Feral chicken

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

I have been seeing this chicken for about 3 years now, and finally got a picture of it. It is very wild, dives into the brush as soon as it sees anything. We thought it was a hen because we have never heard it crow, it cackles and clucks. It hanges around my pheasant's cage a bit and is accepting us a little more now. When I looked at the picture, I see these killer spurs. Anyone know what kind it is?

Thumbnail by trois
Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

I have no idea what kind of chicken it is.. But, it must really know how to take care of itself. Do you ever put out any corn for her?

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

If it is a her. There is plenty of scratch and other chicken feed she or he can get to easily, and I'm sure, does. It is becomming more trusting lately since we make no effort to bother it. Those spurs sure do look bad though if it got in a fight.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

what an interesting looking bird you ahve there trois!

i wonder if someone here could figure out it's breed. a picture from the side will be helpful, just tell that old guy/gal to turn sideways and be still a minute LOL

i am new to poultry, don't know if hens can have spurs. so i put my money on it being a rooster. and he looks young! actually i think those spurs are kinda small. maybe that's cause when i got spurred as a child, they looked gigantic! and that was on a crested silkie LOL

greeat pic, thanks for sharing it!

tf

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

The spurs on this one are about 2 inches long and very sharp. Most Roosters that we have sport much thicker spurs.
I have never seen a hen with spurs, but I'm no expert.
This is the third year this one has been around, and getting one picture has been a real challenge. I will keep trying though.

trois

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

It looks like a rooster to me..........but then what do I know ? hehe
Whatever it is, it's a pretty bird. Maybe he dosen't crow because he has no "girls" to have to impress. My rooster dosen't crow unless the hens are around.

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

There are many hens around. My son has about 30 nearby, in a pen. He does hang around there some, but doesn't seem interested in the hens, or the roosters. Just the food.

Potsdam, NY(Zone 4a)

Beautiful chicken, indeed. I have never heard of a hen with spurs, but with so many breeds I did not even know existed, who knows? I would say it is not ordinary for sure.
BAM

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

It is strange to me.
Maybe someone knows for sure.

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

Hens can have spurs
I have one blood line of WCB Polish that the hens all have spurs
also Sumatra' have spurs....multiple spurs
I have some Cock birds that have 3 or 4
and in the hens it is desirible for them to have spurs in shows
Usually they don't end up pointed at the end on hens
they stay rounded...usually
there are always exceptions
It looks like a Largefowl Old English cross to me
maybe with some Silver Leghorn....?????

I think it may be a hen because it is hen feathered
It has no long saddle feathers ,no sickle feathers on the tail
Not that thats any proof
sebright Cocks are hen feathered ....but thats no sebright

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

well, thank goodness you came along! i have beenn wanting that chicken ID'd!!! thanks for hte good info too...

i feel like a little mystery has been solved...

tf

SE Arky, United States(Zone 8a)

I have what I think is a hen, part RIR, but not sure, and she jumps a couple of the hens like a rooster and she's mean and none of the hens or roosters like her...what's that all about?? The chickens my hubby's mom got from this local guy are all mean-ish, not well socialized. The chickens I got from the lady that breeds pure breds, are all sweet and pretty and love people, I'm amazed in the difference...is that common and, or are some chickens just mean, and some that are just born enjoying interaction with humans, dogs, cats??

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

that is a good question, and i want the answer too.

currently i have almost 4 week old chicks of two breeds, one Buckeyes, which are friendly, the other leghorns, which are "skittish".

though we can't hold eveyr one every day [70 total!], i try to pay attention to a few certain ones nearly every day, and others at random. the more the bukeyes are held, the freindlier they get. doesn't seem to matter what i do with the leghorns, they just squeal and want let go, and they never get easier to catch. but i don't have ANY mean ones... yet!

so i am sure, like in everything, that the breed and the breeding have some to do with it, and the handling and experience have some to do with it.

i am going with purebreds only because i want to further the breeds are are in danger of going away. mixed breeds are adorable too!

that mean one sounds like she needs a new home in a pot somewhere ;-)

tf

(Zone 5b)

Looks like part or full Old English Game. Its definately a cock.
Poor fella!

