Good "Flying" Chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by itsazoo, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. itsazoo

    itsazoo In the Brooder

    Jul 6, 2008
    Western PA
    Hello everyone! I'm new here and loving all the information! I'm not new to caring for chickens, but I am new to chicken ownership. I've recently caught the "chicken bug" and am being a little OCD about it so the family has begun calling this the "Great Chicken Debate"! [​IMG] I knew nothing about breeds etc. so I started researching! I've decided to get chickens because they eat some bugs and some greens (I've plenty of both) and in return give back a few fresh (organic they'll be) eggs. None of them will ever be food themselves- they'll be pets like the rest of my critters.

    I plan to start with 6'ish hens. I'll be locking up my hens at night and allowing them to be out all day (I suspect hanging out with the horse and the goats where the most bugs are). I have a super sturdy, predator proof (with the door shut) shed I'll be making into the hen-house. My largest concern is night predators- at my place that's a bunch of raccoons & one mother fox with a den somewhere on our 20 acres. I have cats & 2 big dogs that are good with birds and who are out a lot during the day so hopefully they'll help discourage daytime predators. There are also many large pine trees around the coop with branches to the ground for cover from hawks etc.

    I'm often not home at dusk (single mom of a teenager...) so I plan to put a dutch door (not near as nice as that pic!) on the coop so I can open the top half for chickens to get back in the coop in the evening. My thoughts are that if I get chickens with a decent ability to "fly" they'll be able to make it the 3' to the open door and therefore be safer in the coop, on the evenings I don't get home till after dark. (Safer than with the door being at ground level anyway.) I'm also planning to mount nesting boxes about 3' off the ground with roosts in front of the boxes. I've read to make the boxes 18" or so off the ground but I've had personal experience with chickens that preferred to roost in the rafters of their coops... If it turns out they won't "fly" up to the roost I'll put in a ramp.

    So... on to my question (sorry for all the digression!) Here are the breeds I'm interested in (based on uniqueness of breed and cold hardiness- I'm in W. PA). I'm curious to know how well these breeds should be able to fly as adults.

    Appenzeller Spitzhauben (I know they fly well- it says so everywhere) [​IMG]

    I was really considering Faverolles, Dorkings, Buckeyes & Wyandottes too until I realized that they're considered meat birds and therefore probably too heavy to get their butts off the ground. (?)

    Thanks for any and all imput!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2008
  2. silkieluver_07

    silkieluver_07 Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    First of all, [​IMG] Silkies are great, but they are horrible flyers. I think the Ameraucanas would be a good choice.
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I have 7 week old brahma's, and wyandottes and other mixed breeds and none of my bird have trouble flying 4 feet up to get to the first roost. We have the second roost at about 5 1/2 feet and they all prefer to roost on that one! lol EXCEPT the cochin which can't jump OR fly very well lol.
  4. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    My orloffs have no problem flying... same for my ameraucana and my buttercups.
  5. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Mot of the Med breed, ie, Leghorns, Sicilians and so on are good flyers. This is due, in the main, to their light weight.
    The various Games, I suppose, would also qualify.
  6. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I have buff orpingtons and black australorps which are heavy hens. They have no problem flying to the 5' roost for the night. My problem with some of the flying breeds is that they are so skiddish and flighty. I was looking for a more gentile breed. By the way welcome this is a great place. John
  7. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Silkies would need a ramp or a step of some sort. They're good for about a foot of height, but not more than that without some assistance.

    Ameraucana's are great fliers.

    Faverolles, Dorkings, Buckeyes & Wyandottes are duel purpose birds. Trust me, they will never get heavy enough to not be able to fly and would work just fine for your coop. [​IMG]
  8. scrapmom5

    scrapmom5 Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    My orps, ameraucanas, wyandottes, austrolopes, cochins, brahmas are awesome flyers. They love to fly over the top of my husband when he is trying to round them up. He stands 6'4" tall and he needs to stretch to reach some of them. Funny thing is if I go out and round them up they herd themselves together and quietly enter the coop. My polish do not fly as well but do indeed fly. My other breeds are to small to count as yet.
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I just wanted to welcome you to BYC!
  10. joanc

    joanc Songster

    Apr 26, 2007
    Shafer, MN
    Welcome to BYC.
    One breed worth considering is the Hamburg. I have 3 silver spangled hamburg hens. I have watched them fly to a roost up to 6' off the ground. They are reliable layers too, though their eggs are small to medium size, about 1 egg per hen every 2-3 days. Mine are 1 year old.

    They are also quite beatiful birds, though they tend to not be as friendly as the other breeds you are considering.

    Good luck deciding!

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