They sure are. They're bigger, more dominant, and I personally didn't like their temperament. You're dead-on though. I had some Black Australorps that held their own against the BRs, but the rest of the flock were not so fortunate. I had to re-home a particularly aggressive BR. For all their bluster, they were also my weakest layers.
Mixing Breeds in the Flock - Page 5
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I started my first flock this spring with 8 chicks, each one a different breed. I have three bantams, and 5 standard breeds. I have 6 hens and 2 roosters. Each breed has its own set of normal behaviors from the books I've read (like my cochin went broody after only laying 2 dozen eggs, and my brown leghorn is true to her breed's flighty nature, but her "sister" white leghorn is the friendliest bird in our flock. My RIR, buff orpington and black australorp can be counted on almost daily for eggs since they began laying, and they are all three friendly and easy to catch. The roosters are friendly and easy to catch too, and are the most entertaining).
Not only is each bird easier to identify because they are all different, but they each lay different color, size and shaped eggs, so we can track who's being productive, and who might be laying outside the nest box. Since we got them all at the same time, they've grown up knowing this as their flock, and we have only had the usual pecking order scuffles, and of course, the adjustments as the cockerels began to mature. I love having all different breeds. For a beginner, it's been the best experience.
I love my Easter Eggers/Auracanas. I have a mixed flock and love the variation in my eggs, but RIR in my opinion are not for me. The roosters are pure evil and though the hens are nice they only really laid for the first year and then production really went down. I also have Brahms's and think they are beautiful and friendly birds and with their feathery feet have had no problem withstanding a NY winter. Of the ones you listed I would go for the wyandottes, Auracanas, and BO myself. Nice friendly birds that have had no problems with a very cold winter last year.
A mixed flock works fine, especially if they're all chicks together. In my flock of 9 there are only two that are the same breed (Cinnamon Queen), and then there's one of each of an Easter Egger, Olive Egger, Minorca, Production White (Trader Joe's hatch), BLRW/Brahma cross, Ameraucana/RIR cross, and a Welsummer. What's fun is I can tell who laid what egg, which then gets recorded so I know what the production levels are.
If you're getting a mixed age flock, please read the forums on integrating birds to keep the drama and trauma to a minimum in your coop.
Above all.... Enjoy!
We started with 6 hens a few years back and now have a flock consisting of 3 Australorps, 2 silver laced wyandottes, 2 lavender orpingtons, 2 blue orpingtons, a buff orpington, 2 buckeyes, a barnevelder, 2 speckled sussex, a columbian wyandotte. For the most part they get along fine (other than normal pecking order squabbles).
What I have found most interesting with this eclectic group is how they tend to self-segregate by breed when given the chance (blues hang together, buckeyes hang together, etc.).
We have a total of 7 different breeds. this is Oreo my Austrlorps loves to be held and has great personality!! I would love more of her! I have 2 BR both wonderful! One top of pecking order the other is still a pullet. However, shes even sweeter then my older one. If that's possible!
this is dot, she's super friendly like my other BR she loves attention even with our rooster around. Good luck!
I have to say I love my ee's to. This is a hard one. There are so many great choices. Just make sure you pay a ton of attention and have treats!
Edited by Angie16hearts - 11/17/15 at 9:13am