Mixed Flock Orpington, Wyandotte, and Polish?

Blackoutcat

Chirping
Oct 1, 2012
14
4
77
Maritimes, Canada
Hi everyone,

My husband and I just bought a new home and we live in an area now that allows us to have small livestock (finally!). I've been researching the heck out of chicken breeds for climate tolerance, comb types, productivity, hardiness, typical personality, and of course a little personal preference. After all of this I landed on these three breeds for my potential future flock.

In your opinion do these breeds mix well together? I'm getting a lot of mixed information on the Wyandottes. Some info says they are docile and friendly and other sources claim they're higher on the pecking order and quite aloof birds. I'm wondering if aloof is just an interpretation of 'not a lap chicken' or if they can be sincerely unfriendly. I do get that someone will be at the top of the pecking order regardless of if I choose all docile breeds. There obviously has to be a leader, I'm just a bit worried about the Polish being picked on needlessly.

Also can anyone with Polish comment on trimming the crest feathers? I know chickens are highly visual so the plan is to ensure they can see but still have that quirky appearance. How much do you have to trim back before they are able to see properly? If I have to trim basically the whole crest for their comfort I would need to factor that in to my decision.

Some tidbits about the environment they'll have. I'm planing 9-12 chooks. Each bird will get 4-5 square feet of floor space in the barn. I'm open to keeping one roo if it would be beneficial for the flock (I also understand to keep him beyond a year for hormones to settle before I decide on his fate). The run will be at least hundred square feet, enclosed on all sides and predator proofed. The run will also be less grass more forest floor as much of the property is wooded. We are working on trimming back some old dead growth though so we're bringing in more open air space. The barn has a separate section for goats and they may be a future addition in a year or two. The goats will be turned out to a separate pen from the chickens so they don't get to rowdy with the girls (especially so if I do get the Polish). I also plan to keep quail at some point in a completely separate building with their own pen. Finally the road out front of the property is quite busy during the workweek daytime hours, the barn is set back 50 or so feet back but you can definitely hear the heavy trucks at that distance.

Any advice and experience is welcomed!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
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Jul 16, 2015
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I haven't had any problems with my Wyandotte, nor my polish, but mine aren't confined to a run, so birds can get away. I personally keep my polish trimmed back to a smaller poof. I need to do it multiple times in the fall as they molt.

Polish are flighty birds. They do better when their crests are trimmed and they can see.

I don't handle my birds, so I can't comment on how Wyandotte are for friendliness. Mine are good at foraging, and aren't noisy. The gold laced lay the best, the blue laced lay the least, and can go broody.

I keep goats. My chickens can go in the goat area, but the goats can't go in the chicken area. They get along fine, and I occasionally see a chicken riding a goat.
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
926
1,712
246
San Luis Obispo County, CA
I just recently got some of these this June. I have a mixed flock of Orpingtons (2 Buff Orps, one pullet, one cockerel), Polish (2 Silver Laced pullets (as far as I know ;)), Wyadottes (2 pullets, though one might be a roo), Rhode Island Reds (2 pullets), and Ameracaunas/Easter Eggers (2 pullets).

They are all about 3 months old, and so far, my Buff Orp cockerel is pretty mellow, though definitely doing what he needs to let the flock know he's boss (though he's terrified of my old Barred Rock hen, but she bosses everyone around :D). My Buff Orp pullet is a bossy britches (thinks she's in charge of everyone except my Barred Rock). My Wyandottes are at the lower end of the pecking order and really don't like being handled (they've been this way since they were a day old, and I hold my chickens A LOT), and the Polish are pretty self-sufficient. They are fine hanging out on the outskirts of the flock and don't seem to get picked on (though one of them is on the feisty side and likes to act tough from time to time). I haven't trimmed their ''hair'' yet, because they are still eating and drinking fine, but if it seems to be a problem in the future, I'll definitely give them a trim.

Also, I have all my bickies in a coop/run that is fully covered and very secure, so I don't worry about aerial predators getting them. The Polish are a little more skittish, but that's because their peripheral vision is so limited. If you plan on covering your run so hawks and such can't swoop in, you might be okay with the Polish. Then again, I just got mine and this is my first experience with them and have not had them long (just repeating what I've heard from other people with them). They are totally worth having and mine are really sweet (Sylvia, the less-feisty one) will jump into my lap and try to cuddle from time to time.

Anyway, hope this helps a little and good luck!
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Jun 23, 2013
9,161
12,991
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The Big Island/Hawaii
2x @chrissynemetz Agree on the Wyandottes & Orpingtons (my favorite breed). A friend ordered some Polish (Golden & White Crested) along with some other chicks, they're now 6wks and she's had to separate the Polish. The others are pecking at their head feathering. I've also read where some have said they should be kept in their own pens but no different than whats said about Silkies.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Jul 3, 2016
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Since it sounds like you have plenty of space to work with, I'd go much, much bigger on the run. 9-12 birds in 100 sq ft of run is only giving them a bare minimum of space (10 sq ft is recommended minumum) - my birds currently have 60+ sq ft run space per bird.

If I was considering getting Polish with the other birds, I'd consider housing them separately or at least be prepared to do so, just in case they don't all get along.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,029
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SW Michigan
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The goats will be turned out to a separate pen from the chickens so they don't get to rowdy with the girls
Goats will go after the chicken feed rather than the chickens. Keep them away from it as they can fatally gorge on it.

