Advice on adding to flock/mixing breeds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 5crazies, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. 5crazies

    5crazies Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2016
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    We currently only have 2 RIRs that are about a year old. We are going to get 4 chicks this spring and I'm looking for advice on getting different breeds.
    We live in northern Illinois so we need cold weather breeds. We are looking at Black Australorps, Dominiques, Silver Laced Wyandottes and Easter Eggers. Is it okay to get one of each of those breeds or is it better to pair to chicks of the same breed? Also, will these breeds do well with each other and with our RIRs?
     
  2. 5crazies

    5crazies Out Of The Brooder

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    I just want to add that we only have hens and do not plan on breeding them.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    All the breeds you mentioned are fine together. Every chicken has it's own personality so there are troublemakers in every breed. I have multiple breeds mixed together. The only thing I recommend is to not mix standard with bantam and don't add single polish. Your choices should do fine, and make a wonderful and diverse flock.
     
  4. 5crazies

    5crazies Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! So then, it's okay to only have a single bird of each breed? My husband heard that it is better to have at least two of each breed.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I have had plenty of singles. They don't seem to mind. Just no single bantams or polish and you will have no problems. It helps with telling them apart too.
     
  6. 5crazies

    5crazies Out Of The Brooder

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    Northern IL
    Thank you so much! I thought a mixed flock would be pretty. Plus, we have 3 young kids and they can't tell our RIRs apart so this will be easier for them.
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    There is no need to have more than one of each breed --- and not guarantee that birds of the same breed will associate with each other even if you do have multiples. The chickens just care that there are other chickens to flock with, not what the other chickens look like. I love a mixed flock!
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with the others. You can have the same problems with mixing all the same breeds as with mixing different breeds. Breeds are a manmade thing, the chickens don’t know the difference.

    To tell the RIR’s apart, you might put colored zip ties on the legs. Don’t get them too tight or you can damage the legs. As long as they can slide up and down without coming off over the foot they work great. Just use bright colors. Black isn’t too bad but you can’t see clear.
     
  9. 5crazies

    5crazies Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2016
    Northern IL
    Thank you for the tip on putting a zip tie on the legs. I can tell them apart by their combs. It's just the kids who can't, but this should help them. :)
     
  10. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    I use zip ties when I first start or introduce a batch of birds of the same/similar breed -- it's a great way to allow yourself to start to truly recognize the individual characteristics and before you know it you know them without looking at the bands -- what I'm getting at is this will help your kiddos in the same way, and after a while they won't need the bands at all and will be recognizing the birds just as you do by comb, personality, etc.
     

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