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Mixed Flock: Welsummers, Blue/Black Ameraucanas, Black Coppper Marans

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Hozer, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Hozer

    Hozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2009
    Homer, Alaska
    I have 30 straight run chicks coming. Mostly Welsummers, some blue/black Ameraucanas and a few Marans thrown in.

    I figure minimum 50% will be roosters, with a target of 10 layers of brown and blue eggs.

    I will be building a 12 by 8 foot coop partitioned into 2 6x8 areas with seperate runs.

    From talking to another BYC'er the Welsummers sound like calm, tidy birds that don't have a pecking order. Somewhat aloof and self sufficient. Friendly, but do not like to be picked up. She said the roosters are super. Easy on the hens and not too agressive.

    I have read the marans are robust birds that tend to be more friendly, but also more aggressive towards other birds. I have also read they are not as good of layers as the Welsummers. I have no idea what the rosters are like.

    I have no idea what the Ameraucanas are like. My neighbors have EE/ameraucanas. Great foragers, and super cold hardy. Seems like they can take even the worst conditions.

    I have a neighbor that has a mixed flock and every night it sounds like WW3 when they crowd into their little house to roost. This is something I hope to avoid.

    My questions are:

    1. How would you characterize the Ameraucanas?

    2. How would you compare the Marans?

    3. Would it make sense to keep the roosters seperate from the hens until I can sort it out? I heard if you take a rooster out to breed, the other roosters will tear him up when you put him back.

    I figure if I keep them all together, I can only keep one roster. I hate the idea of getting rid of all the Americauna and Marans roosters, should I decide to hatch some in the future. Right now the Welsummers are my target breed. I live up in Alaska and it's not like I have ready access to great genetics.

    Any advice and ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2. fifelakelooper

    fifelakelooper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    fife lake, mi.
    Hi! As a coincidence..I'm getting some of the same this week! Welsummer, Easter-egger, Maran, Chanceler, Buckeye, Astrolope, Bluc cochin....and I have always had a mixed group of hens. No problems so far. I was told my the local feed store that black hens don't like to mix with buff hens, and vice versa but I haven't had a problem so far.
    Can't wait to see the dark brown eggs we'll be getting from the Welsummers and Marans!
    Good luck and enjoy!
     
  3. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    Well, if they're straight-run, you won't know which ones to separate, right? [​IMG]

    Seriously, even when they're older and you can tell, I don't think there's any reason to separate them until there's a problem. Just let them flock. If you turn out to have too many roosters, you could start to pull them for butchering when they begin to try to mate the pullets.

    We ended up with 11 roosters out of a 12 chicken straight run order last year. We also ordered 4 pullets, of which one turned out to be a rooster. So, 12 young roosters trying to mate 4 young pullets. It was ugly.

    I'm rambling, but my point is that until those last weeks (about week 14 is when it started), everyone was fine together. The roosters all went to rooster heaven via the stew pot.

    Chickens are very individual within breeds. Our EEs are charming but they're not lap chickens.

    We have two Welsummer chicks for the first time this spring (ordered in a group of 15, mixed with other breeds). So far, the rooster is fairly flighty & not too bright.

    The pullet picked our Speckled Sussex chicks bloody in spite of everything we tried, until we separated her completely alone from the flock for a full week. Now she is a good, timid girl at the bottom of the pecking order. Beautiful too. We named her Cruella.

    We have no Marans, sorry!

    Good luck and have fun, things will be fine.
     
  4. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

    971
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    Mar 8, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    I forgot this part:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Hozer

    Hozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2009
    Homer, Alaska
    Thanks, everybody.

    I kinda sorted it out in my head as I was writing my diatribe. With a divided coup, I was hoping to seperate picked on hens, but I think I will seperate out hens from roosters when they mature and sex out. That way I can procrastinate on eating the pure bread Marans roos. I stepped out a little bit when I ordered them. I would hate to have Marans hens and no way to breed them. I also don't want a bunch of coops everywhere.

    Way I figure it, I will be lucky if I end upwith 10 hens. That means I can only keep one rooster in with them. That will be a Welsummer.

    I can "stash" a pure bread Ameraucana roo in my buddy's flock.

    Maybe I can find someone local to give a marans roo to, with future breeding rights back.

    I'm obviously getting way ahead of myself.

    Mainly, I don't want a situation like my friend with too many roosters and 20+ chickens jammed into a little coup. His hens look pretty worn out and the ones in the top roosts are crapping on the other ones below. I gave him a pair of bantam cochin hens that were fluffy as marshmallows and they looked pretty dirty after a month in these conditions. I offered to help him build a new coop this summer.
     

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