Well, I do!
Here are some reasons to keep barn cats;
Having sheep requires choring twice a day. When I chore, it is at a much slower pace than when my husband chores. I talk to the animals, hold each of the 5 barn cats, I used to hold the dog (though he is getting far too big and heavy now) as well as having a slow, casual inspection of each of the sheep to make sure everyone is happy and chewing their cud.
I love the cats and having friendly and lovable kittens is an important part of my farm life!
We have discovered that 4 barn cats is the right number for our barn, to keep the mouse and rat problems at bay.
In the fall of 2018 we lost our beloved Stan (pictured above on the left). He was bitten by a raccoon. My poor boy! In November 2018 we welcomed 2 new kittens, Rico and Phyllis. Both males. I had told my family that when we got new kittens I was naming one Phyllis. And I did.
We get kittens in the winter time, so they stay in the barn where it is warm. Our cats are fed cat food and always have fresh water. They have been vaccinated and spayed/neutered.
Our flock of barn cats now consist of;
Our barn is rodent and disease-free because of our cat health protocol.
I will tell you that we tried to adopt through the OSPCA (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) back in 2014 when we were looking for 2 more cats and were DECLINED because we wanted to keep them in the barn. I was furious!
Our barn is a warm, happy place and the cats are well fed and loved. Update - since about 2016 they have changed their policy and many SPCAs have a Barn Cat Adoption Program.
All of our cats have been spayed/neutered and vaccinated. Although the neighbours joke that we have the most expensive barn cats around, cats that are fixed and tend to wander less and have less disease than their unneutered counterparts.
In March 2019, our local OSPCA began a low cost, high volume spay neuter program. Versus our veterinarian office, we have saved over $100/each with the neuter of our new Livestock Guardian dog and 2 newest barn kittens (late 2018).