Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Feral Fighting Chickens Fly In

WILDWOOD LANE SW--This just in from Mike "Taxman" Moye, whose camera is always close. Two chickens have flown over the fence into his yard. They are not his, although they frequent his yard and pond quite regularly.

I used to raise chickens when I lived in the North Valley, and had a trio of Old English Game Fowl that looked pretty much like these. But there was more to this than looks.
  • OEG birds fly really well for chickens. They certainly fly over walls. They also escape dogs. These are as close to wild birds as any breed of chicken I have ever seen.
  • OEG hens get really broody. They not only lay lots of eggs in secret places, they will set on them and hatch the little critters. I still remember the little chicks following their mother around our yard scratching in the leaves and dirt right behind their mother.
  • OEG cocks have a long history of cock-fighting. In fact, their combs and wattles are usually cut off to minimize fight damage.
  • After two years, I owned 84 Old English Game Fowl...all home-grown.
There are several varieties of OEG's with different coloration, but after consulting some on-line sources, I am convinced that this is what we have here. These birds were probably at some point part of a flock raised for cock-fighting. But with their propensity for hatching baby chicks (most breeds will not set and hatch chicks) these grew up and got away. They have been hanging out in Wildwood Lane cul-de-sac for several months. It will be interesting to see if baby chicks are the result.