Feral chickens...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by v.cyr, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. v.cyr

    v.cyr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2010
    Greene, NY
    there is a fairly sizable and stable feral chicken population in the state woods just south of where I live( guinea fowl too, though there isn't quite as many of them), that has grown from escaped farm birds and has been there (according to DEC) since the 80s... I know a couple people who call them summertime pheasant, because you can legally hunt them during the summer months, and they present the same challenges as any other game bird... I have seen them once or twice when I am out in the woods... they are a little scrawny looking, mostly shades of brown and black, and small single combs, but what occurs to me is that the must be hardy as all get out to not only survive the harsh winters here in upstate NY, but also to not have been wiped out by the various predators we have... I was talking to a local farmer/breeder who is interested in possibly developing a breed from them, if he could catch some... take what mother nature has done in the last few decades and try to get a few stable bloodlines out of it... needless to say, since I am starting to develop an interest in poultry breeding, I was intrigued...I imagine it would sort of be the mustang of the chicken world... I am going to try to keep in touch with the guy, maybe try to get a bird or two off of him if he starts breeding them, if for no other reason that the novelty... does anyone on here have any knowledge or experience about breeding or raising feral birds?
     
  2. Leia's Chickens

    Leia's Chickens A Sunkissed Delight

    Jun 20, 2010
    Oklahoma!
    We have feral chickens in this area. According to the "authorities" in the employ of the local government, no one has every been able to catch them. Good luck catching them first!
     
  3. Alicia G

    Alicia G Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would imagine that breeding the first generation would be challenge, seeing how the parents are feral and all, but after that if the young are hand raised I can see you ending up with and extremely hardy breed. Maybe more skittish then your average bird, but none the less. Plus if these feral birds have been able to survive such harsh weather then they would be great to breed for that purpose, maybe even crossing with other lines/breeds to make hardier, cold resistant strains of chickens. [​IMG]
     
  4. v.cyr

    v.cyr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Leia's Chickens :

    We have feral chickens in this area. According to the "authorities" in the employ of the local government, no one has every been able to catch them. Good luck catching them first!

    that is why I am only going to be following this guys progress, not getting involved... I have seen those buggers move... I don't feel like playing the Wile Coyote to their Roadrunner...according to the guys I know who hunt them you have to be pretty quick with a shotgun to bag one...​
     
  5. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok until a few days ago i didn't know there was a such thing as FERAL CHICKENS (don't laugh at me lol) but then again everything used to be wild at one point of time right.but can you try to use one of those gun things that puts them to sleep and not kill them that might work.
     
  6. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

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    Maybe you could find a hens nest, and incubate her eggs? Brooder raised chicks would be more adaptable and less flighty than wild caught birds I would imagine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. brlarson84

    brlarson84 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2011
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    Wow those chickens really must be hardy to make it through the winters up there, that is amazing!
     
  8. WallTenters

    WallTenters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you track them with dogs if you're not hunting them? If so, it might be easier to try to locate broody hens in the spring and remove eggs, hatching those eggs, instead of trying to catch and breed adults.
     
  9. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This is what I would try [​IMG] , especially if I had a broody hen handy.
     
  10. v.cyr

    v.cyr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Greene, NY
    Quote:that isn't a bad idea... I will have to see if the guy has thought of that...
     

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