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

He seems to be very content. There are several tame, unpenned, hens around in daylight hours. He goes visiting frequently.

My daufgter from Austin got to see him this morning. He is a pretty bird.

Oakland, OR(Zone 8a)

If it is a cock, you could possibly have some interesting looking chicks in the not too distant future. He's a pretty guy and should throw some pretty young. Dotti

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

We have a hen setting on eggs right now. Some could be his. Several hens shared the nest, so we may never know.

Thanks for the ID, Cottage_Rose. I do believe you are correct.

trois

SE Arky, United States(Zone 8a)

What is one to do about that nest sharing?? Little Hen, who has 12 eggs under her, apparently really wants to be a mom and is going the extra mile, as is Big Biddy, but both of their hearts are with Chicken Little, the rooster they adore. In the meantime, Baby Biddy (now a young adult and most attractive) is making hay with Chicken Little, the rooster, while the sun shines - it's all the other hens can do to stay on their nests, they are green eyed with envy, and Baby Biddy goes into the hen house and steals eggs, and pretends they are hers, but just sits on them a minute, then races back to be with the rooster. When our young hens join Chicken Little's harem, do you think it will be 'easier' for the moms-to-be to nest without losing their top spots in the 'wife' line??? Can you say Big Love, in the Banty Shack, whew!!

This message was edited Apr 17, 2006 7:40 PM

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

It sounds like a soap opera.

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

I want to be First Wife!

I think it's really hard to interfere in the coop power structure. I'd just enjoy watching the show. Starting to understand why people do chicken web cams...

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

They are interesting creatures.

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

Oops, I should add that I don't let them just peck on a poor underling till he/she's bare and bleeding. I do intervene and separate them then. But if they have lots of things to do; i.e. fresh greens, straw or leaves to scratch through, bugs to eat, and space to move in, I notice there are many, many less clashes.

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

We do the same.Once injured, the others never let up.

Clinton, AR(Zone 7a)

Crestedchik is right. It is a >

BREED: American Game or basically an Old English Game which has been bred in America. Most often called American Fighting Game.

VARIETY (color): Wheaten female plumage.

Game Hens can have spurs and tall combs like a rooster. It does not have male sex feathers (hackles, saddles and tail sickles).

On very very rare occasions males can come with a "hen feathering mutation" with no male sex feathers but they still crow and act like roosters. If it is a rooster it would crow and be occasionally doing a courtship dance (dropping one wing and going in a circle) near your hens' pens and probably trying to fight your roosters through the wire for dominance of the hens. It is most likely a hen.

I know these things because I have been raising and showing Old English & American Game Bantams (miniatures) for about 20 years. I manage about 6 chicken websites and belong to numerous chicken discussion group sites. http://groups.msn.com/DuckwingMtn/

I attached a picture (not my chickens) to show you what the rooster looks like that goes with that color hen. That color rooster (Black Breasted Red) can also be bred to produce dark partridge brown (BB Red) hens. The leg color can vary on the American Games if they are not bred to the show breed standard.

Thumbnail by Duckwing_Mtn
Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

what beautiful birds!

case closed, huh ;-)

btw, WELCOME TO DG! Duckwing_mtn!!!

i am very new to poultry, but loving every minute of it...

tf

Santa Fe, TX(Zone 9b)

And yesterday it crowed. Still no fighting.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

and the mystery continues... maybe it was injured or traumatized. maybe it is younger than you think, and you have seen more than one of them...

hmmm... watch out for the dance...

tf

Clinton, AR(Zone 7a)

It could very well be a rooster with the "hen feathering mutation". A male of that nature is called a "henny" or "hencock" or "hennycock". To have a comb that tall and spurs that long, on a hen is very rare, and now since you said it crowed, it sounds like it may be a henny. Was it a full fledged normal rooster crow? Believe it or not, hens will sometimes crow too, but it doesn't sound as loud and as long as a crow from a rooster of the same breed, but it is also very rare and for you to witness the bird crowing that soon after my asking you to observe it for that trait, pretty much confirms to me that it is a henny cock.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

solved! [again, lol]

New Iberia, LA(Zone 9a)

Pretty rooster! Glad problem is solved!

