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Any truth to keeping just one breed?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sovia, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. sovia

    sovia Songster

    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    This past winter, I had some issues with feather picking in my flock. I have SS, EE, BA, BO, SLW, and a Delaware (all raised together from day-olds). Without going through all the details, what I ended up doing is throwing caution to the wind and have been allowing them to free range and things are going much better. In any case, my neighbor (who grew up on a ranch) swears that my problem is that I had more than one breed. She seems to think that they all need to look alike. Is there any truth to this?

  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing Premium Member

    No way. It's safe to say that most of us have mixed flocks. Maybe the similar breeds would stick together if given the choice, but I personally have never had a problem.
  3. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I have a mixed flock. Nothing of the kind occurs here- I'm guessing they were just bored.
  4. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    The saying does have some truth to it but not much. A completely mixed flock will be fine, but if its a flock of mainly one breed/size with only a couple of others that are different problems can arise and a lot of picking on the minority breed/size can happen. If there is enough food and space there really shouldn't be any problems.
  5. RHewitt

    RHewitt Songster

    My flock is very mixed I like variety...no problems.

  6. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Different breeds do tend to have different personalities. But so do different individuals in any one breed. I agree that pecking and such has a lot more to do with space and boredom than breed. I also have a very mixed flock.
  7. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    My birds are racist. They only hang with their own kind and it sometimes comes down to color (same breed, different color). I have one Wyandotte roo who refuses anything that isn't fluffy and round like a Wyandotte. [​IMG] I had a flock of OEGB and one little Modern in that flock, she was always brutally picked on. But my birds are odd, they're definitely not the normal chicken. My layers are all different and they get along very well. It's my showbirds that are all racist.

  8. sovia

    sovia Songster

    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    Thanks to all your replies. It confirms what I thought - mixed breeds have nothing to do with it! I swear, the moment I let them out of their (huge) coop and run, everything became better. And, I have to admit, it would be so difficult to choose just one breed to stick with!
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I don't think you got anywhere near a consensus on this issue.

    The opportunity to free range is acting as a safety valve, as you say.

    In my single-breed flocks, aggression has been almost non-existent. My mixed-breed flocks have not been all that peaceful, usually.

    Next time, I'm thinking of going with mutts.

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I have a single breed flock. Soon I will be getting more chicks and they will be a similar breed. They will be the same size as the birds I have now when they are full grown. Most of my friends who have chickens have mixed flocks. I think a lot of feather picking could be space and boredom. I have a fenced in yard for my birds adjacent to their run.

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