hi. I am planning on getting 3 chicks soon for my first backyard coop.
Is it recommended to get the same breed for all 3 in such a small flock? Or can I get 3 different kinds? Or does it depend on the breeds?
It doesn't matter as long as they are all standard size or all bantams....I wouldn't want to mix bantams and standards in a small space. Only one can be a rooster, but you don't have to have a rooster at all...
You can definately do 3 different breeds, they will sort out a pecking order and be fine just like if they were the same breed... I've raised gamefowl with Polish, as opposite as you can get on the chicken spectrum I think
Quote:It may depend on breeds. I have bantams and large fowl mixed, but they are in a big space and they are all hens/pullets. I normally do not mix bantam roos with LF roos, but I actually did that too up until last weekend. Only 3 roos, but they were fine together.
If the chicks are raised together you may be fine, but if you buy one here and another there, you might have a problem. Layer breeds like sexlinks are extremely gentle to people, but can be vicious to other breeds like cochins and top hats. You want to get 3 chickens that are known for similar temperament. The production breeds tend to have stronger vitality than some of the more showy exotic breeds. For example, my RIR straight combs will beat the crap out of my show RIR rosecombs. And my white rocks will beat the crap out of my cochins.
I think you would have special dynamics even if the 3 were sisters. Each would likely have its own, unique personality.
Right now, Barred Rocks and Black Australorps make up my little flock but I've almost always had only one breed of hens at a time. When I had roosters and since I wasn't breeding them, the rooster was an excuse to have a bird that was just for "looks." Since roos are roos and hens are hens - I've really almost no experience mixing breeds.
By your question, I suspect that you already want a variety to enjoy in your backyard. Mixing breeds is quite common but I think it would be a kick to have only one physical difference between the hens.
Next year, I may get Barred, White, and Buff Plymouth Rock chicks. Since I've only had the Barred a couple of times and never the Whites or Buffs, I'm a little concerned that there may be too great a difference in size and even body shape; the White Rock is commonly used in meat crosses and the others aren't. Before committing to these choices, I'll be sure to run this idea past the BYC community.
If the Australorp came in as many color variations as their relatives, the Orpingtons, I'd be very pleased . . .
Oh, my BR's are larger and boss the BA's, but they've lived their entire short lives together and get along just fine.