Manage (rural) "selection" vs one breed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bird-finder, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. bird-finder

    bird-finder New Egg

    Dec 17, 2009
    In a rural setting, would it make much difference in how you manage
    or house chickens if you bought the left over chicks that a hatchery
    offered as a "selection", usually 25 chicks.

    (In a city you could not keep that many birds and you would want
    tame quiet birds, I assume.)

    I have read that some people thought that they got "mutts", accidental
    cross-breeds. Would these be undesirable birds, considering I am a
    beginner and not a breeder.
  2. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    It depends what your purpose in keeping chickens is, but I don't think there's anything wrong with housing a bunch of breeds together and letting them mix, or with getting mutts in the first place. My birds have bred and created mutts and I've also intentionally bought mutts before, and it's interesting to see what kinds of mixes you get from the results. Sometimes the "mutts" can be really beautiful or interesting! Of course, if one is wanting to show their chickens or produce excellent breeding stock or something, it's not a good course of action to take, but in my case my chickens are pets and I don't care at all if they're purebred or not--I just like for them to be pretty and friendly. If you want a mixed flock of diverse individuals, go ahead and get some mutts or purebreds as you wish and let all your breeds live together! If you want purebreds or want to show, better keep your breeds separated and buy from reputable breeders only.

    I hope that helps answer your question!
  3. TomKat

    TomKat Out Of The Brooder

    It would only make a difference if you planned to raise the birds for show. I'm sure there are purists out there that will disagree, but mixing gene pools is never a bad thing as far as mother nature is concerned. Don't believe me, look at European royality. Now that's a perfect example of the horrors of inter-breeding. Sorry, I digress. When it comes to raising chickens what really matters is what you want and/or expect from your birds. If it's eggs and entertainment, mix-breeds/cross-breeds will do just as well as any show bird. One final thought, my most loyal and most intelligent dog I've owned was a mutt from a shelter. Bloodlines only matter to those unable to assess true character. [​IMG]
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    As the others said, it depends on why you have chickens. Manging and housing mutts or pure breeds is no different unless you want to control which rooster breeds which hens. Some breeds bear confinement better than others and some seem to be friendlier than others. Those traits are inherited so the "tameness" of the birds just depends on which breeds are in their genetics. Purebreed versus crosses does not really influence that.

    I would find it extremely highly unlikely that you will get accidental crosses from a hatchery. They are in the business to sell purebreeds (Let's not get into the quality discussion of how close they are to the "standards" please. I know they are not close to the standards of some breeders.) The only crosses they are going to sell are the intentional sex links or the intentional Cornish crosses.

    You do have to be careful which selections you get. Females are usually much more desireable than males, so the hatcheries usually have a lot of males left over. A lot of the less expensive selections are males. However an ethical hatchery (and I do believe practically any established hatchery is ethical in this regard) will truly mix male and female in straight run selections. And you can get selections of females only. They claim a 90% accuracy in their sexing of baby chicks, so you can always get unexpected males or females, but they are usually pretty good. Often they will ship packing peanuts, extra chicks to help keep the others warm. Often, these are the unwanted roosters, so this can tilt the odds a bit.
  5. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina

    Hey, bird-finder,

    You're onto an interesting idea there, actually. You're not a breeder, you ARE a beginner. Do your learning on the most economical selection a hatchery offers!

    The best thing about most of the hatcheries is that they guarantee the health of the birds they sell, and they offer lots of good advice on how to make sure the birds STAY healthy, because they would really like you to be a satisfied repeat customer.

    My only experience with a hatchery was Murray McMurray, and I was VERY happy with them, but I've heard lots of good things about other hatcheries as well.

    As for managing and housing, tour the great BackYardChickens website for a while and learn from the rest of us! We've all made lots of mistakes for you to learn from -- speaking only for myself (cough) sometimes the same mistakes several times -- and you can share your mistakes with us, just for laughs!

    and did I say welcome to BYC? [​IMG]
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Do what gives you the most pleasure. No need to conform to someone else's idea of the best way to keep a flock. I will say that you won't know which breeds you like best till you keep them. Breeds I thought I'd love, I am ambivalent about, breeds I didn't think I'd like, I really love. They'll surprise you. And, unless you want to sell pure hatching eggs or show your birds, doesn't matter if they're in a mixed flock or even mixed breeds.
  7. Noncentzter

    Noncentzter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 17, 2009
    Southern Oregon Coast
    I'm fairly new to this site also and I've ordered my chicks, two each of four breeds, but I want an Ameraucana or Easter Egger Roo! As you can tell, I'm not concerned at all about breeds and want the variety of color the mixed breeds will bring.

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