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Poultry and Livestock: Feral chicken

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trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2006
8:19 PM

Post #2184951

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
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KathyJo
Fayette, MO
(Zone 6a)

April 13, 2006
2:06 AM

Post #2185828

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?
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 13, 2006
2:31 AM

Post #2185924

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.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 13, 2006
5:36 AM

Post #2186315

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
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 13, 2006
12:18 PM

Post #2186561

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
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

April 13, 2006
2:03 PM

Post #2186760

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.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 13, 2006
2:07 PM

Post #2186772

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.
bambamdryad
Potsdam, NY
(Zone 4a)

April 13, 2006
2:43 PM

Post #2186846

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
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 13, 2006
3:03 PM

Post #2186911

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

crestedchik

crestedchik
Cicero, NY
(Zone 5a)

April 15, 2006
3:13 PM

Post #2192326

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
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 15, 2006
3:20 PM

Post #2192346

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
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

April 15, 2006
3:26 PM

Post #2192360

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??
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 15, 2006
3:32 PM

Post #2192381

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
Cottage_Rose

(Zone 5b)

April 16, 2006
1:20 PM

Post #2194352

Looks like part or full Old English Game. Its definately a cock.
Poor fella!
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 16, 2006
6:18 PM

Post #2194882

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.
dottik
Oakland, OR
(Zone 8a)

April 17, 2006
1:10 AM

Post #2195693

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
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 17, 2006
3:20 AM

Post #2196047

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
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

April 18, 2006
12:36 AM

Post #2198067

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
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 18, 2006
2:17 AM

Post #2198372

It sounds like a soap opera.
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

April 18, 2006
11:00 AM

Post #2199268

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...
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 18, 2006
1:03 PM

Post #2199481

They are interesting creatures.
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

April 18, 2006
1:06 PM

Post #2199488

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.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 18, 2006
1:16 PM

Post #2199509

We do the same.Once injured, the others never let up.
Duckwing_Mtn
Clinton, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 21, 2006
3:53 AM

Post #2207478

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
Click the image for an enlarged view.

TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 21, 2006
4:10 AM

Post #2207526

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
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 21, 2006
12:12 PM

Post #2207877

And yesterday it crowed. Still no fighting.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 21, 2006
1:36 PM

Post #2208083

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
Duckwing_Mtn
Clinton, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 21, 2006
1:41 PM

Post #2208099

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.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 21, 2006
3:04 PM

Post #2208359

solved! [again, lol]
MiniSchnuz
New Iberia, LA
(Zone 9a)

April 21, 2006
9:27 PM

Post #2209173

Pretty rooster! Glad problem is solved!

crestedchik

crestedchik
Cicero, NY
(Zone 5a)

April 22, 2006
10:17 PM

Post #2211912

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
QueenB
Shepherd, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 23, 2006
1:16 PM

Post #2213399

"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?
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

April 23, 2006
6:01 PM

Post #2214059

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!!
Duckwing_Mtn
Clinton, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2006
12:21 AM

Post #2214902

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
bambamdryad
Potsdam, NY
(Zone 4a)

April 25, 2006
12:28 AM

Post #2217924

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
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

April 25, 2006
2:08 AM

Post #2218260

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...
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 25, 2006
2:58 PM

Post #2219386

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. ;-)
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

April 25, 2006
4:56 PM

Post #2219732

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!!
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 25, 2006
6:00 PM

Post #2219965

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
Click the image for an enlarged view.

QueenB
Shepherd, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2006
1:33 AM

Post #2221369

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
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Duckwing_Mtn
Clinton, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 26, 2006
3:51 AM

Post #2221965

That is a nice looking BB Red Old English Game Bantam rooster. I raise a few of the Silver Duckwing OEGBs myself.

Thumbnail by Duckwing_Mtn
Click the image for an enlarged view.

TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 26, 2006
4:02 AM

Post #2222004

well, QueenB, good luck with that, sems he only has eyes for you! And a gorgeous guy he is!

DuckWingMtn, beautiful birds? May i ask why the cocks comb is different fromt the hen's?

and also, just curious, at what age should i be able to differentiate between cockerels and pullets of rose combed brown leghorns? and is it the top feathers that are pointed or rounded?

thanks, tf
QueenB
Shepherd, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2006
12:38 PM

Post #2222616

Thank you! But shhhh...Buddy is at the mirror behind my couch right now, admiring himself. I think he already knows what a pretty boy he is! He's so funny. He always challenges his reflection, then he just stands there and stares it down. If he didn't feel the need to eat or cuddle, I think he'd be doing that for hours.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 26, 2006
6:24 PM

Post #2223755

Our Feral is definately a hen. Easter, our free range one eyed rooster, is madly in love with her.