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

its funny but I just noticed one of my LaFleche hens has big long POINTED spurs
and she's way not a he
I'm glad you solved your mystery

Shepherd, TX(Zone 8b)

"Henny"...I'll have to remember that. I was looking at the photo going "It's a hen...wait, no, it's a rooster...wait...uh...a rooster in hen's clothing??" I was pretty sure he was a he, but he had the wrong feathers on!

Don't Serama roos also have hen feathering as a breed in general?

SE Arky, United States(Zone 8a)

CC, I have three new Sultans, would have gotten your 'brand' but they weren't hatched yet. One of the Sultans, the smallest, has long feet feathers that make her feet turn out like she is wearing flippers - she is doing better, but my goodness her feet feathers are long. Is there something I should do?? TIA!!

Clinton, AR(Zone 7a)

Queen Bee wrote: Don't Serama roos also have hen feathering as a breed in general?


No, it's Sebrights you are thinking of. Sebrights are the only breed I know of in which hen feathering is called for on the males. There might be others but I don't think so. I can't think of any. There are a few Fighting Game Strains in which the males are hen feathered but that is just because someone had some crop out as mutations then selectively bred for it because they were different or exotic. Game strains are usually quite the opposite, as the males of Game strains are normally on the long side of the spectrum as far as male sex feathering (hackles, saddles and tail sickles). The exceptions would be Males of Modern Games and Cornish Game which don't have very long sex feathering but the sex feathers are still pointed so they are not considered hen feathered. Males that are hen feathered have hackles, saddles and sickles that lack the pointed tip. Their saddles are more like females' cushions. The tail sickles on normal males are sometimes broader and somewhat rounder on the end than the hackles and saddles (think Rosecomb Bantams for instance) but this in itself is not considered hen-feathered. I personally don't care for hen feathering on males, as the male sex feathering is what makes the males attractive as males and different than the females. I would consider a hen-feathered male a cull. In 20 years of breeding I have only had one henny to crop out. It came from a pair of chickens I got from someone else and I did not keep it around.

This message was edited Apr 23, 2006 6:23 PM

Potsdam, NY(Zone 4a)

I find all the hens quite attractive. When I finally (if ever!) get bantams, I want a spectacular rooster. One that is just feathered, proud, with full single comb, and wattles, and beautiful coloring. Clean legged bantams for me. What I am used to. But, the rooster is the prize I am looking for. A variety of hens will suit me just fine. They are all sweet. I enjoy these forums so much. BAM

SE Arky, United States(Zone 8a)

I have the rooster for you, we wanted the same characteristics but didn't exactly know it, until he grew up. Wattles?? Not sure what that is. We say that ours 'trundle', except they aren't slow. Oooops, ours has feathers on his legs, and we NEVER thought we would like them, now we LOVE them. We do have 'wild' Bantams without feathers on their legs and we love them too. The only chickens we have that seem to be lacking in personality are mixed breed RIR hens, three of them, and they are mean to other chickens and do not like to be held like the others do....

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

try the Buckeyes. they love to be held, and are big and dark redish brown, with pea comb. i love all 45 of mine. i put my hand down and they come running to see who gets picked up and cuddled first.... well, OK, maybe they are hoping for a treat, but i am the one who gets the treat by holding them. ;-)

SE Arky, United States(Zone 8a)

Oh, my gosh, Tam, they sound adorable, are they Bantams?? I will look for a photo of Buckeyes, I've never heard of them...thanks!!

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

nope, they are "american Standard" the big guys. but a bantam buckeye cross would be interesting, hmmmm. still looking for a mate for your sultan??? ;-)

here's a pic of one youngun':

well, they must still be in my camera, all i could find of a singel guy was this few day old with my 4 year old...

Thumbnail by TamaraFaye
Shepherd, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks, Duckwing. I was kind of close!

My little pet BB red bantam is fully male feathered and totally spoiled. I'm in the process of an egg trade to get him some wimmen so he'll stop dancing for me!

Thumbnail by QueenB

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.
BACK TO TOP