Each bird will get 4-5 square feet of floor space in the barn.
Might want to go bigger here in your climate, unless your run is snow/wind proof.
 

Rockporters

Songster
Apr 9, 2019
456
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New Hampshire
I have my polish in with the full size. general population... Orpingtons, Olive Egger, Brahma, etc. They are fine. If feisty, you may have yourself a cockerel. As they get older, Polish can get skittish due to topknot limiting site and peripheral vision.

As a side note, they can be prone to ingrown feathers, which is often mistaken for serious pecking injuries. It looks really bad, but they don’t seem worse the wear for it. If it happens, spray with an antibacterial spray and out antibiotic cream on it. It should look better in a couple of days.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
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I have Wyandottes and Orpingtons. Both breeds are really quite mellow. :) I can't speak for the Polish, I've never had them. :confused:

And @oldhenlikesdogs I really need to see a chicken riding on a goat!! :ya Next time you see that take pictures!! :D
I've seen them riding the donkeys too, but so far I haven't had my camera on me at the right time. :p
 

Blackoutcat

Chirping
Oct 1, 2012
14
4
77
Maritimes, Canada
I personally keep my polish trimmed back to a smaller poof. I need to do it multiple times in the fall as they molt.

I keep goats. My chickens can go in the goat area, but the goats can't go in the chicken area. They get along fine, and I occasionally see a chicken riding a goat.

Thank you. I'm glad to know the poof can still exist but be trimmed back for their vision. There's no real images on the web I can find of a trimmed Polish and I got a bit worried the reason was it was an all or nothing deal!

I originally thought I would let the chickens run with the goats but I for sure am covering the chicken run and I don't know if I can afford to (or if it's even safe) to cover the entire goat pen. Knowing my luck anyway I'd get a real special doe and she'd be dumber than a bag of hammers and even meaner. It's a talent of mine to pick the weird ones :lau

My Wyandottes are at the lower end of the pecking order and really don't like being handled (they've been this way since they were a day old, and I hold my chickens A LOT), and the Polish are pretty self-sufficient.

Also, I have all my bickies in a coop/run that is fully covered and very secure, so I don't worry about aerial predators getting them. The Polish are a little more skittish, but that's because their peripheral vision is so limited. If you plan on covering your run so hawks and such can't swoop in, you might be okay with the Polish.
They are totally worth having and mine are really sweet (Sylvia, the less-feisty one) will jump into my lap and try to cuddle from time to time.

I should have mentioned by 'all sides' I did also mean a partial covered and partial wire top for the run. No chance I'm letting any predators in if I can help it!

Sylvia sounds super sweet. My hope is to get one or two lap birds and everyone else is fine to just eat, lay eggs, and be funny birds.

they're now 6wks and she's had to separate the Polish. The others are pecking at their head feathering. I've also read where some have said they should be kept in their own pens but no different than whats said about Silkies.

Poor babies. It's sad she had to separate them but you do what's best for your flock! By any chance do you know the other breeds she got with the Polish?

Since it sounds like you have plenty of space to work with, I'd go much, much bigger on the run. 9-12 birds in 100 sq ft of run is only giving them a bare minimum of space (10 sq ft is recommended minumum) - my birds currently have 60+ sq ft run space per bird.

If I was considering getting Polish with the other birds, I'd consider housing them separately or at least be prepared to do so, just in case they don't all get along.

Definitely have lots of space to work with. I figured the run might be just scraping by hence why I'm here *before* I get my flock! I'll get out the measuring tape again and rough out something bigger. The run is kind of sandwiched between the septic drain field (I'm leaving five feet of trees between the drain field and the run area otherwise it would be visible from the road which I don't want) and the rear property line so it'll be a long narrowish strip. I'm sure the girls won't mind. Also definitely preparing for the just in case I need to make two flocks scenario. The barn already has two 'stalls' and fences are going up all at once so I can use the goat areas for the second flock. The goats are at least a year away but probably two so I can use that solution until I figure out a better plan. Fingers crossed :fl everyone gets along fine though!

Goats will go after the chicken feed rather than the chickens. Keep them away from it as they can fatally gorge on it.

Might want to go bigger here in your climate, unless your run is snow/wind proof.

The barn is already built so I'll probably shrink the flock if more space would be better. I've been trying to strike a balance between sanity and warmth and it's not been easy. Planning to use deep litter and upgrades to the barn in general to help out with heat retention. Was actually pretty happy that the barn was kind of bare bones. Means I can do the stuff that needs done and I can ensure the last owner didn't do a botch job of it.

Also I have read that about goats and chicken feed. Going to be super careful with that. Not too keen on vet bills here. I already own a very expensive cat (thankfully she's stable now but woooo boy two years ago was rough).

I have my polish in with the full size. general population... Orpingtons, Olive Egger, Brahma, etc. They are fine.

As a side note, they can be prone to ingrown feathers, which is often mistaken for serious pecking injuries. It looks really bad, but they don’t seem worse the wear for it. If it happens, spray with an antibacterial spray and out antibiotic cream on it. It should look better in a couple of days.

Good to know your girls flock together nicely! Gives me hope that I can have a sweet brood too.

Also thank you for that feather tidbit. I'd be one freaked out bird mom if I didn't know that was a possibility and it came up. Probably would spend a fortune at my vet (I have one lined up, not a specialist but she's willing to invest in learning avian medicine) just to find out it was an ingrown feather!
 

MANNA-PRO

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