trois
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 26, 2006
7:42 PM

Post #2223984

i thought you said she crowed! this is to funny... but i am happy for Easter ;-)
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 26, 2006
7:46 PM

Post #2223998

I think she has made every chicken noise available. I guess it worked, she got Easter.
Duckwing_Mtn
Clinton, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2006
2:21 AM

Post #2225497

The comb, wattles and earlobes on the male are 'dubbed' or trimmed. This is a common practice for most Game breeds as the Standard requires it for showing in single comb Game breeds. It also prevents frostbite of the comb.
Duckwing_Mtn
Clinton, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2006
2:26 AM

Post #2225510

Oh so the feral chicken was a hen. You said she crowed. Sometimes hens will make a sound similar to a crow when they are lost or seperated from the other chickens they are used to being around. About the only times I have witnessed a hen crowing was when I seperated one into another pen away from the chickens she had been with.
SherryLike
SE Arky
United States
(Zone 8a)

April 27, 2006
2:28 AM

Post #2225523

I have a hen that behaves 'manly' around other hens. Is she confused or is she really a rooster?? Or what??
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2006
3:28 AM

Post #2225709

It's a mystery to me.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 27, 2006
4:00 AM

Post #2225776

"The comb, wattles and earlobes on the male are 'dubbed' or trimmed."

was that in answer to my question? because i was referring to what you called saddle feathers...

i have one trying to crow in the mornings. but his comb is single, i don't know if that could be a genetic crop out or a mismarked egg, but he sure is nice looking. i hope to find him a better home than the pot, since he is an antiquity breed...
QueenB
Shepherd, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2006
11:08 AM

Post #2226059

Saddle feathers drape off the male's back behind the wing and in front of the tail. They're long, thin and pointed and sometimes a contrasting color. Hackle feathers are the long, thin, pointed ones that are on a roos neck, and are sometimes the same color as the saddle.

Stacey

This message was edited Apr 27, 2006 5:09 AM
Duckwing_Mtn
Clinton, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2006
1:29 PM

Post #2226331

TamaraFaye you wrote:
"DuckWingMtn, beautiful birds? May i ask why the cocks comb is different fromt the hen's?"

I replied:
"The comb, wattles and earlobes on the male are 'dubbed' or trimmed."

Then you wrote again:
"was that in answer to my question? because i was referring to what you called saddle feathers...

My reply:
"I don't know what the saddle feathers have to do with the comb. You have me a little confused on this one."
bambamdryad
Potsdam, NY
(Zone 4a)

April 27, 2006
1:55 PM

Post #2226389

Duckwing, nice to meet you. Since you are very knowledgable in this area, are Old English Game roosters' regular comb and wattles large, or smaller. Perhaps all the pictures I have seen are of roosters that have already been dubbed. Another problem for me, is that I want large comb and wattles, but live in frigid zone 4. Help! Any advice you could offer, I would appreciate. BAM
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2006
4:46 PM

Post #2226924

Easter, the one eyed rooster and his girlfriend.

Thumbnail by trois
Click the image for an enlarged view.

trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2006
4:48 PM

Post #2226928

Easter crowing about it.

Thumbnail by trois
Click the image for an enlarged view.

TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 27, 2006
6:51 PM

Post #2227328

Hey duckwing, sorry i was the confused one LOL Now i understand which question you were answering, as i had forgotten i even asked it!

;-)


thanks for the info Stacey!

glad Easter has something to crow about!

tf
QueenB
Shepherd, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 28, 2006
5:05 AM

Post #2229015

Easter appears to have some feathered legs. Is he part Cooochin? LOL
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 28, 2006
12:11 PM

Post #2229306

He was a colored Easter gift a couple of years ago. No idea what he might be. I don't know that much about chickens. He does have redish, feathered feet.

trois
Duckwing_Mtn
Clinton, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 28, 2006
8:33 PM

Post #2230749

BAM, Undubbed Old English Games normally have single combs that are medium sized, which is larger than rose combs or pea combs or dubbed birds, but smaller than larger single combs like what Leghorns' have. The comb size will vary somewhat between different strains of Old English Games. You can see what a typical OE Game male comb looks like in QueenB's photo above in this thread with her BB Red OE Game Bantam rooster.

If you keep the Old English Games in a real cold climate the top spikes may get frostbitten but that usually will not be detrimental to the birds health. The frostbitten part will turn black and eventually just fall off and the bird will be fine. It will help to provide them with a chicken house in which they can get in out of the cold winter wind and rain, but their comb may still get frostbitten a little if it is extremely cold. I wouldn't worry about it too much. If only the very highest points of their spikes freeze off it won't change their appearance that much.

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