white chickens and free range

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by newfmadible, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. newfmadible

    newfmadible Out Of The Brooder

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    As someone new to chickens I have been doing a lot of reading in preparation for buying my first chicks in the spring. In several places now I have read that you should avoid getting white birds if you intend to free range as they stand out too much and make easy prey for any local predators. I was considering getting a few Delawares, along with several other breeds but I certainly don't want to get the Dellies if they are going to be easy prey. Any thoughts or experiences?
     
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    They blend in well in the winter. [​IMG]
     
  3. newfmadible

    newfmadible Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] True enough!! Maybe I should change breeds with the seasons. Just kidding! [​IMG]
     
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I've not had a problem with my white gals. I didn't really want any white to be honest, just not a color I like much.

    I now have 10 white feathered things out there. [​IMG] when we get snow - I can't see em! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  5. seriousbill

    seriousbill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any bird is at risk if you free range your flock.

    That being said, the degree of risk does depend on things like location, amount and type of cover (trees, shrubs, raised coops to duck under), whether you have a guard dog, whether or not you have a good rooster, etc. I have free ranged my Delawares for years (they are only ever penned up short term for breeding). I've not lost an adult bird to a predator since I got the Border Collie (got her in '98).

    But, by free ranging, I could lose a bird tomorrow. So, it is a calculated risk that I choose to take so that I can have the healthiest and happiest birds overall. You alone can evaluate the risk and make the choice. I have no doubt that there's a little increased risk of danger with white birds. But keep in mind that a hungry hawk or coyote can see a Barred Rock just fine if he needs to.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Most of my free rangers that have disappeared have been white, but I have also lost a few black/blue chicks, a crele (a barred feathering) and a blue splash. But I would say white is definitely a problem color for predators. But like Wildsky said, they would blend in well in the winter! [​IMG]
     

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