Choosing birds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SandraMort, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    It occurred to me tonight that choosing four birds to start with might be stupid if I have roosters about the property and want to have free range/pasture time for the birds. I can't exactly tell a bird "OK, you can only mate with the rooster that looks like you!" if I want to consider letting some go to hatch.

    I was considering: silver laced wyandottes, gold laced wyandottes, easter eggs and cuckoo marans. Am I better starting with one breed and adding to that later on once I'm more experienced? I wanted pretty eggs in different colors [​IMG]

    Sandra
     
  2. muddler6

    muddler6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    It all depends on what YOU want. I decided that I want to keep my breeds seperate, I have bantam cochins and my new Buff Orpingtons. But that works for me. If you are planning on hatching eggs and want just one specific breed mating, set up a way to seperate them. If you don't mind the mix, then that is completely up to you.
     
  3. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I have some separate and some mixed depending on what I am trying to do. I have specific breeds that I have been selling hatching eggs out of. Then I have layers and a couple of roos for them that are just the ones I trust to have around my kids in the yard. They have some of their own girls in the mix so I can just collect those eggs if need be.

    The breeds you are considering are all very nice birds and beautiful and lay nice eggs. Good Luck!
     
  4. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2007
    Maine
    I started with a variety breeds at first...I bought in pairs and trios...which I found out later didn't work too well. Too many roos. I also learned what breeds I liked and didn't like.

    I still keep a variety flock, just with less roos and then I have separate areas for my Silkies and Cochins.

    Nothing wrong with barnyard mix chicks, either. The eggs all taste the same whether they are mutts are pure. [​IMG] If you decide to hatch chicks and want them pure, you can always separate later, too.
     
  5. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    OHH, that's smart. So I could, hypothetically, put up a chicken tractor later on and pull aside a few hens and a roo and put them in there for a few days, then once the nest is full, pull mister roo out and let the moms do their thing?

    Quote:
     
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    A hen can store the roosters sperm for awhile. I think it was like 3 weeks...? So you'd have to seperate the hens from unwanted roos for that long before you'd be certain to get eggs sired by the roo you want.

    I plan to have only 1 breed of roo so all eggs laid by each hen will either be pure if from the same breed or a known cross. I'm also starting with 1 breed I want the most and then I'm going to add a few other hens. Right now I'm just setting up a flock of japanese bantams with 1 black tailed white jap roo and maybe a black tailed buff if one of my 2 buffs I hatched is a roo and it works out to keep it. Then I'm thinking of adding 4 old english game bantam hens and maybe after that I will consider a couple hens that lay the blue or green eggs. The problem will only be sorting the eggs since the hens can all lay in the same nest if they are free ranging and sharing the coop but without having to worry about which roo they mated with it wouldn't be too hard to seperate one for awhile to get certain eggs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  7. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    Three weeks? WOW, that's impressive!!!
     
  8. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    Quote:You can't? Just have them get married.

    Having assorted egg colors to find each morning is wonderful. You just have to pick the roo of the breed that you want. I have an assortment and can have pure Delaware's if I collect my Delaware hens eggs (once they start laying that is).
     
  9. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    OK, so, if I have gold & silver wyandottes, cuckoo marans and easter eggs, which has the best resale value for chicks and hatchable eggs? I could just get that one type of rooster and let everybody else be mutts.

    Furthermore, what happens when you cross them? I was joking that if you took the marans and ee and crossed them, you'd get a dark purple egg, but it's probably just brown. Anybody know? Maybe it would be the most sensible to get a roo from a dual purpose bird so I can cull the roos from the hatched eggs.

    Wyandottes are good dual purpose birds. What happens if you cross gold and silver? Or am I better off just getting one kind? But they're sooooo pretty, how do you choose???
     
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Part of the fun of mixing chickens is you never know what you might get. lol Mixing 2 breeds might give you some really nice mutt chickens that have the benefits of both breeds or it might give you some oddity that has the negatives of both breeds. I have tried to look up chicken color genetics but there isn't much info out there. You can definitely cross various colors of the same breed. You may get more of the same color or an entirely different color depending on how the genetics works. They will still be purebred but you will have to mention the color may be variable. If someone is looking specifically for silver laced you might not want to give them eggs from a silver laced hen and gold laced roo since they may end up with different colored offspring. At least not without warning them. Most of the time though people seem to enjoy the surprise of an animal with mixed color genetics that can throw many colored offspring.

    Egg color isn't as variable. The offspring will only lay what color your current hens already lay. Most likely you'll just see lots of brown eggs.
     

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