Mixed Flock????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by juliejohnson805, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. juliejohnson805

    juliejohnson805 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2016
    Central Alabama
    I am new to chickens and have purchased 2 Leghorns and 4 Amercaunas. They are 12 weeks old. I would like to add 6-8 more and I am trying to decided what I want to add. My thoughts are Barred Rock, RIR and maybe Wyandottes. Can I safely mix these breeds? Are some breeds better than others to mix? I am mainly into layers as I am trying to add chickens to my farm business.
    Thoughts? Advice? Just so you know my henhouse is 4X8 with 6 nesting boxes and they have a large fenced area to run in and I have been letting them out in the early evening for a couple hours to forage.
    TIA!
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    southern Michigan
    Hi Julie! Your coop at 32 sq. ft. is maxed out at six to seven birds, so adding more will mean a coop addition ASAP. It's about 'chicken math' and we all want more! Climate matters a bit here, so mention it please. Production reds, including hatchery RIRs, tend to be dominant and like to feather pick flockmates, in my experience, so I no longer have them in my mixed flock. Too much stress! They tend to be very good layers, at least that first year. Show type Ameraucanas tend to not be good layers, but if you bought from most sources, you probably have Easter Eggers, who are usually wonderful. I like Plymouth Rocks and Wyandottes, also Speckled Sussex, and in the north, white Chanteclers. They aren't for hot southern states though. Australorps are good layers too. Get a variety and see what you like! Mary
     
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  3. juliejohnson805

    juliejohnson805 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2016
    Central Alabama
    I live in Central Alabama so hot humid summers and fairly mild winters. Someone else looked at some pics of a few of my birds as I am trying to sex 3 of them and identified them as Easter Eggers - which is fine. Colored eggs are a plus. Still trying to figure this coop thing out. Mine only stay in while its dark and they are all huddled together in one corner. Will this change as they get older? I've seen several different recommendations on space per bird. What are your thoughts? Oh, anyway I can keep 2 EE roos together in one flock? Just found out my Bella and KungPao are not girls!!
     
  4. Cluck-a-biddy

    Cluck-a-biddy Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2016
    Lower Sierras NorCal
    Hi Julie! I just started keeping chickens in April. I have 10, 2 each Barred Rocks, Black Sex Links, Easter Eggers, Golden Laced Wyandottes and white silkies. The Wyandottes and silkies are 3wks younger than the older girls and get pecked and chased all the time. The Wyandottes protect the silkies. I may have to find a home for them, as one has turned out to be a rooster. He's gotten very aggressive with one of his protectors, trying to cock-fight her. I'm 90% sure she's not a rooster tho. I got the silkies because they're so cute, but I think maybe they should not be mixed with bigger birds, unless you have a lot of acreage for free ranging!

    My biggest birds, and best layers, are the BSLs. They are beautiful birds, with iridescent green and purple on their black feathers. They started laying at 19wks. The BRs are slower, and have just this last week gotten past dropping soft-shelled "dud" eggs while roosting at night. Only one of the EEs has started laying. She's given me two lovely mint green eggs in the past 8 days. The Wyandottes should start laying in another week or so.

    We built a small coop, 4ftx5ft, and it's plenty of room for the 10 birds we have now. They only go in at night to sleep, or to lay an egg during the day. The run is 8ftx24ft and we are currently adding another 16ft length. We want to add a few more birdies. I really want a couple of Blue Laced Red Wyandottes and maybe a couple of Light Brahmas.

    Anyway, I think you can mix a lot of different types without too much trouble. Altho I wouldn't do the silkies or maybe even any other types of banties. Just stick to the big girls!
     
  5. chickencraz

    chickencraz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Washington State
    As long as you add on to your coop getting new chickens should be fine. Chickens are very addicting. In 2012, I got my first 6. Then the next year we added 6 more and turned our chicken coop into a large chicken run. Now we have around 60, and 2 large runs. We also let them free range during the fall and winter (They'd eat out garden if we let them out in the spring and summer).

    I've heard that Heritage Rhode Island reds are actually pretty nice as well as good egg layers. Very few Hatcheries sell Heritage RIR though. Most just sell production RIRs (Production Reds) that, while they lay well the first few years, are typically mean to the rest of the flock.
    Plymouth Rocks also tend to be slightly more aggressive, from what I've seen in my own flock.
    I really like Black Australorps. One of our first birds was a Australorp, and she's the sweetest hen we own, and still lays plenty of eggs per week. I'm also a fan Wyandottes. The ones we've had have been good layers as well as good with the rest of the flock.
    EEs tend to be hit and miss. They usually have sweet personalities, but you might not get a blue or green egg. I've had one that gave me 2 per week, and my current laying EEs give me about 5-6 per week from each of them.

    Also keep in mind that many heritage breeds can be very good layers, even if they take a little longer to start laying, and will keep laying for much longer than production birds and sex-links.

    Good luck with your chickens. :)
     

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