Establishing Feral Chicken flock

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
24,288
14,007
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
Walk is a location away from cockyard where a game cock and hen(s) were released to breed at start of production season. It was an essential part of gamefowl production prior to advent of complete feeds. Even with complete feeds, many consider walk reared games to be superior owing to forage quality, physical activity, and what is assumed to be selective culling by pathogens / parasites / predators.

To best of my knowledge, the oriental gamefowl where bred and kept more in a confined cockyard setting resulting in selection for extremes in appearance and behavior that to my eye does not appear well suited for free-range keeping.
 

Don 27

Crowing
Aug 13, 2019
1,803
5,207
292
OH
Walk is a location away from cockyard where a game cock and hen(s) were released to breed at start of production season. It was an essential part of gamefowl production prior to advent of complete feeds. Even with complete feeds, many consider walk reared games to be superior owing to forage quality, physical activity, and what is assumed to be selective culling by pathogens / parasites / predators.

To best of my knowledge, the oriental gamefowl where bred and kept more in a confined cockyard setting resulting in selection for extremes in appearance and behavior that to my eye does not appear well suited for free-range keeping.
It makes sense to me now. A way of raising game fowl before complete feed came around .. So it's an older term.

That's probably one reason why game fowl are such good foragers.
 

lfcare

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 23, 2015
6
5
51
To answer your question game chickens would fare the best.

But like above, why!?!?!? It's kind of a sick game.

I think it's an absurd idea on many levels. They would fall prey to many species (plus, you would be luring those predators to your land and changing the dynamic), chances of successful hatches would be nonexistent (look at the declining populations of any native ground nesting bird in the US), lack of control...do your neighbors want "feral" chickens roaming their properties? And lastly, check with your local government. There are probably ordinances prohibiting the release of domesticated animals into the wild. You could be charged with animal cruelty. Which...I totally this this idea is.
 

Mossy Dell

Songster
Dec 1, 2015
109
138
142
Southwestern VA
Walk is a location away from cockyard where a game cock and hen(s) were released to breed at start of production season. It was an essential part of gamefowl production prior to advent of complete feeds. Even with complete feeds, many consider walk reared games to be superior owing to forage quality, physical activity, and what is assumed to be selective culling by pathogens / parasites / predators.

To best of my knowledge, the oriental gamefowl where bred and kept more in a confined cockyard setting resulting in selection for extremes in appearance and behavior that to my eye does not appear well suited for free-range keeping.
Where I grew up, and in reading, I have not heard walk defined quite this way. It is a loose term, so sure. But what it has always meant to me was a farm or area of a farm, such as a barn, where a game stag or cock was put out to develop.

The hens were not necessarily games. Farmers were often paid for walking a gamecock, even if that was in the form of getting to eat whatever non-game rooster they had there. If there were no hens, a few might be placed out, but in the old days there were always hens. And of course gradually the hens on the walk became more and more game.

The walk system flourished across the south for many decades. It is gone and has been for some time as a common practice. I am pretty sure it began to die after WWII with the vast changes in farming and society.
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
24,288
14,007
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
Where I grew up, and in reading, I have not heard walk defined quite this way. It is a loose term, so sure. But what it has always meant to me was a farm or area of a farm, such as a barn, where a game stag or cock was put out to develop.

The hens were not necessarily games. Farmers were often paid for walking a gamecock, even if that was in the form of getting to eat whatever non-game rooster they had there. If there were no hens, a few might be placed out, but in the old days there were always hens. And of course gradually the hens on the walk became more and more game.

The walk system flourished across the south for many decades. It is gone and has been for some time as a common practice. I am pretty sure it began to die after WWII with the vast changes in farming and society.
I do not consider the Ohio River Valley bordered by Indiana and Kentucky to be southern part of the southern US. Yet gamefowl were kept there as I and even you described until at least the late 1990's. A lot of arrogance involved assuming games not kept north of the Mason-Dixon line.
 

Mossy Dell

Songster
Dec 1, 2015
109
138
142
Southwestern VA
They are still kept there! The walk system as a meaningful way to develop birds is just over. Its peak was probably in the 1920s. And I do consider Kentucky part of the south. Southern Ohio maybe too, having lived there and farmed there 13 years.
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
24,288
14,007
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
They are still kept there! The walk system as a meaningful way to develop birds is just over. Its peak was probably in the 1920s. And I do consider Kentucky part of the south. Southern Ohio maybe too, having lived there and farmed there 13 years.
I grew up in southern Indiana (Spencer county) not leaving until mid 30's age. Kentucky was a border state. I had family in Kentucky that fought opposing sides. Indiana kin only forth north. Kentucky north or south was an opinion that people disagreed intensely over.

Kentucky part of family (Woolfolk) in particular was big into games.
 

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