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Considering a Multi-Cultural Flock and wanting to to have similar personalities

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RoosterCogburn7, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. RoosterCogburn7

    RoosterCogburn7 Chicken Atlas Farm NPIP 74-4231

    Dec 5, 2014
    I may be off base, but I consider chicken flocks like a fish tank. There are certain breeds of fish that won't mix and will kill each other, or do serious harm.

    I view chickens the same way. Various temperaments won't work. I was initially going to maintain my 6 EE's in another coop and the new coop I am building (Which should handle 20 birds fine according to the FAQ Learning Center).

    I was considering moving over my EE's from their current pen to the new coop, once the new flock is living in the new coop, and the EE's who free range can integrate by being separated by the 15 yard run that the other chickens will inhabit so the older EE's don't harm the younger newcomers.

    That being said, I was originally considering Plymouth Barred Rocks, because my daughter liked their coloration. I think she is as excited, if not more so about chickens than I am.

    However, the Plymouth Barred Rocks idea is on hold. She is fond of the EE's just because of the diversity in colors.

    I am of the inclination that I want as many varied egg colors as possible. So far my EE's who have just started laying have given us 7 light green eggs.

    I wanted to put some actual Americaunas in there for blue colored eggs, some large brown laying hens. and some chocolate laying hens, to try to get the rainbow of egg colors (minus white).

    However, I want personalities to mesh, so my hens aren't killing each other.

    Thoughts, on the mishmash of breeds that would work on the rainbow of egg color gambit? I am trying to deal with one's that are heart and cold hardy because of the East Texas weather is hot and humid and can be cold and blustery for it's short winter.

    The coop is well ventilated and the backside faces the North Wind and the open area to run back and forth from coop to run at will faces south, so that should keep them out of the elements.

  2. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Songster

    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    Most breeds do fine in a mixed flock. At one time I had a mixed flock of 20+ breeds until I decided what breeds I liked best.
    I would not suggest mixing bantam and large fowl breeds if you are tight on space though.
    I also gave my polish to my mother as they were too timid to be in a flock of 50+ LF hens.
  3. RoosterCogburn7

    RoosterCogburn7 Chicken Atlas Farm NPIP 74-4231

    Dec 5, 2014
    I want them for the eggs, so Bantums are not an option for me. Also, I prefer the larger breeds in the event they do stop laying.
  4. RoosterCogburn7

    RoosterCogburn7 Chicken Atlas Farm NPIP 74-4231

    Dec 5, 2014
    I guess I should be more specific.

    I am considering Blue Amerucanas (Not EE's, I already have 6 of those)
    Black Copper Marans
    Plymouth Barred Rocks

    I would like to keep one rooster for each, for breeding purposes, but I am not certain if I segregate the roos together if they would end up killing each other.

    I figure I can make more Blue Amerucanas, more Black Copper Marans, and Plymouth Barred Rocks. Or, alternatively, I can mix the Blue Aerucanas and the Black Copper Marans and make Olive Eggers.

    Anyone think this is untenable?
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    You aren't off base at all. An established mature flock of the same breed is challenged by a new introduction, but even more so when it is of another breed that is vastly different in appearance. Raising a mixed flock up from day old chicks is different and more likely to be peaceful. I won't put crested breeds with non-crested, and try to keep birds all similar in size and weight with a mixed flock.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I think that with this mix, you'll find that your EE or Americana chickens will be the wall flowers of the group. As long as you have plenty of room and keep feed available so the timid ones can eat after the bullies have had their fill, they all should be fine. It sounds like you are planning on having a self sustaining flock, and doing your own breeding for replacements, and want each breed to stay true, instead of ending up with a barnyard mix? Something to keep in mind is the generally accepted ratio of 1 roo/10 hens. If your overall flock size is planned to be around 20, you might find it to be a bit much to maintain 3 separate breeds with 3 roosters. If you are replacing your own layers, at least 1/2 of the chicks you hatch every year will be roosters. I assume you'll grow them out for the table? That requires yet more coop space. You are blessed with warmer temps, and most of those roos could be sent to freezer camp by the time colder weather arrived.

    Now here's a thought: If you replaced those Black copper Marans (pretty birds!) with Cuckoo Marans, kept your PBR, and kept your EE or Ameracuana gals, AND if you kept a dark colored Ameraucana Roo, he would produce more Ameraucanas for the blue eggs, and he would produce black sex link green or olive egg layer, pea combed chicks when crossed with with the Marans and the PBR.
    1 person likes this.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Pretty much all of your dual purpose breeds do well together. Of course, you may always have individual birds that don't play well with others, but all the breeds you've mentioned have done well mixed in my flock. What you want to look out for is top hatted breeds that can't see well, and silkies that can get picked on cause they're so docile, things like that. Some game birds may be a bit scrappy to get along with farm birds, but you didn't mention them either. Dual purpose birds as a rule are close enough in size and temperament to do well in a mixed flock.

  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Your group should be fine. I'm happy with my BCMarans from a breeder, but the cuckoo Marans from a hatchery were a big disappointment, both in egg color and longevity. Salmon Favorelles are really nice, but low on the totem pole in mixed flocks. I also like my buff Plymouth Rocks, and for friendliness and beauty, Speckled Sussex hens are the best. Multiple roosters might be a problem, and you will need separate breeding pens in spring for sure. Cockrels raised together MIGHT be polite, at least for a while, if they have lots of space to avoid each other. Breed and individual differences in temperament will impact their behavior. Welcome Mary
  9. RoosterCogburn7

    RoosterCogburn7 Chicken Atlas Farm NPIP 74-4231

    Dec 5, 2014
    That is a thought. I was considering mating them for replacement stock, some to cull (extra roosters, etc.), and some to sell locally so the flock defrays some its costs. But, that would come with egg sales as well. Once, I get enough that I don't have to bother with commercial eggs, people I know have expressed interesting in local eggs. I don't think I will ever get even or ahead in my investment, but it is isn't always about that either. It is about enjoying your own flock, and a healthier supply of eggs for the family.

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