more, then guard them the whole time. Thanks

When did the cat show fear, when she arched her back and the fur along her spine stood up, or when she was trying to get away from me?
 

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When you said, "tried to bring her closer a few more times but she wriggled out of my grasp and wouldn't go nearer". That was a fear reaction. But another time, perhaps when the kitties are older she may see the chickens a prey.
 

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Yes, I would keep them separated. Chickens also have sharp beaks and may hurt the kitties. I used to have a pet chicken when I was little. They make good pets.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
When you said, "tried to bring her closer a few more times but she wriggled out of my grasp and wouldn't go nearer". That was a fear reaction. But another time, perhaps when the kitties are older she may see the chickens a prey.
Oh, I thought maybe she was trying to get away because I wasn't carrying her properly; her feet ended up dangling. I usually hold her on my arm so it's like she's sitting because her feet are supported. But I was holding something else at the time so I could only hold her with one hand.
 
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