Are your chickens safe if you introduce a Maine Coon to the household?
With the rise in popularity of prepping and self-reliance, it’s necessary to ask if one of the cat world’s best mousers is safe with a chicken coop nearby.
Maine Coons are excellent hunters, but if you want to protect a chicken coop from them, do you need to do so? Can a Maine Coon even kill a chicken?
Maine Coons are capable of killing a chicken they very rarely kill adult chickens. A domestic Maine Coon will hunt small birds and rodents primarily. An adult chicken weighing 8lbs is unlikely to be attacked. Maine Coons are good-natured but they are natural hunters, with young chicks being more at risk.
Many cat lovers are drawn to the Maine Coon breed because of their gentle and affectionate nature.
These cats are large, but they give off a vibe that says: “I’m not going to hurt you.”
However, this does not mean that your chickens will be safe from these felines!
In fact, it is quite possible that your chicken coop could become a target for an attack by one of these big cats if little chicks are present.
Here’s what you should know about Maine Coons and how they can affect your flock.
Although an adult chicken can weigh a hefty 10lbs in weight, you have to remember that the Maine Coon is a moderately large breed of cat.
They are certainly capable.
Domesticated Maine Coons might look all fluffy and cute but they are a natural predator.
They have a hunting nature.
That doesn’t mean they always use it, but it can be a possibility.
Beyond ability comes inclination.
Although a Maine Coon is capable of killing a chicken, do they really actually do so.
Cats in general, and Maine Coons in particular aren’t really aggressive with adult chickens. Although you may think a chicken is defenseless, they can actually be quite aggressive if you are cat sized.
According to these statistics from backyardpoultry.com, the chances of cats killing a chicken are remote. Dogs, foxes, coyotes, or other wild animals are much more likely culprits.
The issue with cats and chickens, comes not from attacks on adult chickens, but rather attacks on the chicks that are much more defenseless to an attacking feline.
Cats may look all cute when they offer lingering looks at your meals, but they are natural hunters, and a baby chicken is ripe to be seen as prey.
A Maine Coon is good at assessing the risks to themselves in an attack and a baby chicken looks pretty defenseless.
So if there are chicken coops anywhere around Maine Coons it’s probably best to make sure those chicks are in a protected environment.
I’m not a chicken expert but I’d imagine that the pens that keep out foxes would also keep out a Maine Coon.
Unlike the portrayal from cartoons, Maine Coons will not treat every bird they see as potential prey, and adult chickens are unlikely to be attacked by a Maine Coon.
It’s not impossible, they are hunters after all, but typically, an adult chicken would be too big a prey for the Maine Coon to trifle with.
In fact, it’s quite possible a Maine Coon around a chicken coop could be a good thing, clearing the area of mice and other rodents from near the coop.
The real threat is to chicks.
A Maine Coon may attack, like any other cat, more out of instinct than anything else. They may not, much preferring you to cook a chicken than the having to kill one, but you can’t rule out attacks on chicks with cats around.
The best wat to protect baby chicks would be to put protection around the chickens to stop an enquiring Maine Coon from extending paw and clawing a chick away.
Make everything secure, and keep the enclosure cat proof and you should be fine.
Maine Coons and other cats are not the only threat to chickens. Most Maine Coons will be domesticated, but there’s plenty of wildlife out there that doesn’t have an owner feeding them regularly.
Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One