Do some colors/markings help resist preditors?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rainbowgardens, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    So far, I've done the dominiques and speckled sussex for my free-ranging flock. I read that the darker, mottled coloring helps them resist being spotted as easily.

    Has anybody found this to be true? I'd like to try some brighter colored birds like the buff orpington. I keep picturing the sky full of hawks flying off with them in their talons while my darker ones are left below, waving goodbye.
  2. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    I was out hanging out laundry one day a few years back, with sheets and towels flapping on the line and my little flock of speckled sussex scratching around under my feet, and a hawk pounced on one of my girls not six feet away from me and the towels. She was too big for him to lift off right then, and I ran at him, flapping a towel and yelling, "Hey! That's MY chicken!!"

    He looked at me like I was crazy (well. . . .most people who know me might agree) and he let go of her and flew off. But I could see by his expression he wasn't really scared. . . .

    She recovered and lived to a ripe old age.

    I wouldn't sweat the color. Buff orpingtons are the most beautiful golden birds! Just prepare to protect your flock as best you can.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If they are moving, they're a target. However, that said, I live in the woods among many types of oaks and maples so the ground is always covered with red/gold/brown/orange leaves. Among those leaves, My RIRs (I have mostly the really dark breeder types) just disappear, visually. Same with the Barred Rock hens , though the rooster is usually visible because he makes himself a target by standing out there and watching, plus he's lighter than the hens and larger. The Buffs stand out, as do the Delawares (naturally, being white). The blue chickens don't just glare out at me, either, mainly because blue is more grayish-blue than actual blue-blue. I have one Speckled Sussex and she gets more visible with every molt since she gets more white on her, but as a young pullet, she was fairly invisible if she was still among the leaves.

    On a green lawn, all chickens are targets, no matter their color.
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I have avoided getting lighter colored chickens in the past because an old chicken farmer told me that darker chickens are less prone to predation in a woodland setting where I live. I don't know if it's true or not, but he swore by it and I believed him. Despite my birds' coloring I have still lost 2 to hawks. [​IMG]

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