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Mixed breeds

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
We're rebuilding our flock after loosing all but two to Hawks while they were free ranging. Since we're starting over, I figure we might as well have a little fun and see what crazy colors we can come up with. I love hybrids and have been planning on a hienz 57 flock of dual purpose mixed breeds. I know we'll have a few less eggs than true layer breeds, and the roosters we butcher won't be as big as a Cornish but I still think it will be the best balance for our homestead.
Anyway here's my question: we currently have one RIR roo and one hen. We're picking up 10 hens next weekend that are Amerucana/Australorp crosses. I wan to get one more rooster of any dual purpose breed. What breed would likely give me the best colors on future chicks? I'm open to any typical dual purpose breed- Orpington, Delaware, barred rocks, etc.
post #2 of 5
What a fun question! I have no idea what the Ameraucana grandparents-to-be look like or what genetics they bring to the table. I suspect they are truly EE’s and may bring a mixture of genetics but hopefully you will get some blue or green eggs out of them. If you know anything about the colors or patterns of the “Ameraucana’s” that could help a lot in knowing what to expect.

The black from the Australorp will be pretty dominant so to get a rainbow of chicks I’d stay away from a black rooster. Black barred chickens like Barred Rock, Dominique, or Cuckoo Marans are basically black, just with barring, so I’d avoid them too.

A Delaware rooster will bring in barring and silver. Silver will get white base color in the flock but that won’t give you a solid white chicken. The tail and probably neck feathers will still be black. Assuming the Ameraucana’s were mostly red, in the first generation you will probably get a lot of black barred chicks and quite possibly chickens that look a lot like the Delaware. Probably not a whole lot of variety. But if you save pullets and a cockerel from this generation the next generation could have a lot of variety, especially if you save black pullets. You’ll still get a lot of black and barring but the others could really be varied. Would you enjoy a red barred chicken?

Buff is the way I would go personally. People like to think that Orpington are the only buff out there, and they are the most common, but you can find Buff Ameraucana, Rocks, Brauma, Chantacler, Cochin, Wyandotte, and others. I didn’t say it was easy to find them but they are there. Nothing wrong with Orpington either. Buff has some strange modifiers in it though there are different ways to make buff genetically. It can change red to orange or many other different shades of reddish or yellow. It is especially weird with black, which you have a lot of. It can turn some, not all but some, black feathers yellow to orange. These may be scattered around on the bird but often come in splotches. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I think buff gives you a real good chance to get some striking birds.

There are plenty of other options out there. With the RIR rooster I’d stay away from another “red” rooster to get better variety. Good luck!

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm open to really any color combinations. We had an amerucana/barred rock years ago that was absolutely gorgeous. Mostly black with barring on his wings, and an orange head. He's actually what gave me the idea for mixing things up and seeing what we an get.
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowLand View Post

I'm open to really any color combinations. We had an amerucana/barred rock years ago that was absolutely gorgeous. Mostly black with barring on his wings, and an orange head. He's actually what gave me the idea for mixing things up and seeing what we an get.

Want variety? Add a Naked Neck rooster, they come in various colors.

I've got some that had NN daddy and EE mothers that were bred to a Blue Copper NN rooster and here are two that I got from them , they are a week old:




They have reverted back to the EE colorization. They are basically a dark Partridge color.
post #5 of 5

I was also thinking buff, for the reasons Ridgerunner posted.

 

Keep in mind some patterns like speckling are recessive. You could think something like a speckled Sussex would make a bunch of pretty babies, but since the white speckles are recessive, you've basically got chicks that inherit red, and you've already got a red rooster.

 

You could also go with an Easter egger rooster. they're usually a wild card genetically and the babies can be all over the place, plus you'd likely get some green egg laying offspring.

 

The nice thing about this sort of breeding program is....if you don't like the results, you can sell them or eat them, get a different rooster or hens and start over again next year :D

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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