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Old 05-02-2018, 04:01 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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Default clucking retard chickens

I think my buff orpingtons came from flawed genetic stock. I tried looking online to figure out their behavior (which defies normal chicken behavior and is void of self preservation instinct) but nobody seems to have seen the same problems.

they forage at night. I don't mean they stay out of the coop at night, I mean I will go out with a flashlight and find them in the middle of an open area still scratching the ground, then I have to chase them by flashlight into the coop.

they ignore any calls the roosters make, if a hawk flies over the rest of the chickens duck for cover and the roosters sound alarm calls, but the buffs ignore it and keep wandering and foraging oblivious to danger.

they don't stay together, if I let them out to forage they all wander off in different directions individually. the roosters fail completely at keeping them together and they wander alone, again oblivious to their surroundings.

I thought they would grow out of these behaviors when they got older (they were chicks and juviniles last time I let them out of the coop). but today I tried to let them out to forage (down to 1 rooster and 13 hens) but the rooster just hung out by the coop and the hens wandered out in all directions going up to 100 yards form the coop and up to 100 feet from another hen. they continued to wander away. a hawk flew over and they just stayed out in the open ignoring it. eventually I chased them all back to the coop and locked them back inside. I am sure if I let them stay out they would just continue wandering and foraging into the night again too (last year skunks would chase them and they would run like 10 feet then forget it and start scratching the ground again as the skunk got closer to try grabbing them, I shot the skunk, then had to chase the chickens into the coop by flashlight again).

has anyone ever heard of chickens being so stupid? even the broilers I tried free ranging had more self preservation instinct and they just sat by the feeder and didn't do anything but chill, at least they stayed together, went inside at night, and ran for cover when alarm calls were made.

maybe these are not buff orpingtons, I think I got a surviving population of dodo's in my coop. if they were any orse they would be taking dust baths in bread crumbs and jumping into deep fryers
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Old 05-02-2018, 05:49 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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Stupid even for chickens? That's bad! Perhaps you should just herd them in at night and release them in the morning. Otherwise owls will get them. As far as protecting them during the day, the only way I have known to do that is to hang a net over the chicken area for the predators (birds) to hit and/or tangle themselves in. Protecting free-ranging chickens from foxes and weasels? I haven't figured out how to do that.
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Old 05-02-2018, 06:15 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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there no free range anymore. fortunately I only have a few of them and they have plenty of room in their coop. I stopped free ranging them in the fall (because of their stupidity), I had hoped that was just chick behavior and that they would grow out of it (thought the older roosters weren't interested in them because they were too young to mount, and the immature roosters were too young to keep the hens together), I let them out for a little while today hoping age would have made a difference, but they just started off with their old behaviors so I locked them back up. the only "group" that bothered to stay together were 4 hens that decided as a group to go sit in the middle of the road.

fortunately my bantam flock is a lot smarter, and 3 of them are setting on a combined 36 eggs, with another 20 eggs being incubated at someone else's place. egg market is flooded so the buffs have become very low priority (unless a few decide to set on eggs which none have shown an interest in). with a good flock of bantams I can sell tiny pickling eggs as a niche in the market.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:41 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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Are your Buffs laying? Is that some of what the Bantams are setting? If the Buffs aren't laying, they may be more suitable for the stew pot.
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:20 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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they are good layers, I had hopes that they would go broody (large birds, I figured if they hatched more out then I could keep some for egg production, others for meat, and sell chicks too), I heard buff orpingtons has strong broody instincts but these don't have any instincts like they should. I am keeping them since I have them already, a few already got butchered (extra roosters, the hens that I culled were sickly and weak).

the bantams are setting on mostly bantam eggs. I separated the 2 flocks into separate coops (so that the eggs produce same breed as the hens, rather than hybrids). one of them went broody on only 5 eggs so I put 5 buff eggs under her as well, I figure I can always use any extra hens and eat surplus rooster, since I had a broody I figured I would make sure she had a full clutch to hatch.

I am working on a large workshop to replace my toolshed (shed is 8x10, new shop will be 15x24), when the shop is ready all my tools will go in it and I plan to repurpose the old shed into a 3rd coop, to either house a second group of bantams (although the bantam coop is big enough to house 40 of them). I may also use it to raise broilers, its big enough I can probably keep 15 to 20 in it. if I don't do one of those options I may expand and get a 3rd breed of chicken to house in it. preferably something with good broody traits, but if not then something that's in high demand as chicks then have the bantams hatch those eggs. might also use it as a broody house since my current housing of broody hens is inside my cabin. I could set up some large shelves and house about 8 hens in tiered cages, separated from other hens and safe from anything that might bother them.

I got a lot of plans that I am always working on
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:54 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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decided to build a couple chicken tractors, 1 or 2 that won't be very large, and will rotate the chickens that go into it. got lots of poultry netting and lumber so might as well, been planning to move the coop otherwise they would have a fenced in run.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:57 PM
sethwyo sethwyo is offline
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Default kindness in mankind

God gave mankind the hands and mind to care for helpless animals. that what we are susposto do.
i miss having animals around. even foolish chickens.
your blessed to have time to have chickens. for me it looks like another summer without a garden or chicks again.
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