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foraging

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fowlsessed, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. fowlsessed

    fowlsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breeds are the best foragers. Junglefowl don't do good in cold so I need an alternative.
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hello Fowlsessed,

    You may get some insights from the Hendersons Chicken Breeds Chart:
    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    In the far right column they discuss experience with the various breeds and sometimes make reference if they 'stand confinement' or would rather free range....

    You can also click the 'breeds' tab at the very very top of the BYC forum page between 'Learning Center' and 'Coop Designs' for information on cold hardiness.

    Hopefully some other owners will chime in here.... For me...all mine are out there looking for those bugs, and it amazes me all that they find... I have gold sexlink, barred rock, a leghorn hybrid (Ideal 236) and an Easter Egger, and all of them are Always on the lookout for stuff.
     
  3. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sure the game birds would be a great pick as would pretty much any of the light breeds.

    I have a speckled Sussex that is an amazing forager -- runs circles around the rest of my mixed flock -- but I'm not sure if she's typical or an anomaly.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:I have red jungle fowl, American games and American dominiques. All can tolerate my mid-Missouri winters very well. Best foragers hands down are the red jungle fowl and American games despite dominques having repution for being good foragers. My dominques x American games are also very good foragers and put size on very well. Not all strains within a breed are the same for a given characteristic, including foraging.
     
  5. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Buttercups and Hamburgs are excellent foragers. Sor are my Egyptian Fayoumis. They also are good flyers, able to take care of themselves in the event of attack.
     
  6. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    My game chickens are the best foragers I have. I also have one buff orp hen that forages most of the day.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There is also the "nature vs nurture" thing at work as well. Young ones allowed to forage and get a liking for it do very well. Same breed, but those who've never had much time to develop their skills and take a liking to it, never seem to care about trying.

    I have ISA Browns, the ultimate "bred-for-caged-layer industry" who out forage most breeds. Uncanny. You'd think it would be mostly bred out of them, but not a chance. I've Barred Rocks who go either way. RIR who take little more an hour's interest and then want back into the coop to stay. Speckled Sussex who would rather forage than breathe, it seems.

    Like most things in the chicken world, there are some constants, but hardly ever an universally applied, hard and fast statements.
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Fred's Hens :

    There is also the "nature vs nurture" thing at work as well. Young ones allowed to forage and get a liking for it do very well. Same breed, but those who've never had much time to develop their skills and take a liking to it, never seem to care about trying.

    I have ISA Browns, the ultimate "bred-for-caged-layer industry" who out forage most breeds. Uncanny. You'd think it would be mostly bred out of them, but not a chance. I've Barred Rocks who go either way. RIR who take little more an hour's interest and then want back into the coop to stay. Speckled Sussex who would rather forage than breathe, it seems.

    Like most things in the chicken world, there are some constants, but hardly ever an universally applied, hard and fast statements.

    You know, I've wondered about that. I used an outdoor brooder box with a wire lid and the chicks were chasing down insects drawn to the light from just a couple days old. I started letting them outside for a runabout at one week (trying to mimic mama hen as much as possible). And now, they all go absolutely crazy when they see me to get out of their run and I can't imagine them living a confined life. That one Sussex was the tiny chick unafraid of the largest of beetles so I think there is some nature at work there as well.​
     
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    From a thread started last winter:

    "If foraging is truly high on your priority list, and you want to see that capacity increase annually, consider choosing a breed that has, since its inception, been asked to forage; Dorkings, La Fleche, Old English Games, Hamburgs, Redcaps, Campines, Lakenvelders, Minorcas, Leghorns, Anconas, Dominiques, Javas, etc.... Then, make 'em go to it."


    ISA Browns

    Dominiques need to be at the top of the foraging list. Our birds grew like crazy on very little commercial feed.
     

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