chickmommy

Feline & Fowl

In Chicken husbandry on June 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm

June 8th

We’re still trying to “introduce” the chickens to our kittens.  At first we had to keep them completely separated because the chicks were small and defenseless and the cats thought they looked like lunch.  Gradually we have been supervising playtime in the back yard and Rowdy and Sam are getting the idea that we don’t eat our friends. 

Our two old lady cats have never shown any aggression toward the chickens, nor do they show any interests whatsoever.  They are both 16 and heading toward the light so they don’t get very excited about new family members. The little cats however, had some experience (before they were declawed) with carnage and mayhem.  Rowdy was dispatching a bird a week and Sam was not far behind.  So when we introduced three tasty looking tidbits into our home, our kitties saw them as food not family. 

 Now you may be asking, “Deb, you crazy woman, why would you ever let CATS around your chickens after what happened to Daisy?”  My response: The average lifespan of a well-cared for chicken can be up to 10 years.  One chicken on record lived to be 20 and was still laying an average of 12 eggs a year. So you see, we can’t keep our animals separated for 10 or more years.  It would be virtually impossible and not very fun. We love sitting in our backyard in the evening and enjoying the interaction of four distinct species of  Burlingames (homo-sapiens included). 

Buster gets along well with the chicks and enjoys occasionally chasing one for fun.  Our old lady cats walk casually by and look disinterested. The kittens crouch and stalk and pounce but have not actually made contact with any of the girls.  Very soon Violet will be big enough to kick Rowdy’s kitty butt-hocks. 

When the kittens do get too aggressive and ignore our “no, no” warning, they get a “time-out” on the porch.  We never leave feline & fowl alone unsupervised and probably will not do so until the chickens outweigh the kittens. (Give ‘em two more months) Plus Rowdy and Sam are very well fed and not as motivated or desperate as a feral cat.  Drop by the B’game farm any evening and observe the indigenous wildlife flourishing on the suburban plain.  Y’all come!

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