Is it better to have 2 of the same breed or is it ok to mix?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by amogrady, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. amogrady

    amogrady Hatching

    Oct 19, 2012

    I'm planning on getting two hens and am deciding between Orphingtons and Plymouth Rocks. Would it be ok to get only one of each or would they be happier paired with one from their own breed?

    I want them to be friendly, happy and to be good egg producers.


  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    With only two I would think they will hang out no matter what. So I would go with one each.
  3. I think that chickens prefer their "own breeds" most of the time. I have always noticed that most chickens stick with those that are just like them.

    For example, I started out with a White Rock/Broiler pair and they stuck together. But my other hens, including a Black Australorp hen stayed kind of close to them. Later on, the rooster died, and I got a black Australorp rooster. Well, the 2 Black Australorps are like 2 peas in a pod.

    If you don't mind me asking, but why are you getting just 2 hens?
  4. They don't care if they're the same breed or not. I have a flock of 85+ chickens and ALL sorts of different breeds, including a lot that are crosses of different breeds. If you were going to start a breeding program (but obviously you would need a roo for that) you would want to keep breeds separate, to keep lines pure. But for birds I'm not breeding I let them all run together.

    I've had some odd chicken buddies over the years. The cutest is my stunted d'uccle and her Salmon Faverolle. They don't realize that they're completely different breeds, let alone the huge size difference.

    I highly recommend both Orpingtons and Barred Rocks, and I think you'd be happy with one of each. Plus it adds some variety to your flock.

    ~~Ms.B :)
    ETA: Having different breeds won't necessarily affect happiness or reduce stress, as far as I've experienced. So, if you would like two different breeds, go for it!
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  5. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    I will say too that mine tend to stay in their breed pairs. But sometimes the Production RIR's and BR's hang out together. But my 2 BO's are ALWAYS together.
  6. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Songster

    Jun 29, 2012
    I've noticed that while some of my chickens will gravitate to their own kind (birds of a feather, and whatnot), others are more likely to be found in the company of a friend who is of an entirely different color and breed. Take my barred rocks for example--they always stuck together, and followed our barred rock roo without fail, but our red production hens on the other hand are completely unconcerned with appearances and mingle freely with the flock. Even within a group of chickens, there is variety of attitudes: among our Polish crested, there are Bubbles and Chicky Gaga, who socialize readily with the rest of the flock, and then there's Bjork who prefers the company only of her fellow Polish crested... and then there's Aretha, who doesn't really have much time for anychicken, and prefers instead to keep company with any people she sees, especially if my husband is around.

    Long story short, having two girls from different but similar breeds should be fine. While there are situations where mixing varieties can be problematic, this isn't one of them. :)

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