Re(2): how to keeps cats out

snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.no.junk writes:

What a grand idea. When I told a friend I was thinking about planting catnip by my chicken pen, she thought I was nuts. It seemed a good place to plant it since it would attract the cats to a specific place (since they come in the yard anyway), and that specific place would be where mice would be most likely to be. Let's see . . . catnip, cats and maybe no mice? One can hope.
Glenna
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snipped-for-privacy@organic-earth.com writes:

Usually that might be true, but not of these particular chickens. They are quite bold critters. With them, it'd be the other way around, the chickens would scare the cats to death. I used to have quite a problem with neighbor cats in the yard, but that has been cured in the daytime hours when the chickens are out. LOL
These chickens will chase the cats; at least two of them do. Cats are smart, but they aren't smart enough to differentiate between chickens. <g> My own cats don't run from them anymore, but they don't go out of their way to bother them either. It has been quite amusing to watch the interaction. My cats will sit around the outside of the pen where the chickens are closed up at night but will not go inside when the door is open, even during the daytime hours, which leads me to believe there might be a story that goes with that, a story their human will never know. <g>
I had a dog for three months which I sadly had to give up, and Waverly (an especially ornery red hen) would go after her. If I hadn't already trained her to not chase the chickens, that would have done it for sure. I told a friend about it, and he said, "I can see it now, all of Glenna's chickens have little shock collars to keep them from chasing the dog." LOL
Yet, as bold as they are, they are big babies and follow me all around like little puppies, talking to me like a purring cat. They were heartbroken when I confined them to a smaller portion of the yard; they had the entire back yard all winter. One day, I came in the back gate over the RV pad and all ten of them were sitting on my back step waiting for me to come out the door; one saw me and came running and the other nine right behind her. For someone who didn't know what was going on, it would be a bit scary to see that many chickens swooping down (well, not down) at them. There was quite an article in the paper several months ago about a chicken problem in Spokane, Washington, where rural areas had been annexed. The livestock was grandfathered in and one woman in particular was upset about it. Her stand was, "Chickens are not pets." All I can say to her is come to my yard. I swear that sometimes it seems each chicken knows her name. That cannot be true, but it seems like it. I know I'm imagining it, but sometimes one will seem to know that I'm annoyed with her. One day, I carelessly left my back door open (fortunately they have not learned to go through the dog door!) and there was a deposit left in front of the door on the laundry room floor. I was more than a bit annoyed, both at myself for being so careless and at her, whichever one it was, for coming in the laundry room. Two hours later, when I stepped out the back door, there was an egg laying on the door mat! I swear. It was like she was saying, "I'm sorry," though I know there is no way she could reason such things out (no way to even know if it was the same chicken). Heck, lots of people can't figure out to say they're sorry so a chicken surely can't. All critters have their funner times. :-)
After these chickens arrived last September, my son (whose friend I bought them from) told me he had said they would kill mice and that his own cats were terrified of the chickens. I can believe a cat or even a dog might be when I remember how very terrifying a mama chicken with babies could be coming at you with wings flapping, squawking and jumping at you, nothing, however, compared to a gander!
Glenna (the one with the ornery chickens)
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