leghorns with dual purpose breeds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by debp, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2013
    Durango, Colorado
    I will get my first chickens this spring - I'm thinking about 25 birds. If I wanted to try both dual purpose breeds (straightrun) and brown leghorn pullets, would the leghorns coexist okay with the more docile dual purpose breeds? The coop is 10X13 and they will be either free range (during the day) or have access to an outside enclosure.
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    I have three White Leghorns with various breeds. They're pretty bossy, but nothing serious. They should be fine, especially if you raise them together. Good luck!
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    25 birds might be a lot for that set up, by fall when all are full grown, but I am assuming that you are expecting half to be roosters, and will cull them? That is pretty reasonable then headed into winter. You want more space per bird, cause they spend 14-16 hours roosted up during the short days.

    If you want a nice meaty dual purpose, I really like the Delawares I picked up last spring, but they were very slow to mature, nearly 7 months old. And a couple of weeks ago, I did see a badly molting, pretty thin leghorn, whip some manners into my roo, who is turning out to be a peach.

    You will get good egg laying from the leghorns...... which could help you wait for eggs from the dual purpose girls. You might notice that while free ranging, the different colors tend to hang together a little more, but generally raised together, stick together pretty good.

    Welcome, this is a fun hobby!

    Mrs. K
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  4. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2013
    Durango, Colorado
    Thanks for the replies. It sounds like the leghorns wouldn't be too hard on the others, so I may try a mix.
  5. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2013
    White Swan, WA
    So far from my experiences with leghorns I will never get them again. Last spring we got 2 white leghorns, 3 california greys, 2 welsummer and 6 easter eggers. The leghorns right from the beginning were bullies. The remaining one is still horrible. Seperation, caged in the run, peepers did not help. She is going to the pot as she draws blood now and rips feathers out of everyone. No peck, vicks etc has not helped.

    I am going to seperate her (again) and for last time just to fatten her up, even if I have to tube feed her to make her gain weight. My advice is don't get leghorns I really despise them now, even from a friends experience with brown leghorns I would say no to them.

    They had 2 feeders, 2 waterers, hanging food, scratch, supervised free range, they should not have been such lil chit heads!
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Mrs K: I have also noticed that chickens (at least in my flock) are predjudiced towards their own breed, even when raised together!
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    My Leghorns were very friendly. They loved to be held and got along great with all of their coop mates.

    I've never had a problem mixing breeds, just make sure you have enough space and all should be fine as long as you don't end up with someone I'll tempered. When that happens in my flock, they become dinner, hen or rooster. Meanies don't stay here and they don't get the opportunity to terrorize someone else flock. Good luck.
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've never had a problem with leghorns or their mixed offspring interacting with the rest of the flock. You just need lots of space. As Mrs K said, if you kept all those birds you'd have cramped quarters come winter, but if you're buying straight run it doesn't sound like you plan to keep all those roosters anyway. That would be much more of a management issue than a few leghorns!
  9. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2013
    Durango, Colorado
    Thanks for all these replies. I had figured that 130 sq. ft. would house at least 32 birds without too much crowding, assuming they have a small outdoor space, too, in the winter. I have read 4 sq. ft. per bird in several places. But, I was not going to start with that many. Under 20 hens and 1 or 2 roosters going into winter was my plan. That would give more than 6 sq ft. per bird. I was planning to have my roosting bars cover a 6 X 6 ft area of floor, with the roosts elevated 3 feet off floor at the lowest end. Is it a mistake to assume chickens can and will use the floor space under the roost assuming I keep a deep litter there? Someone told me they thought I should have enough birds to generate warmth in the winter. If the space for 20 adults birds in winter is too small, maybe I would be better off sticking with the more docile breeds, and skip the leghorns? Although I wouldn't have much problem cooking up any really mean hens, as howfunky...suggested, as long as it was just one or two. It would defeat my purpose of having leghorns, obviously, if most of them were mean. Based on the different experiences in answer to my question, I wonder if temperament varies by hatchery.

  10. mixmaster

    mixmaster Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2012
    Sometimes temperment does ve

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