Beware of Barn Cats

I love barn cats!!  We have an old barn that is home to several skittish, fat barn cats.  We feed them some dry cat food everyday but that’s not why they are fat.  They are SUPER mousers!!  I hate mice….I mean really, really, really hate mice.  I would rather be stuck in a hole with a snake than a mouse…I don’t know why?  They just send me into a cold sweat.  So having barn cats is a necessity (as far as I’m concerned).  That being said, little peeps and barn cats are not a good mix.  We knew this could be a problem so we made every precaution (we thought) to make sure the cats couldn’t get to the peeps.

This is not a barn cat, this is “Pumpkin Pie” one of Jo’s pets.  But you get the picture. If this tame, well fed kitten is this interested in little peeps you can imagine the temptation for a large hungry barn cat.

I know; faces that only a mother could love!!  Well, a mother and a barn cat! 🙁  These awkward, month old peeps have little heads that can fit through chicken wire, and they are very curious critters.  So when someone comes up to the screen door made of chicken wire they run over and stick there heads through the wire to check things out.  I thought it was so cute that they would run to greet me when I walked up to the door.  I had no idea they would do the same when a barn cat walked up!!  I went out one night to put them to bed and found a headless peep! 😮 I could only see three others in the coop and I totally freaked!!  Went running to the house and told Digger about the horror show in the chicken coop. He came out and  found the rest of the frightened  peeps  hiding behind the nesting boxes.  The next morning Digger put extra small wire on the bottom of the screen door.  This solved our problem, no more peeking peeps.  A couple months later (after the peeps had done some serious growing!) I decided it was time to let them free range. I was nervous not only about the barn cats but the dogs as well.   I opened the gate and kept my eyes peeled.  To my surprise and delight the cats and the dogs ignored them.  In fact, the only chasing  going on in our barn yard is an occasional chicken chasing a cat or kid!!  The moral of this story is…barn cats + peeps = deadly results.  Barn cats + grown chickens = frightened barn cats.  So keep those peeps in a well protected coop until they can fend for themselves.

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