wild game fowl

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by farley redfield, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. farley redfield

    farley redfield New Egg

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    I thought it might be neet to raise wild chickens. Kinda strange I know but I have a 150+ acre farm and some really nice treesand have goats and cattle and woods .so I just thought it would be neet to have wild chickens in addition to my regular bantys and all the rest.

    Anyone have a suggestion as to what breeds or special needs to start such or if I should just forget it. I also have coons, coyotes, and hawks.
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    With those kind of predators, that's a tall order for any breed of chicken, but if there is any breed that can do it, it is the Red Jungle Fowl. This is the wild chicken from which all other chickens have been bred over the centuries, and they are the best equipped physically and instinctual to survive in the wild. They are able to thrive in areas where predators would have quickly wiped out other breeds. If they cannot manage it, no breed can. Some hatcheries such as Cackle Hatchery (http://www.cacklehatchery.com/rdjunglfowl.html) and Purely Poultry (http://www.purelypoultry.com/indian-red-jungle-fowl-chickens-p-869.html) breed and sell them.
     
  3. Old Rando

    Old Rando Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feral chickens exist any many locations around the world. Most have certain things in common, they live in tropical or subtropical climates just like their wild jungle fowl ancestors and they usually live in or near human communities. Humans inadvertently provide more food opportunities and manmade objects often provide shelter from predators. Also the ones that survive need to be able to run, hide and fly reasonably well.

    I have some hatchery jungle fowl and they are not real jungle fowl. No hatchery could provide those for several reasons. If you chose to try this project use whatever you think might work and is easily available to you. Personally I think you should allow them to become feral gradually , don't just throw them out there to fend for themselves. Let the newer generations become feral.

    I saw a documentary a few years ago of a naturalist who did something similar at his home farm on an island off the northwest coast of North America. He had a guard dog to help protect them and he had very few land predators anyway. He simply used an group of assorted chickens and allowed them to breed with nature and successive generations changing them into a typical feral group of chickens.

    If you choose to try it good luck.
     
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  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I think Old Rando is right on this. There are lots of wild, feral chickens in Hawaii, and they manage to survive some predators, including mongooses (no easy job, especially on the big island where they are so abundant that I had to raise my domestic chickens in enclosed runs or I would have lost them all), owls, hawks, cats, dogs, and wild pigs. These feral chickens look like their Red Jungle Fowl ancestors and are fast and alert, but even in Hawaii, they face a host of other predators such as coons, coyotes, opossums, foxes, etc., and the climate is tropical (although I suspect they could be acclimated to your Oklahoma climate as feathers are very efficient insulators). If you do decide to try it, good luck.
     
  5. Old Rando

    Old Rando Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here I a portion of an article on survival rates of released pheasants which are pen raised wild birds. I would not expect domestic chickens to do better.
    What kind of survival rate can be expected from pheasants stocked in the summer or fall at 8-14 weeks of age?

    On average, only 60 percent will survive the initial week of release. After one month, roughly 25 percent will remain. Over-winter survival has been documented as high as 10 percent but seldom exceeds 5 percent of birds released.

    Michael OShay mentioned in his previous post that they would acclimatize to your Oklahoma climate. I agree with that but your climate is like mine here in Southern Indiana, when the leaves fall off the trees are no longer a safe haven from predators. Owls love a chicken in a bare tree.
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry, I have a typo. I meant to type, in Hawaii, they don't face a host of other predators such as coons, coyotes, opossums, foxes, etc. My goof. Unquestionably the worst predator they face in Hawaii is the mongoose (although there are owls, cats, dogs, and on the big island, hawks). You will have a lot more predator threats in Oklahoma.
     
  7. Old Rando

    Old Rando Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I knew Hawaii had too many introduced fauna but I didn't think it included those extra you mentioned. [​IMG]
     

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