MJ's little flock

Oolala

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Jun 29, 2017
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Thanks Shad. I'll be sure to get ground dwelling chickens in future.

Both Ivy and Peggy are bitzers so it's hard to know which breed is in them, much less predict how the genes will express in flight. Recall, the people who sold them to me didn't even know their age with certainty - on their account, Peggy laid 6 eggs in 6 days at 18 weeks.

For now Ivy continues to grow and I think she'll eventually be a heavier hen. She's as tall as Janet the Barnevelder and is catching up to Sandy, neither of whom fly, yet she's still lanky. Once she fills out I think she'll be a heavy hen and less likely to fly over the fence.
I thought that might be the case of Blodwyn, going by her earlier predecessor who was a heavy old bird, but for now she is definately a houdini🤔
 

Shadrach

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Yes, Ribh frequently has to put her Campines back in the yard.

According to the (unreliabe) people at the fodder store, Ivy is part Pekin, part Wyandotte, and part Silkie. From that information, I didn't predict flightiness, but flighty is one of her characteristics (at present).

And that's ok with me, actually I like it! One of my strengths is that my workplace encourages us to work at home whenever we can so I'm here to attend to the chickens and cat ad hoc and also to take delight in their company. Another strength is that I like solving problems and I have the humility to ask people for advice when I need it. A third is that I can afford things like fences - a few hundred is not a big deal for my peace of mind and a little more security for Ivy (there are things within the chickens' yard she can fly up to if she wants to use her wings).
I gathered as much from your posts. I think you'll enjoy a more 'active' chicken. The flighty lot here add another dimension to my chicken observations..............it's a shame the observations give me a neck ache.:p:gig
 

BY Bob

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I would never clip a birds feathers. I've seen nothing that would lead me to believe it stops them trying to fly and often they end up either frustrated or injured from trying to do what they know they should be able to.
I agree. I don't do it and it really doesn't work for long.
 

BY Bob

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That's really good advice. Thanks.

The new chicken house I'm planning will have a very large covered run. It'll have a corugated iron roof over one half and 2mm mesh panels, about 2cm aperture, over the other half.

The chickens will be allowed out into the garden when I'm home to intimidate predators, although the run will be almost as huge as our chicken yard is today, so they won't be confined.
Sounds like a great setup.
 

BY Bob

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Well, the first thing that should get considered when getting chickens is can they cope and can the keeper cope with the environment the chickens are going to be kept in. Unfortunately it often doesn't get considered at all.
The Marans here for example know they should be going up trees to roost but just don't have the flight ability. Apparently some of the Marans in Marans in France do now have better flight capabilities but this has taken some generations of free range breeding.
If you want your hens to stay put then the sensible thing to do imo is get a breed that isn't noted for it's flight ability. Here in Catalonia, one of the reasons the Catalana del Pratt is favoured is because it doesn't head up the trees at night. The proper Black Minorcans on the other hand will roost in trees.
My leghorns were excellent flyers but never once even considered flying over my 6ft high perimeter fence when free ranging. They could have easily done so. I think some of this is about the hens focus as well. Do they think fly or do they think walk.
 

BY Bob

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Thanks Shad. I'll be sure to get ground dwelling chickens in future.

Both Ivy and Peggy are bitzers so it's hard to know which breed is in them, much less predict how the genes will express in flight. Recall, the people who sold them to me didn't even know their age with certainty - on their account, Peggy laid 6 eggs in 6 days at 18 weeks.

For now Ivy continues to grow and I think she'll eventually be a heavier hen. She's as tall as Janet the Barnevelder and is catching up to Sandy, neither of whom fly, yet she's still lanky. Once she fills out I think she'll be a heavy hen and less likely to fly over the fence.
She could also be sleek like a leghorn. Daisy, the greatest hen ever, was not shorter than Patsy and was always a great flyer. Phyllis, similar in height to Sansa, is more wing than hen right now. I'm a little apprehensive about what she will do when I let her free range. I've seen her go 5 feet straight up already. :eek:
 

MaryJanet

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My leghorns were excellent flyers but never once even considered flying over my 6ft high perimeter fence when free ranging. They could have easily done so. I think some of this is about the hens focus as well. Do they think fly or do they think walk.
To what extent does environment play a role? I'm sure if Ivy were confined in a small run with little forage and scarce feed, she would hop the fence more often and rightly so. Perhaps they would all join in. But as that's not the case, she hops out only for adventures.
 

Shadrach

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To what extent does environment play a role? I'm sure if Ivy were confined in a small run with little forage and scarce feed, she would hop the fence more often and rightly so. Perhaps they would all join in. But as that's not the case, she hops out only for adventures.
There is an expression often used by farmers that the best fence is a green field.
There is, much like humans an element of curiosity and I fly over it because I could.
The chickens here kind of fence themselves. They have unlimited freedom of movement. They could if headed North get to France without encountering much in the way of human impact. They don't. They hang around here and the area they occupy/explore/forage in is dependent on Tribe numbers. More chickens, more room.
 

Oolala

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To what extent does environment play a role? I'm sure if Ivy were confined in a small run with little forage and scarce feed, she would hop the fence more often and rightly so. Perhaps they would all join in. But as that's not the case, she hops out only for adventures.
My girls have a very long day run, the compost area is there, trees for shade, foraging areas, grass, their feed, all they need to keep them occupied and happy but oh no, as the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side:lau:wee
 
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