Breeding? Hatching? purebred vs. "Mutt"

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Brydon, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Brydon

    Brydon New Egg

    Mar 21, 2012
    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to the whole chicken raising and was looking at our herd of "mutts" and purebreds and wondering about hatching chicks etc.

    We have a few purebred hens with no rooster to go with them. Our big rooster is the product of a golden comet and a leghorn i think. (bought three that were supposed to be pullets... all three were boys) He is nice, really pretty and easy to get along with.

    So if we were to raise any babies from the main group they would be mixes. We would only be raising them to repopulate our flock (hard to go from herds of horses and dogs to flocks) so no selling babies or fertilized eggs.

    Is that as looked down upon by chicken "people" as breeding mutts is on purpose by dog people?

    We do have two icelandic hens and a rooster trio. If we wanted to let them have icelandic babies we would just pen them up where the other boy couldn't get to the girls right? Then wait a while for the eggs to be sure they are fertilized by the right roo?

    Is there any harm in letting the icelandic's run with the big boy as long as we aren't going to be hatching anything? or as long as we are hatching them only for our own use?

    This whole chicken "farming" thing has me a bit perplexed if you can't tell.

    we had what we thought was a respiratory bug in the flock so I got worried but turns out the shavings were just to fine and dusty... I swear there is to much to learn and not enough time!
  2. NoseyChickens

    NoseyChickens Feathers On The Ground

    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern California
    There are some people out there that "frown upon" mixed breed chickens. But who cares really, they are your chickens and you can do as you please. If you want to breed your trio for purebred chicks, yes, all you would need to do is separate them. It takes about 2-3 weeks to make sure the hens are fertilized by the rooster you are keeping them with. There is no harm in having a mixed flock if that's what you want. A lot of people do it unless they are serious about breeding or showing. All of my breeding/show birds are kept separate from each other, but I have a mixed group of birds in my laying flock and they do fine. I don't hatch from my mixed flock because that just isn't what I am interested in having. The only issue you will run into with hatching mixed birds is that they can be harder to re home than purebred if you have extras.

    If your respiratory issue came with nasal discharge, coughing, wheezing and any odor, than it was not the shavings. It may have cleared up and gone away, especially if you treated with an antibiotic. But it can and will come back in times of stress (like weather changes additions to the flock, etc). If it is a respiratory issue your birds will be carriers and any new birds have a great chance of getting it and becoming carriers as well.

    Welcome to the woderful world of chickens!

    ive been doing this for a few years now and still feel like I have WAY too much to learn!
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens


    Mixing breeds is not frowned upon unless you are claiming they are something they are not. Even the best breeders have layers - which are basically mutts. I hatch dual purpose mutts and sell them as such. The boys are usually used as meat.

    If I were you, I would keep the Icelandics separately. They are such a rare breed, you will want to get some pure chicks. At least keep them in a pen during breeding season. Feel free to let them out during off seasons (usually July - the next February).
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    There is a big difference between breeding mutt chickens and breeding mutt dogs.

    Someone will eat those unwanted mutt chickens and they don't end up clogging up the animal shelters, straining the resources of breed rescue, and getting put to sleep at the tax payer's expense.

    Also, it is not emotional abuse to ignore unwanted chickens, as long as they get food and water. They generally don't care whether you spend time with them and pet them and groom them, or take them places with you. On the other hand, it is abusive to pen up a dog (or let it roam) and not provide human interaction.

    Because of the different type of care require, there are plenty of homes that can provide adequate care for chickens and good lifetime homes for dogs are far and few between, so it is more difficult to place puppies than it is to place chickens.
  5. Matthew3590

    Matthew3590 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    Middle, TN
    I have never met anyone that frounds upon mutt chickens. If you wish to hatch those eggs go ahead. You will find a wide arrange of color and sizes.
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    It all depends on your reasons for keeping them in the first place. I got my flock for eggs and since a mutt produces eggs just as well (and sometimes better) than a purebred, it doesn't bother me at all to have mixed breeds in my flock. My goals from the beginning were to have a colorful egg basket, and birds that I can tell apart. In order to have birds that look different from one another, I started with several different breeds. But, in order to hatch purebreds, I would have to keep one rooster for every hen whose eggs I wanted to hatch, and I really don't need to feed and keep that number of roosters. So, right now I have just one rooster, although I have a juvenile that is coming of age in a couple of months. To boost my flock, I decided to hatch some eggs and 9 out of 10 of the eggs hatched, and are now month-old healthy little chicks. Every one of them looks different, and some of them are just beautiful. One of my most beautiful hens is also a mutt, but any time I show someone a picture of her, they ooh and aah over her (if only I could predictably reproduce hens like her, I could give them a designer name and sell them for a fortune [​IMG]) So for me, mutts (or barnyard mixes as I prefer to call them) are welcome. But if I were into showing, or wanted to sell chicks locally or sell hatching eggs, I would need to pick a breed or two and stick with those.
  7. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Breeding mutt chickens is looked down on by some people who are super serious about showing/breeding their chickens. But in general, most "chicken people" could care less as long as you aren't falsely advertising your barnyard mixes as something they are not (ie purebreds) to sell them. In fact, even many people who are serious about breeding and showing their purebreds will keep a flock that included mixed breeds and will even intentionally mix breeds. Mixing breeds is sometimes done to achieve a specific goal. For example, there are several breeds and color varieties that when mixed will produce mutts that can be sexed at hatch just by looking at the down color, other mixes are popular because of the color eggs the offspring will produce, and there are several people who are working on their own meat bird projects looking to get a self-sustaining flock of good meat producers by using various breeds and hybrids (ie mutts). And sometimes people will intentionally mix breeds just to see what happens. As has already been pointed out, the problem with intentionally mixing dog breeds comes down mostly to a matter of severe overpopulation of dogs so it becomes unethical to cross two breeds "just to see what happens." But since it is not culturally taboo to eat surplus chickens, there really isn't a chicken overpopulation problem. As long as you can be comfortable with the fact that there will always be more roosters hatched than what is needed and that means that the fate of those extra roosters is to end up on someone's dinner plate, there really isn't any such thing as "surplus chickens." If you end up hatching more than you need and you can't find a new home for them, you eat them. Problem solved, simple as that.
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I think the general consensus is that you do not sell any as anything other than mixed breeds or mutts. Since you aren't going to do that, breed away! Mutts are beautiful and very good at producing meat and eggs.
  9. Violetsfeathers

    Violetsfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2015
    My Coop
    Could I show a chicken as purebred if the color was mixed?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by