Kid friendly mixed flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HSerChickLady, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The new batch of chicks is going to be the flock my kids get to help care for. My kids are 6 and 10 yrs old. We're looking at getting an even mix of Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, and Ameraucanas. Will these breeds get along ok together and be ok for the kids to deal with? I think they'll be fine but just wanted to double check.
     
  2. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    They'll get along together, they'll be great if you don't have roosters. People will start saying Rhode Island Reds are mean, but they mainly mean roosters, so, I think you're fine. [​IMG]

    Also, your Ameraucanas you purchased are actually mutts called "Easter Eggers," true Ameraucanas don't come from common poultry sources like feedstores, hatcheries, or most backyard owners. They're a little on the rare side, despite false labelling. Still, Easter Eggers are always a wonderful flock addition. [​IMG]
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I'd stay away from RIRs for a mixed flock. They're OK with people and each other but tend to bully other breeds, especially the more docile rocks.
    I think your kids will be OK with any of them unless there's a rooster involved. If there's a roo, make sure the kids move very slowly around them so they won't be mistaken for a predator and get attacked.
    BOs and JGs are very docile too.
     
  4. CSWolffe

    CSWolffe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a small flock with a RIR, an Australorp, a Gold Comet, and a Wyandotte. The RIR is the sweetest and friendliest of our birds. It was the Gold Comet who began pulling out feathers and pecked the RIR bloody. She went to live on the farm(not a euphamism, she is no living on a friend's five acres with two dozen other hens). This spring we plan on adding an EE, a Barnevelder if I can find then, and a Maran or a Wellsummer.
    From my own experience, and from what I have read, RIRs are sweet little hens and make good kid-friendly flocks. So to EEs and Wyandotttes.
    I think that handling your pullets from a young age is much more important than the breed. Get them used to you, teach them that you are safe, that you won't harm them, and that you bring treats, and you will be just fine. The treats is the most important part, chickens are greedy bastards and will love anyone if they think they will get a treat out of it.
     
  5. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My first flock was Barred Rocks, RI Reds, and something black (Black Rocks i think). The black one's were horrible mean creatures and since i can't remember what they were i've never had a black chicken again. The RI Reds tended to boss the Barred Rocks and 2 needed to be seperated they were getting beat so badly but the Rocks were just sweet.

    My second batch was all RI Reds and i had no problems with them picking each other. Makes me wonder if RI Reds are better kept with their own kind? I see one of you mentioned the same thing. Perhaps i should try Buff Orpingtons instead?

    We currently have 7 Golden Comet hens and 1 Americauna/Easter Egger hen and they've been great with the kids. Nobody has gotten huffy, nobody fights with the others. Sadly i cannot let the kids in there anymore as we have the 2 Ameraucana/Easter Egger roosters in there as well and the one has decided my son is the enemy and has attacked him. So there will be NO roosters in with this new batch of birds.

    We're changing our brooding set-up this year so that we can handle the chicks more. Between not being handled much at all and having roo's in with them our current flock is pretty skiddish, at least the Comets are anyhow.
     
  6. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will the Barred Rocks or Easter Eggers beat up on the Buff Orpington's if we get them? I read in one of my books that the BO's can get picked on an aweful lot by other breeds. They are a beautiful bird though and i'd like to try them if they'll get along with the others ok.
     
  7. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Psshh no.

    Each individual hen is different, so you could get whatever out of whatever breed and it may just be from one or from all. The nice thing is, if you bought from a breeder and not a hatchery, they'd tell ya who will do what.

    Most Buff Orpingtons are pretty laid back, most Easter Eggers are varied but often either friendly or shy, most Rocks and Reds are varied but go from friendly to non-friendly, but still not aggressive, except with roosters.

    I currently have a mixed flock of hens of over 8 breeds, several different mutt combos, and only ONE of the breeds I've owned in all my chicken life was one you couldn't have with others, but chances are that any new chicken owner will never find and own that breed.
     
  8. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you think it would be ok to mix all 4 breeds together? I'm really intrigued my the BO's and would like to get a few, but i was afraid they'd get beat up on if i had both RIR and BR in there. But if you think they'll be ok all together then i'll try mixing all 4 kinds together. I know the kids would get a kick out of having more kinds as well.
     
  9. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Like said, they'll be fine. Most people have mixed flocks of at least 2 breeds if not 3-5.

    If you're introducing new birds to an established flock that is a different story though, but if they're (the est. flock) under 3 months old it should be fine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  10. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, i think we'll try them all!
     

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