Mixed flock versus single breed flock - pros and cons? Which do you keep?

danceswithronin

Crowing
May 24, 2018
1,253
2,775
276
Alabama
I currently have a mixed breed flock (Orps, Polish, Sussex, Wyandotte, Jersey Giant) but since half of my chickens are Orpingtons and there are still several other color varieties of Orpington I'd like to collect (like splash, chocolate cuckoo and crele) I've been considering eventually phasing over into a single breed flock as they get older, selling out my other breeds to make room for incoming Orps.

Which do you have, and why? What are some of the advantages of a single breed flock versus keeping several breeds all together?

Do you mix other poultry in with your chickens too (ducks, geese, quail)? Do you keep them segregated or are they comingling?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium member
Jul 23, 2018
12,093
89,546
1,392
Apalachin, NY
My Coop
My Coop
I currently have a mixed breed flock (Orps, Polish, Sussex, Wyandotte, Jersey Giant) but since half of my chickens are Orpingtons and there are still several other color varieties of Orpington I'd like to collect (like splash, chocolate cuckoo and crele) I've been considering eventually phasing over into a single breed flock as they get older, selling out my other breeds to make room for incoming Orps.

Which do you have, and why? What are some of the advantages of a single breed flock versus keeping several breeds all together?

Do you mix other poultry in with your chickens too (ducks, geese, quail)? Do you keep them segregated or are they comingling?
I have a mixed flock because I love to see lots of different beautiful chickens and I like to sell my customers a carton of colorful eggs.
The obvious advantage of a single breed flock is breed purity if you are interested in selling or showing. I am not. I don't care.
I also think that, as with dogs, mutts may be more vital and less likely to succumb to certain illness. We'll see.
I have no room for the addition of other types of poultry!
Chickens-1.jpg
 

starri33

Crowing
Feb 28, 2016
981
2,640
337
Golden Valley AZ
I currently have a mixed breed flock (Orps, Polish, Sussex, Wyandotte, Jersey Giant) but since half of my chickens are Orpingtons and there are still several other color varieties of Orpington I'd like to collect (like splash, chocolate cuckoo and crele) I've been considering eventually phasing over into a single breed flock as they get older, selling out my other breeds to make room for incoming Orps.

Which do you have, and why? What are some of the advantages of a single breed flock versus keeping several breeds all together?

Do you mix other poultry in with your chickens too (ducks, geese, quail)? Do you keep them segregated or are they comingling?
Like @DobieLover , I have a mixed flock, have Sexlinks, both black and red.. then have some that I don't know what kind the roo was or what kind the hens are.. I love them, beyond breeding purposes, I do not understand the need for a "Breed" if I add any breeds, it will be EE's just simply for the colorful eggs and then I might find a good dual purpose.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
Feb 2, 2009
24,127
12,137
707
Southeast Louisiana
I think it all depends on your goals and personal preferences. Why are you keeping chickens? What do you expect out of your flock? There are so many different possible goals I hate to even get started listing any reasons one way or the other.

I will mention that some potential advantages, such as selling pure breed chickens, are lost if you mix different color/patterns of the same breed. If the offspring are not an approved color/pattern they are not pure breed. If you mix colors/patterns they won't be.
 

animalcule

Chirping
Apr 4, 2016
13
13
83
Northern New Mexico
I have a mixed flock, as I took in 5 older hens and then got chicks of one of my preferred breeds/types (Easter Eggers). I’m planning on mixing in some Standard Old English game birds with my hatchery Easter Eggers, and then breeding my own closed flock to select for the best foragers/rangers with decent production of colored eggs. I’m more interested in wild-type chickens than the ornamental and production breeds but I like to eat lots of eggs
 

wildwestcoast

Songster
Mar 7, 2015
233
295
181
Vancouver Island, Canada
I have a mixed flock of four (2 EEs, a svart hona and a bantam orp) I'm adding 6 production reds next weekend (in an adjacent run) my four current birds get along great and I get pink green and blue eggs which is neat but I find that they are more high maintenance than my last flock (which were production reds) so I am reverting back to what seemed to work well for me. I dont breed them, I have no rooster, I'm just in it for the eggs :wee
 

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Fairview01

Songster
Jan 26, 2017
991
1,384
196
Dallas, TX
I'll be different. I raise heritage LFW cornish. I breed to the SOP and actively show and sell. The culls make excellent eaters and there's always more culls than show quality birds.

This is a breeder quality rooster and one of my last culls before I decided which cockerels I would keep. He made it 12 months before I let him go to a new home. He was to good for the soup pot but he fell just a tad short when compared to his 2 brothers. He was right at 12lbs when he left.
20190408_162359.jpg
 

Stiletto

On the other side of the road
Mar 20, 2019
181
619
176
Southern Iberia
Which do you have, and why? What are some of the advantages of a single breed flock versus keeping several breeds all together?
I have a Welsumer, an Australorp and a Coucou de Rennes. I'll soon be receiving another three: Black Copper Marans, Araucana and Leghorn.

They are primarily for eggs; I like to have a variety of colours and be able to tell who's laid each egg. I chose them based on suitability to our climate as well as egg-laying and foraging capabilities. I'm only able to keep a maximum of about 8 chickens and I'd rather experience different breeds; I have no interest in breeding at this stage.

Do you mix other poultry in with your chickens too (ducks, geese, quail)? Do you keep them segregated or are they comingling?
No, though I'm tempted to acquire some Muscovy ducks that have been offered to me. I'm not sure how I'd manage the logistics, which is one of the reasons I've held off. I have a movable chicken coop and fencing and I don't think the latter would work to keep ducks in. I hope I'll be able to find a way to keep some in the not too distant future.
 

Callender Girl

Crowing
Sep 18, 2018
751
4,163
376
North Central Iowa
Like others with a mixed flock, I like the variety -- of egg color and size, feather color and chicken size and shape -- and being able to tell who laid which egg. As it turns out, some breeds I thought I would really like have not been my favorite (I'm talking about you, my Iowa Blues) and others have been everything I could have asked for and more (I adore you, my Salmon Faverolles).

Although I keep everyone in (too many) coops at night, all but the Blues (who are both testy and hard to get herded back into the coop; both of the hens have spent the night outdoors on occasion, and the rooster runs me ragged when he gets out) free range together with runner ducks and geese during the day.

Mostly, everyone gets along. The geese like to herd the ducks into a row and run them across the yard every so often, but there are no real attacks on anyone. The American Buffs also like to hiss at errant ducks and chickens who wander into the geese's food dishes, but that's the extent of the squabble.

Any food skirmishes among the ducks and chickens usually involve one or two pecks, that's all.

On the other hand, if you want to specialize in one breed or one coloration, why not? When I worked with a canine rescue group, I only took in one breed -- Keeshond. I loved that breed and was a hospice home for aging and ailing Keeshonden. That was plenty for me.
 
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