Buttercup Escapades

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Buttercup Chillin, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Not sure where to put this. Just thought I'd let you know about my latest experience with flighty chicks. Ok so I have a few various birds. Muscovies, various Hens, Teenage Pullets and baby Sicilian Buttercups and others. Actually, I have 32 Sicilian Buttercups of various ages.

    Yesterday morning I went out and opened the duck house and let them out. Once I made my rounds I went back in the house to get some coffee. Looked out and there was one of the Ducks up on top of the Shed. So I knew I had to clip wings. Which I did in late afternoon once I let the Hens back into their run for the day.

    I can't keep the teenagers (12 Sicilian Buttercups and 1 Buttercup X) in their run. They just fly out into the yard at will, their bushes are to high to cover the poor excuse of a run. So I didn't bother with them. The Muscovies were frantic with fright. I had culled Monday and they were sure I was after them and they would disappear like others do. Needless to say they each took their turn at having one wing clipped, except for the New Drake that never leaves the ground. The BC Teens were hysterical, they thought for sure I was killing their friends and was going after them next, I quess. They were all over the backyard.

    When I put everyone up for the night, I had a Cockeral and a Pullet missing. I found the Cockeral on the other side of the fence. Neighbor opened her gate for me and we tried to catch him. He is one fast little guy. At 14 weeks he is still small enough to go through her 4'' square holed back fence into her woods. (Or she's got a hole in the fence there somewhere, area is very overgrown. It was getting dark so we gave up. Mean time I counted and thats when I found out the pullet was also missing.

    This morning watched for him, called for them. Nothing. I gave up took my shower and was ready to leave for a noon Appointment when I decided to check again. Went outside and there was the pullet wandering about the yard as if nothing had happened. I checked for him and there he was behind a tree in the woods. Put some seed just on the other side of the fence and called for him again. Called my neighbor and she came out. Short story version, (ya really) she caught him and tossed him back over the fence.

    SOOOOOOOOO, I have never had any do this before. I know Buttercups are a bit flighty when very young, that's why I keep them in a tractor that is next to their brooder house for quite awhile before I let them out in the yard. I think I let them out at 8 weeks and a Cockeral and a Pullet got outside the fence then. So they went back into the tractor for a few weeks until they got bigger. And I used the big heavy tractor after that little girl crawled out from under the lightweight one the day after the Cockeral went through? a different fence. That time I know the girl went under the fence, still haven't figured out how the cockeral got over there.

    If I can expect this in the future I may have to change my management methods or breeds. Normally I have an equal hatch of breeds but this group was almost all Buttercups. It could be that these are the same two, little holagins. The Hatch that is 1 week old now is pretty equal in small/large ratio so I don't expect problems, I hope.

    People with flighty breeds, what do you think?

    Should I expect more problems from my adventure prone honeymoon couple. I don't think they flew over the fence. Though they could have hopped or hop feather flap hop up and over the fence. A pullet actually did that at the door of the hen run which is covered so she jumped back down. This was when I was putting them up last night. Normally, they all are quite calm, but man they really hate it when I get out a net.

    Next time I decide to trim anyones feathers, everyone is going to be in their covered run or house if their run is not covered. I don't think, triming the BC's feathers will do anything but make it easier (Thinner) for them to get under a fence. It sure won't stop them from hop-feather-hopping over. These guys are climbers.

    Maybe I should stick to heavy breeds.
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging Staff Member Premium Member 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I have a 7 foot fence and my run is not covered. (the gate is only 4 1/2 feet tall though) I've never had my buttercup escape. She's now 1 1/2 years old. It must be the ducks. They are a bad influence on your buttercups. [​IMG]
  3. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Well, the property fence is 6 foot. I did have one of the first BC's go over it when they were just like 8 weeks old. They are real good at scratching under things and getting out of confinement. They can fly but usually don't. Maybe it was just one of those days.

    I think its because I have so many, they are over confident or something and ya, the ducks did set them off. And the net, they hate it when I get out the net. Now the quail, I don't have to use the net on, they jump out and just wait for me to pick them up. Crazy quail. Hens likewise.

    I have an 8 foot fence around my garden, honestly 8 foot high. He and the GD were the ones to chase that 8 week old out of the neighbors tree and she flew back over our fence. So he knows how high they will fly. He set 10 Foot posts around my garden. I have 1 2yr old hen that goes over that fence to get in the garden, (wonder if she's the one that flew out at 8 weeks 2 years back). It was originally 4 feet and when DH saw her fly over it, he said he'd fix her. She wasn't going to eat all his peppers. So he put up another 4 feet and sure enough she goes after his peppers still. He decided she works so hard for them, he'll just have to share.

    They are all in their house runs for the night. I herded them each into their runs as usual and no hesitation, no big thing. Crazy teens. I am thinking that without other heavy breeds in this hatch they didn't have an example of how to be steady and calm so have reverted to being more flighty as per their breed. Or something to that effect. At least I hope so, I'll know better with this next batch that is mixed more equaly.

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