Chickens and kittens? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Chickens and kittens?

So we've finally found a home outside of town, quiet road, nicely treed property, beautiful pond and nice barn. After settling in we plan on having an inside/outside kitten, I think a kitten will be more accepting than a full grown cat. We'll monitor and separate when they are home alone or at night. We can call the girls off of a rabbit or squirrel in full flight to the obedience isn't a question. I just want them to be relaxed around each other. The chickens will have a coop/pen but eventually we'd like to allow them to free range. Hoping being vigilant will work there also. Any further ideas are welcome. (and I like the house too, although the location and property was more important to me)

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 02:23 PM
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Don't write off an adult cat. Many cats in need of homes were raised with dogs and are unaware that all dogs aren't their friends. Also, studies have shown that cats, unlike dogs, thrive on the companionship of both people and cats. Today, many shelters won't adopt out one cat unless there is already another cat in the home. Two cats are a good idea to meet the cat's needs.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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We've discussed 2 kittens/cats for their companionship. All I can see is an adult cat lifting a lip at one of the dogs, and all heck ensuing. I know so many need homes, tough call.

"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together,keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." A.A. Milne


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 06:48 PM
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Adult cats can work, it depends on the individuals involved.

I was living with 2 adult male cats, 1 intact, when I brought home a stray GSD female, ~1 yr old. When we walked into the house, my tom strolled up to her, boxed her nose a few times and hissed in her face. She blinked, said OK boss, and that was that. They coexisted quite peacefully. She would herd them a little, tattle on them sometimes, help the tom raid the fridge when there was steak to share. They all 3 played together on occasion, and would snuggle in a furry pile when the wood stove went out prematurely. The GSD actually had quite a strong prey drive, but it didn’t seem to apply to housecats. She and I always lived with cats, and it was never a problem.

Beau, now, he wants to eat every cat he sees. I would not bring a kitten into this home.

He was fine with chickens when we lived with them, but the chickens left us when he was 14 months. Don’t know how he’d be now.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 07:46 PM
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If I loved a kitten/cat I would keep it as a house cat, as in the house. if you love your cat, you would want to prevent:

1. coyotes and stray dogs hunt and eat cats
2. feral cats give feline leukemia, an incurable AIDS-like disease to pet cats. It is quite common.
3. hit by cars
4. the killing of birds and baby birds. Songbirds in the US are already having a tough time.

About chickens- everybody has this country fantasy of free range chickens. I have made this come true while having a high prey drive breed such as GSD by strict training. With an e collar to back up known commands. Inga is put on a down at the open hen yard gate. The hens run out right past her nose. This doesn't happen by magic, it takes serious training for not crittering. Not crittering is useful for not running calves who's mothers will try to kill the dog. Not crittering so neighboring ranchers will not rightfully shoot the dog for chasing stock. Not crittering to chase a deer across the road and be killed by a car. Not crittering after sounders of wild hogs who can eviscerate dogs with their tusks. Now, Inga lies on top of her doghouse and surveys the countryside for things 'out of order' as was the breeds original intention.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 07:52 PM
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An adult cat could work if you found the right one. Shelters may or may not know of their cats are good with dogs. That more likely depends on if the owners told them. But just because they came from a house with dogs doesn't mean they like them.

Personally I would go with a kitten or two. You get the benefit of them biting each other more than you and they're adorable to watch!

Keep in mind what Nurse Bishop says. Many indoor/outdoor cats have much shorter lifespans. It's more likely you will deal with injuries, death, or them simply vanishing. That said I do keep indoor/outdoor cats and it's something I keep in mind.
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