If you have different breeds....

mich9510

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Do you house them all together? I would only like one rooster, and I think I want a Jersey giant to guard over the flock but I would also like a faster growing dual purpose flock. How does that work? Do I just let the Jersey fertilize my hens eggs even though their a different breed? I don't mean to repost something I've already posted but I have decided that I would like faster growing dual purpose chickens that have good predator awareness and would be a little tougher for the hawks to get. there are so many breeds to look through I'm going crazy....lol. so if someone could give me some suggestions on a breed that fits the bill or if I could have two different breeds that would be great. I was also wondering if I could have two roosters if one is a docile breed that wouldn't fight with a breed such as a Jersey giant. Thanks!
 
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donrae

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I'm not sure why you're wanting a Giant rooster. They're slow to mature and not known for being especially protective.

what is your purpose for your flock? Meat, eggs, both? do you want broody hens or are you planning to incubate and brood chicks yourself?

I'd say don't re-invent the wheel. Go with a classic breed like a Rock, a Welsummer, a Red, or an Australorp. If hawks are a problem, one poster here was saying go with black birds. In his experience, hawks saw a black bird and associated it with crows and left them alone. I don't know that first hand, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. I'd stay away from white birds, they're like bait for hawks.

Unsolicited advice aside, lots of us keep mixed breed flocks. I started with a mix of hatchery birds years ago and have been randomly breeding and have some wonderful birds. I harvest my cockerels around 5ish months old and while they're not huge like a Cornish cross, they're large enough for us. Since I'm a hatching addict, I've got to do something with all those males
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mich9510

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Jul 21, 2016
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Ok. Thanks for tha advice. That's interesting about the black birds so I think I'll try it. The reason I was thinking Jersey Giants is that I read there were protective. Meat is the primary purpose but we would like a small amount of eggs too. I would like some broody girls since I'm new. Who new just deciding on a breed would be so difficult!
 

donrae

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I know, you tend to think "chickens are chickens"....until you start researching! Then it's like
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I had no idea.......


One good thing to keep in mind is having hens of different breeds for different purposes. I don't know how many birds you're wanting to max out with, but say you're going to have 10 hens. You might want something like 3 production bred birds, sex links or Australorps, Rocks--something that's a higher egg layer. You might want say 3 meatier birds like a Dark Cornish. The Dark Cornish aren't stellar layers, but they do go broody and they're great mommas. Plus, they're hefty, meaty birds, and good at free ranging. Then that would still give you four hens to play around with, just trying different breeds and see who you like. Pick a rooster of whatever breed to cover them all. Then, when a hen goes broody, you can chose to set eggs from the layer hens if you're wanting more layers, or from the meatier birds if you're wanting meat.

If you're looking primarily for meat, check out the Meat Birds, Etc forum. Lots of good info there on dual purpose flocks.

You might also look into something like the Dixie Rainbows or Pioneers. They're not a breed, they're a faster growing mix some of the hatcheries are putting out. Some folks have held the hens over and they're decent layers, but I've heard some of the roosters are not nice to the hens and they do get pretty large, so smaller hens can suffer with mating.
 

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