Glad to find this forum! About our truly free-range flock...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Aloha Moa, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Aloha Moa

    Aloha Moa In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2007
    I am glad to find this forum. We have a truly free-range flock at the moment, but hope to build them a home soon.

    We live in Hawaii, where we have tiny frogs that make a lot noise at night. There are also a lot of "wild" chickens here, and the rumor is that the chickens eat the frogs.

    A friend of ours trapped some chickens, and gave us 2 hens and a rooster. We built a cage, but they flew out after someone inadvertently lifted up the top of the cage (we had no idea these chickens could fly so well - this seems to be another difference in the wild Hawaiian chicken - they fly and roost about 20 feet up in the trees). So our friend gave us two more chickens. Somehow these escaped too. Anyway, about 2 months ago, we found that the five of them had formed a flock and were living in the next door lot, having been scared away by our cats and dogs. We put out chicken scratch, and gradually lured them back to our property.

    One of the 4 hens was acting weird, and then she kind of disappeared...and then last weekend she showed up on our lawn with 7 one-day-old chicks! So as of last weekend our flock grew to 13. The chicks and hen were a joy to see. She clucks to them and they all peep as they follow her. As she scratches at the ground, they quickly put their beaks down to get whatever she scratches up. At one point after eating, all 7 chicks stood under the hen and you couldn't even see them.

    Anyway, last week another of the hens had disappeared, and by now we figured she'd gone broody too, and that turned out to be correct. Yesterday the other hen hatched 8 chicks. We've got quite the rooster here, with 14 chicks right now!

    The thing that amazes us is that they are all very healthy and don't seem to be being attacked by predators (including our pets). EVery day I worry to see the same number of chicks - we have lost only one so far - but considering these baby chicks were hatched and are thriving in our jungly area is really cool.

    The only problem is that we haven't found their nest yet, so we can't start taking the eggs. We hope to either build them nesting boxes or find their nest soon.

    When we get some pictures, we'll post them.

    I'm curious if anybody else here has had a similar experience with their flock.
  2. TheBigWRanch

    TheBigWRanch Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    Wenatchee, Washington
    I've found that if you let your chickens free range they will choose a hidden spot in your yard to lay their eggs, and will stop using their nest boxes.
  3. Aloha Moa

    Aloha Moa In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2007
    Really? So given the choice between a comfy nest box and the great outdoors, they'd rather nest outside?
  4. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Songster

    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    HAWAII!! Beautiful place. Which island are you on, if you don't mind my asking. Good luck with your chicks. Aren't the mama hens with babies precious. I love to watch them. [​IMG]
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    How nice for you have babies!
    There's another girl on here who "has" wild chickens also...she lives on Anguilla...
    If you build a pen and they stay inside it for a few weeks then they might know that that is there home...
  6. Aloha Moa

    Aloha Moa In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2007
    I'm on the Big Island. I'm surprised there aren't more people on this forum from Hawaii. If you look up chickens on Wikipedia, they specifically mention how popular chickens are in this state. Part of that may be due to ..ahem...a certain sport. Anyway, I just went and checked and all 14 chicks are still doing well. They are all semi tame at this point, knowing where and when to get food, not minding my presence.

    Having two batches of chicks a week apart is fascinating - seeing the growth of feathers and wings etc.

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