CHICKEN FLYING ABILITY AND LOGIC BEHIND IT

Posted by: Theropod

CHICKEN FLYING ABILITY AND LOGIC BEHIND IT - 12/27/13 05:33 AM

As a kid growing up in the 1970's I was schooled by some very harsh winters where we were snowed in for weeks at a time. Snow was too deep and ice covered for typical recreational use and our livestock were severely stressed by not being able to get to forage. I had to spend the bulk of each day getting feed and water to those animals that were scattered at multiple locations that were hundreds of yards apart and with some a couple miles (hog grow out facility). At each location we had small flocks of game chickens that largely had to fend for themselves. Those associated with cattle sheds had toughest go of it since no grain was available. To get eats and stay warm chickens has to get to areas where feed was accessible or where they could forage in heavy cover. Those locations were usually a couple hundred feet at least apart. The chickens did.not like to walk on such snow so they flew. Distances flown were substantial usually making so contact with snow in open was minimal. This was not the only time birds flew such distances but they did it with more regularity and it was easy to see. Since then I acquired an interest in recording their flights and try to understand why they only fly the amount they do. They are more capable in the air than they typically demonstrate so it is not an issue of ability. Shortly I will post some videos showing some flights which maybe of interest to some. The flights are within the realm of easy for these birds and could bettered by more dispersed waypoints and even bettered more if birds stimulated to fly under duress
Posted by: Wieslaw

Re: CHICKEN FLYING ABILITY AND LOGIC BEHIND IT - 12/27/13 07:27 AM

Do you have your videos on Youtube? I have posted links to them some years ago then. I have a Polish Bantam pullet, which can fly practically like a pigeon especially when feeling scared by something.
Posted by: Theropod

Re: CHICKEN FLYING ABILITY AND LOGIC BEHIND IT - 12/27/13 08:02 AM

Videos are on Youtube and one was linked as experimental effort in thread concerning pictures which I finally figured out.

Video below was made under poor lighting conditions where chickens flew from sawhorse in lawn to the location they spend most of day. Distance was between 225 and 250 feet (69 to 76 m). Elevation change was a positive / upgrade 6 feet (~ 2 m) over that distance. Flights were voluntary as in not motivated out of fear. Birds are standard sized American Games. I played around with bantams before and they do not have the endurance of speed of these games on the wing.

http://youtu.be/AMeCjMx9Bds

I am trying to also get video to show as pic with play arrow in posting which I have yet to figure out.

I have several other videos to link once latter issue is figured out.
Posted by: Theropod

Re: CHICKEN FLYING ABILITY AND LOGIC BEHIND IT - 12/30/13 06:59 PM

Here is a shorter flight in an overly long video. Birds start from under light on front porch. The games are pretty consistent about flying a piece when coming down from roost. Distance with snow involved easily doubles. Like in first video landing point is higher up than starting point. Flights take place after two minutes into recording. I also have video of the flying back.

http://youtu.be/WBOTLy4QSqY
Posted by: Theropod

Re: CHICKEN FLYING ABILITY AND LOGIC BEHIND IT - 01/01/14 08:24 AM

The following shows return flights at end of day. Downgrade is a little greater than appears. The both birds seemed to invest alot in slowing approach. In this intance exhibited very little trimmed out flight. Trimmed out means body is held in a more horizontal position and often results in a lot more speed and distance. Both birds are doing most of flight at about stall speed which is just under 20 miles per hour. I am pretty sure these guys are capable of flying nearly twice as fast as shown here which results in a very different flight profile.

http://youtu.be/kz5QjbQdVZU

Based on other observations in similar context the birds communicate vocally the intent to fly before doing so. The take great pains not to loose site of each other. The sexual dimorphism in coloration I think is a very important signal coming from flying birds.
Posted by: Theropod

Re: CHICKEN FLYING ABILITY AND LOGIC BEHIND IT - 01/02/14 04:09 PM

Today while feeding birds a game hen made a 150 foot flight that was L-shaped with two roughly equal legs. She appeared to consider me as a landing point but reconsidered and almost landed on piece of fence where she almost hovered before powering back into trimmed out flight for last leg covering a distance of about 75 feet. This all to avoid contact with snow. Same hen was also prone to make such flights rather than walk through or around high weed patches.
Posted by: leghorn762

Re: CHICKEN FLYING ABILITY AND LOGIC BEHIND IT - 11/15/14 02:04 AM

I remember my first experience of Game hens, I only had them a week and while watering them in the morning I left the door open and out they came, in trying to herd them back in I spooked them and off they went! I swore they were gone, but the next morning they were back in the yard.
Posted by: Foehn

Re: CHICKEN FLYING ABILITY AND LOGIC BEHIND IT - 03/25/15 01:38 PM

Years ago when I used to work for a boarding kennels. there was a semi feral white leghorn that had very good flying ability. One of the reasons why we could never catch her. She was as good as a ringneck pheasant and spent some of her flight just gliding. She usually covered around 100 metres.