Flying black mountain chickens


April 5, 2012, 05:36 PM
Yes, you read that right. See, it started like this:

A local guy who has a pretty good chunk of land here at the foothills of the Appalachians had a garden for his family along with a few chickens. Big white chickens, stayed in a coop at night, you know, your normal chickens. But they were getting pretty old, and someone gave him a couple of chicks which were black. Did you know that white chickens and black chickens will not hang out together? Me either. But somehow these chicks did well enough that they survived, partly because they can fly. I've seen chickens buzz the ground for a few yards before, but I mean these can get about 6 feet off the ground and travel a hundred yards or more. So they don't stay in a coop, they roost in trees. Or wherever else they feel like it. So if you can locate the nests you can collect eggs, but some of the nests have never been found so they are multiplying.

It will be interesting to see how far they spread. For now they pretty much stay around his place. All the old white chickens are gone now ( predators got them) so it's just the black ones. They are beautiful really, iridescent green and blue plumes and bright red combs. But he is having a problem with a few roosters in particular which have no hens and are harassing the others. So he has invited me over to take out just the offenders (which he can evidently identify) without hurting any of the others. We're talking 22 head shots. On chickens. Should be an interesting challenge. He doesn't want them full of shot since he plans to clean them and eat them, and you can't get near them. He's tried box traps, they won't go near them. You can't get within about 30 yards of them. They part like water and if you chase them they fly away.

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April 5, 2012, 05:38 PM

April 5, 2012, 05:42 PM
All this country needs is another non-native invasive species!

Maybe the hogs and pythons will get them!


April 5, 2012, 06:53 PM
So this fella, he doesn't have any flying pigs does he?

By the way when you get there if them there big black fly'n chickens make a sound something like gobble gobble, hold your fire.

April 5, 2012, 07:42 PM
LOL. People seem to forget that chickens actually CAN fly. Their wings are clipped by the farmers. And he is in for a bad surprise when he goes to eat those roosters. They are going to be tough as hell and probably not the best tasting either. That sounds like Australorp breed. The hens are pretty tasty but the roosters, like most animals, taste pretty rough.

April 5, 2012, 07:48 PM
does he have any way of trapping them? Perhaps a net over a common foraging area? an open pen with feed inside, etc, etc. A head shot from 30-50 yards will be tough, but something to brag about.

An archery shot to the body would be equally impressive and may be an option.

At any rate, I'm jealous....

April 5, 2012, 08:03 PM
When it's time to cull roosters around my house my son uses a pellet rifle and head shoots them. Those old roosters can be tasty.....if brined and prepared correctly.

And yes chickens can fly, mine roost 30-40 feet up.

April 5, 2012, 08:13 PM
Freedom I had to google Australorp. And I'm one of those guys who didn't know chickens could fly. Sure enough Youtube has chicken flying vids for us non believer city types.

April 5, 2012, 08:35 PM
It will be interesting to see how far they spread.
We can't seem to keep enough pheasants around my neck of the woods.That may be the next best thing?

All this country needs is another non-native invasive species!

Well, they don't eat that much.

Maybe the hogs and pythons will get them!

I'm betting the "house" cats do a better job.

April 5, 2012, 09:57 PM
Well, he wants these three "clean" so we'll see. I know what you mean about tough, got another friend that raises grass fed Berkshire pigs and Speckled Sussex chickens, and those chickens were like rubber, even the one we brined.

Googled Australorp, similiar but I didn't see any of the bright colors these things have. I'll try to get some pics. Going to be out of town this weekend so I'll try to get out there tomorrow afternoon.

Art Eatman
April 5, 2012, 10:07 PM
Don't want a chicken to fly? Just clip the feathers on ONE wing. This creates the phenomenon known as, "Take off, spin, and go flop."

April 5, 2012, 10:12 PM
Im with Turtle...........A Nice calm day.......17 HMR!

April 5, 2012, 10:12 PM
Australorp have a tendency to have multiple colors. Sometimes it's just green plumage and others look like friggin rainbows. They are an Australian breed if memory serves me correctly (don't feel up to Googling) and are some REALLY good egg droppers. Pure bred chickens are getting pretty rare nowadays. Chickens such as the Australorp were actually developed (bred) from multiple strains to get either the best egg layers to the best meat developers or both where this breed is concerned. We had a few chicken farms close to where I was raised and my Grandfather raised a few himself. Only reason I know this crap. It's uncanny how much useless information the human mind can absorb and recall aint it!

April 5, 2012, 10:34 PM
Well if we are lucky they are good to eat. Already had the eggs, good stuff. I'm not crazy about new species either, but if one is introduced why not one that eats bugs lays eggs and tastes like chicken? If I walk up on the ridge 120 yards from the house and pull a heading of 220 degrees on the compass I walk in to this guy's yard a little over a mile away.

