Hi guys, I'm new and have a couple questions!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CPrie25, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. CPrie25

    CPrie25 New Egg

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    Ok so I'm thinking about raising chickens for eggs! If you don't mind I have a couple questions

    1. Can I have 2-3 different breeds along with 1 rooster of these kinds of hens? Like should I keep the breeds and rooster separate from the other breeds?

    2. If I take and close in about 1-1.5 acres and let my chickens roam, is that free range or no?

    3. What is 2-3 good docile laying hens with good production too stay with

    That's a couple for now! Thanks guys!
     
  2. thebesticanbe

    thebesticanbe Out Of The Brooder

    You can have a mixed flock and keep them together. Yes that would be free range. Go to breeds on the mane page on here and you can see more about breeds you like pros and cons. Good luck!
     
  3. chickenraiser24

    chickenraiser24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My rhode island red is just the sweetest thing, I get an egg almost daily and even her egg was large. Even as it has gotten colder she is still laying. She eats out of my hand and has not gone broody. I recommend rhode island red hens, but I have heard the roosters can be mean. I have no experience with roosters, but my rhode island red hen is amazing. For the free range, do you have any predators that could attack from the air, like hawks? Have fun raising chickens!
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    1. Yes, you can have one rooster and several different breeds of hens. Roosters don't see 'breed', all they really care about is if it's female. You don't really need a rooster, unless you want fertile eggs to hatch.

    2. Yes, that would be free-ranging.

    3. Everyone here has their own preference for breeds. It's one of those questions where, we all have different answers. Easter Eggers are fun and interesting and you never know what color egg a pullet will lay. Orpingtons and Australorps are generally mild mannered. Rocks (of any color variety) are inquisitive and active. Sexlinks, both black and red, are outstanding layers. Get a few of each breed you're really interested in. If you don't like them, you can always rehome them and try something else.
     
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most of us have mixed flocks because there are too many beautiful breeds to just have one. I would not advise having a rooster for each breed of hen. Don't even consider a rooster your first year. Build the flock up to 8-10 hens than revisit it. What breed of chickens you go with will depend upon where you live and if you have kids. Personally, I would never have RIR in a mixed flock. They have a reputation of being bullies in a mixed flock.
     
  6. CPrie25

    CPrie25 New Egg

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    RIR seem to be really popular! Thank you so much guys!

    If I have let's say I have 2-3 buff orpington, 2-3 RIR and 2-3 Plymouth Rock, and I eventually get a rooster if he breeds with, the hens of a didn't breed will it effect the quality of the eggs or if the eggs hatch will it effect the chicks or will it effect the egg laying in the future of the chicks that hatched?
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm not understanding the question. Chickens are chickens. Breeds are something people have created. A rooster doesn't 'see' breed, all he sees is mature hens. All breeds are still, genetically, chickens.
     
  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That would be like saying "my lab would never breed with the Sheppard next door".
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  9. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Answers to your questions:
    1. Yes, you can have different breeds with a rooster for each breed. If you don't want to end up with mixed breed offspring, you will have to keep each individual breed with its rooster separate from the other breeds. Otherwise your roosters will interbreed with the different breeds of hens. Also, keep in mind that the recommended ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens. As they mature and their hormones kick in, too many roosters (or too few hens for a rooster) will become very hard physically on your hens, over-breeding them, biting and plucking the feathers from their necks and backs, battering them, and potentially, seriously injuring them. Practically speaking that means if you're going to keep the breeds separate, for each breed of rooster you will need 10 hens of the same breed.
    2. Yes, letting them roam on on 1-1.5 acres is free-ranging as opposed to keeping them in enclosed runs.
    3. Breeds that have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle and good layers include Australorps, Orpingtons, Brahmas, Sussex, and Faverolles. If egg production is a priority, Australorps are the best layers on this list. Of course, keep in mind that there can always be an exception with any breed.
    Hope this helps.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    What you'd have would be mixed breed chicks. They're fine for a backyard flock, most of my flock is mixed at the moment.

    A rooster mating with a hen does not effect her egg quality at all.

    The egg quality of the offspring pullets won't change if she's a pure bred or a mixed breed. Generally, the offspring of mixed breed birds lay about as well as the parent stock averaged out. If I have a mix of dual purpose breeds as you're suggesting, the offspring all lay about as well as momma. When I mix in higher production breeds like a Leghorn, production in the offspring pullets goes up. When I mix in a lower-producing bird like a Dark Cornish, the offspring pullets don't lay as well.

    I think getting a mix of breeds is a good idea for a new flock owner. Some breeds look great on paper, but just don't do it for you in person. I've had breeds I would have sworn I wouldn't like that I've just fallen in love with.
     
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