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Old 08-01-2017, 11:30 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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Default clucking retard chickens trying to forage at night

so I had some trouble with the newest chickens. they are stupid even by chicken standards. I had a large group of new birds in the flock from 3 broody bantams and 29 chicks I bought and fostered with the bantams (all timed perfectly, the bantams were hatching right when the buff orpingtons arrived).

now the chicks are close to 3 months old, the bantam chicks have figured out how to act like chickens, they are good foraging, and they go in the coop the same time as the rest of the flock, they pay attention to whats going on and take cover when the rooster makes the alarm call.

the buff orpingtons however are the stupidest birds I have ever seen, the rooster makes the alarm call and they stay in the open scratching the ground looking for bugs, the rooster makes another alarm and they ignore it. good thing I was there to drive off the hawk, little reatards just ignored it and stayed in the open. they ignore the rest of the flock and wander off in groups of 2 to 5, the rooster doesn't take an interest in them or they ignore the concept of safety in the flock. and some of them stay out and keep foraging and scratching the ground even after all trace of daylight is gone and I have to go chase them to the coop with a flashlight, they are not trying to hide or roost outside they are actually trying to forage by moonlight. several late night chicks have gotten killed by owls, and I have had to lock others out to protect the rest of the flock that was smart enough to get in the coop, sometimes they come to the coop door and I can get them in, but other times I loose a few in the night.

has anyone had a group of chickens this stupid before? does anyone think they will grow out of it as they age or should I just let the dumbest ones die off because they are too stupid to live? right now they are all on lock down and not allowed to forage at all, just kept in the coop or the run, and I chase the night foragers into the coop at night since they are close o the coop in the run. I am hesitant since letting them all forage will mean most of the buff orpingtons will probably die before they are old enough to lay eggs, if I leave the coop open waiting for the retards to go inside it exposes the entire flock to danger, and keeping them all locked up costs more in feed and they have a more limited diet.

thoughts anyone?
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:12 AM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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I have not noticed Buff Orpingtons being any stupider than other chickens when I had them. All we have now are barnyard crosses, and after losing 2 to the mysterious predator, we have lost no more. The area right outside our coop is covered, but we only have 5 now. When we had a lot of fowl, we got an old commercial fishing net and stretched it over the entire yard to keep the overhead predators at bay. When we had Khaki Campbell ducks, the eagles took every one. Owls got our geese--took the heads and necks but couldn't carry the entire carcass. We were mystified as to what was killing the geese until one morning while it was still dark, one of our children saw an owl leaving the goose pen with the head and neck of one of the geese.

If you have a small foraging area and trouble with predation (and chickens too stupid to retire to the coop) about the only thing you can do is cover the area with some kind of netting. We had a Bald Eagle crash through our net one time, but I think it was so surprised at hitting the obstacle that now damage was done to the poultry. Chicken tractors would be another solution. Your can find plans for some pretty fancy ones with the small coops attached that you can move around to where you want them to forage, kinda like rotating a pasture
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:22 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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thats what i am leaning towards for the night birds, a tractor. there are just 5 that stay out like that, there was a second smaller group that hung out together but one night only 1 came back, the others were lost (thats what got them all on lock down, the coop run has chicken netting all around so that nothing can get in or out without dealing with it).

i have a big wooden box i used to house them when they were chicks (built so i could house them in the house, big wood cage), i can repurpos that for a mini coop and plan to make a tractor with poles (trees that are 5 to 6 inch diameter) to make an A frame and cover that in chicken mesh. too busy to build it right away, so they are all stick locked up.

i just never saw chickens do things as stupid as these are doing
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:06 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Great Horned owls 40 to 50 centimeters tall and immature yearling eagles have been a problem last fall and early this spring. We lost virtually all our flock as they were. About 17 birds in total all barnyard blend culls, that we only had about $1.20 CDN each.

Some combination of all the preventative measures mentioned may be useful.

Wish I could find my 22 rifle cleaning kit.... Hate when I can't find stuff....
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:33 PM
dademoss dademoss is offline
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I used to clean my .22 wtth a straightened coat hanger and a tshirt patch.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:33 PM
CountryMom22 Female CountryMom22 is offline
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I've had trouble with "stupid" chickens before. Mine were Wyandottes. Dumbest birds I've ever owned. Within 6 months, all but 1 were dead. That one set on some eggs, and the resulting chicks were just as stupid. They didn't make it to 6 months.

That's one breed I'll never have again!

My Orpington's have always been calm, intelligent birds. The two I have right now took a little time to figure things out as I bought them as 18 week old pullets that had never been outside before. But they picked up on the new rules fairly quick.
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