April 5, 2012, 10:36 PM
I'd like that too,(17hmr) but don't have that caliber yet.

der Teufel
April 5, 2012, 10:57 PM
If you think it's interesting that chickens can fly, check out this BBC video showing a breed of flying penguins! ;)

April 6, 2012, 08:05 AM
I wouldn’t worry about headshots, unless you just want the challenge; if they’re more than a couple months old, they will be pretty nasty to eat. Doubt they’ll spread much. They may find a peaceful home if they head towards Ashville, with all the hippies around there, but I guarantee the folks in Old Fort will clear them out fast, despite the bad taste! (Strange bunch in Old Fort). :neener:

April 6, 2012, 11:33 AM
I have raised chickens my entire life & (YES) chickens can fly..............

April 7, 2012, 02:01 PM
Chickens started out as jungle fowl in the jungles of SE Asia, a pretty rigorous environment.

April 7, 2012, 04:33 PM
Wait till they roost at night and grab or shoot them from their tree.

April 9, 2012, 05:54 PM
Well, I didn't get to shoot at them. Went over there Friday afternoon but the old guy talked my ear off until it was time for me to get home. I left the rifle with him, didn't do him any good. Of course, he has never used a scope before so he was kind of lost. He did end up getting 2 of the 3 he was trying to get with a 20 gauge, and said they were not tough at all on the table. They were about a year old according to him. And yes, they are supposed to be Austrilop (sp?), although he isn't sure if they are pure or mixed since they don't match pictures he has seen either. Could be tough to get a shot on one since he is looking at one in particular of about 20. They all look like chickens to me.

April 11, 2012, 12:50 PM
Here's what I found on them:

"Australorps are the Australian take on the Orpington breed. They are calm and friendly, and excellent layers of light brown eggs. The Australorp's exceptionally soft, shiny black plumage has hints of green and purple in the sunlight. Peaceful and dignified, Australorps are an absolutely delightful bird which we highly recommend to anyone who wants a pet chicken that lays dependably."

July 23, 2012, 11:18 AM
Update on the FBMCs. Got a call last week that they needed some help with some of the roosters. It seems with the population increasing that there are too many roosters. There is a term for a rooster that does not have hens, can't remember what it is. But they start to get very aggressive toward each other and the hens. So we went out there, took some time to identify the roosters they wanted to keep and proceeded to thin the flock a bit. Last time we were there I left the same rifle I used this time with the land owner but he couldn't get used to the scope on it so it was useless to him. He ended up using his shotgun but they ended up picking shot out of the birds and more importantly to them there was one shot that injured but did not kill a bird that died days later. So we were looking for selected targets and clean kills. These folks are animal rescue people, from puppies and kittens to squirrels and birds, even one baby deer they bottle fed until it was able to survive on it's own. Imagine walking in to a friend's house and seeing baby flying squirrels chasing each other around the house and a fawn sitting in your friend's lap in his recliner. Very surreal. Birds will land on this guy's shoulder outside and we can feed them peanut butter on a stick by hand.

Ever try to take a head shot on a live chicken? Not easy, a lot of jerky unpredictable movements. And after the first one, they get pretty sneaky. finding black chickens that have gone to ground in the woods and brush is a bit more of a challenge than I thought it would be. But we ended up taking three of them between 20 and 30 yards with perfect head shots. I choose Aguila Interceptors which have proven in my testing to be very hard hitting with minimal fragmentation and good to very good accuracy. For my own purposes I would have preferred segmented Stinger hollow points and front angle body shots. Not nearly as precise a shot to take and only three pieces of bullet to find, but the Interceptors hit so hard that the heads just disappeared altogether with no damage at all to the meat. And now, having proven a level of humane and safe kills to the owner I have my own dedicated range for when they need more thinning done. These roosters were already spoken for, but in the future I will require one to take home for the pot. :)

July 23, 2012, 12:46 PM
Chickens started out as jungle fowl in the jungles of SE Asia, a pretty rigorous environment.
Yes, and I understand that they are very rare now in their native environment. My Dad spent time in India, Bangladesh (East Pakistan at the time) and Vietnam. He said the locals still hunt them but they are considered very smart, wary birds and tough to score on.

July 23, 2012, 03:23 PM
What - still no photos?

Bigfoot... Nessie... Chupacabra... Ethical lawyers and now the FBMC?

July 23, 2012, 07:14 PM
Here's one. I sent a few from my phone to my email, then I'll have to send them to Photobucket and post them later. For now it's the end of the day and I need to get home. Steak fajitas tonight.

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