Are pets a danger to chicks?
PUBLISHED: 16:22 15 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:25 15 January 2014
I have four chickens and they are all three years old. If I wanted my chickens to have chicks, would a cat or a dog or any other pet try and eat my chicks? My cats and dogs don't eat my chickens now, but I was wondering if it is different with chicks?
Michelle Dunn says:
This is a good question, and one that doesn’t have as simple an answer as you might think. You know your own pets best - if you have trained them to leave your chickens alone, your pets should be fine with chicks, although you should keep an eye on them for the first few weeks.
Other people’s pets - local cats, in particular will be fascinated by young chicks and can stalk and attack them - may be more of a problem. Your best bet would be to hatch the chicks out under one of your own hens, as the chicks then have the best teacher and bodyguard they could have - their mum. Young chicks are virtually defenceless, but even without a broody you can keep the chicks safe in a rat-proof enclosure at night and a cat-proof enclosure during the day, until the chicks are old enough to join your bigger hens. Good luck!