Would they survive?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Myles, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Myles

    Myles Out Of The Brooder

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    This stems from a question my daughter asked me. She asked how long our 10 chickens would live if we let them go in a patch of woods in the field behind our house. I told her 1-2 days. Dogs and other animals would feast. Now my question. How long would 1000 (50 roosters) chickens last if they were dropped in the same spot? Would they breed? Is it possible to have a flock of "wild" chickens? Just curious.
     
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bigger meal and about a few weeks. It would attract more predators I think and they would know where to come for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


    Spelling for my edit
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  3. Farmer DJ

    Farmer DJ New Egg

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    I visited my daughter in Hawaii recently. There are wild chickens all over the island! There are no coyotes, mountain lions, or racoons. There are some loose dogs in some areas. I'm not sure if they have hawks or other flying predators there. At one lookout point I saw a momma hen with several chicks that appeared to be one or two weeks old. She was scratching up the leaves under the bushes and her babies would run to where she had just scratched and peck at the bugs she uncovered. My daughter had a wild rooster under her bedroom window every morning. The neighbor left out cat food there and the rooster came for breakfast every morning!
     
  4. Myles

    Myles Out Of The Brooder

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  5. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It depends on where you live, what breed you're thinking about, and the age of the birds. If you live in an area where stray animals are common, then regardless of breed or age, you'll probably lose most of your chickens. Now smaller, faster, lighter breeds like Leghorns or Hamburgs will probably have a better chance at survival because of their good flight ability and alertness. They will fare better than heavyset, large, and slow breeds like Cornish or Jersey Giant. Lastly, a young chicken will probably not survive very long unless they have the guidance of older free-range birds, or unless their breed is known for alertness and quick adaption.

    Just my thoughts. [​IMG]
     
  6. Myles

    Myles Out Of The Brooder

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    Good points. A few of my 10 will get up into branches of trees. But if they had fertile eggs, that would be useless.
     
  7. Myles

    Myles Out Of The Brooder

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    OK, what if you put 100 assorted chickens on a small deserted island like Easter Island? Would there still be chickens in 10 years?
     
  8. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lots of places of flocks of wild chickens. Parts of FL does. There are stories of single birds that escaped/were dumped who lived a year or 2.
    Easter Island? I don't know of any natural predators there, so I will actually say NO. The birds would over-breed and end up starving themselves to death. A small island with some predators, but lots of ground cover and hiding spots? Absolutely!
     
  9. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    I would think it highly falls back to the quality of stewardship. CXs and Amberlinks (etc.) would die very quickly because of there inherent lack of quality and hardiness. Good Hamburgs, or Mille Fleurs, or Bow Lake fowl which are all seemingly untouched in there hardiness, would do much better. Yes, chickens would probably breed, but only in late spring. Here, in Canada, no chicken would ever be able to survive all the way through winter. I also agree with Gresh. Fowls that are broodied by a gray-haired loose hen will be much smarter than Box-brooded chicks.

    Also, the older the mother hen is, the smarter her chicks will be. Why? Simple. The hen will know more about life herself, and will know much more of how to properly care for her young.

    Banny
     
  10. Myles

    Myles Out Of The Brooder

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    Makes sense. I guess most of my doubts stem from 2 things.

    Everything that is needed to raise a chick. From keeping the egg at 99.5 degrees, to turning the eggs, to helping once they hatch, to keeping them warm after they hatch to feeding them. Granted the hen can do most of this, I just wondered if modern chickens would. Thought maybe it's been bred out of them.

    Then there is the predators. I know people who have lost their whole flock when a dog came through. I lost 5 four month old chicks in a couple minutes.

    After a little looking, I see there are a few places where chickens survive on there own. It appears it has to be a warm climate (Miami, Phoenix, New Orleans). However, entire populations have been known to be killed in just a short time once a predator finds them.
     

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