to those who free-range: do white birds really have higher mortality?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by patandchickens, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I may be talking myself into building a new structure (extension of horse shed) from which to try free-ranging some chanteclers the coming year. I do expect "occasional" losses to hawks, as they'd be in a horse pasture.

    So, am looking for input from those WITH SOME YEARS OF EXPERIENCE with free range chickens, do white birds really get taken a lot more, and if so, *so* much more that you'd steer me to partridge-color or something like that? Or would white birds, or a mix of white and other colors such as partridge, still be a reasonable bet?


    Pat, contemplating the addition mainly as a structure to give horses shelter from SE storms but I figure I might as well put chickens in it, LOL
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    My white and light colored guineas are always the first ones to get picked off.
  3. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    I was kinda wondering that myself. Not with hawks per sae. I just got some new pullets. White Americauna and all the other birds are being very mean to these girls particularly. I believe that it is because they are white. They stand out from everything else.

    I'd like to follow your post and find out what others say. [​IMG]
  4. ToxawayTiger

    ToxawayTiger Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 19, 2010
    Mountains of WNC
    My white leghorns and BO free-range in the afternoon when its not raining. So far leghorns are doing great on range, they are fast, chase cats and small dogs. However, I have lost 2 BO to a fox.
  5. stephhassler

    stephhassler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2009
    Eastern Iowa
    Of all of my chickens, the white leghorns and the polish are usually the ones getting eaten. The polish I can understand because they simply can't see the hawks coming for them. The leghorns I would guess is due to their color.
  6. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    I think the white birds in a mixed flock are more likely to get picked off first. However, my experience is that once a hawk, fox whatever finds your chickens it doesn't matter what color they are. With few exceptions domestic chickens are easy prey and once predators figure that out they just keep coming back until they are eliminated or guard animal is used.
    I will say my brown leghorns were pretty good at eluding predators especially ground predators, mine could fly very well.
  7. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    White birds are easier to see from the sky,I imagine. I read the hardest for hawks to see are Anconas. Hmmm....Black with white spots. I wonder why? Maybe just harder to focus on.
  8. Ashmeade

    Ashmeade Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    My personal experience has been any of my FAVORITES seem to be more inclined to get eaten![​IMG]
  9. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:i agree!!!!..its a murphys law or something... [​IMG]
  10. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    I've tried LB's 3 times mixed with GLW's and SLW's, everytime the LB's have gotten picked off by neighbors dog, a fox and a coyote.

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