Mixing breeds and rooster question

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by cresty, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. cresty

    cresty In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2007
    Question: I read on a website that you shouldn't mix the breeds of poultry. Does that mean that you shouldn't put like turkeys and ducks in with your chickens? Or not to mix the individual breeds of chicken together (ie. Rhode Island Reds and Silkies)?

    I wanted to get about six RIRs and two Silkies (just 'cause I think they're gorgeous). Also, what rooster should I get to go with them? I, primarily, want the chickens for the eggs but will also probably want to have some to eat and therefore need to "replenish the flock".

    Can you get the rooster later and if so, would introducing him to the flock pose any problems?

    Thanks for the help. Everyone is so helpful on this site. I never knew there was such a "support group" available for chickens. LOL.

    1 person likes this.
  2. ella

    ella Songster

    You sure can mix different breeds of chickens as this pic of my flock shows.


    The only reason you wouldn't do so is if you were planning on breeding purebred chicks. It is recomended by many that you shouldn't mix chickens and waterfowl or turkeys because ducks and geese are so messy with their water and it just generally doesn't work out well to house them together unless you have lots of space.

    Your choice of rooster is a personal decision, if you're choosing between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Silkie, Silkies ususally have a better temperment, Rhode Island's can be agressive. But if you want chickens for meat RIR's are a heavier breed.

    You should know that real meat chickens called Cornish Rock Cross's are totally different from other breeds of chicken. The grow so quickly they are ready for butcher at 5-7 weeks of age, that's what makes them so tender and good for eating. On the other hand any other breed will take 5 or more months before they are ready to butcher so they will likely be tough and much differently flavored than you may be used to.

    Yes you can get a rooster later on and yes it is more of an adjustment for the flock to deal with, but that's what I did and it worked out just fine.

    Hope this info helps you out, and welcome to BYC![​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. soonerdog

    soonerdog Songster

    Hi Cresty,
    The Rhode Island Reds are big guys and the silkies are a good bit smaller. I used to have silkies and they were sweet little birds, very gentle. Silkies are good birds for small children to have as pets because of their gentle nature. If you do decide to put RIR's and Silkies together be cautious. I would be afraid the big RIR's would hurt the little silkies.
  4. cresty

    cresty In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2007
    I want chickens mainly for eggs but I'm sure a few will be invited for supper. What breeds would be good for those purposes?

    I thought I'd get a couple of silkies just because they are gorgeous and mild. I told my husband those are the "pet chickens" and he couldn't eat them! But if silkies wouldn't be a good idea to have with the larger birds, can you suggest another breed (something with feathered legs perhaps)?

  5. soonerdog

    soonerdog Songster

    There are some standard size cochins who have feather legs that are big birds. Keep in mind that big breeds (standard) might hurt the smaller breeds (bantam) if cooped together. Good luck! Johnny
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  6. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    My friend has successfully mixed her bantams with her full size chickens. At first we kept the bantam hens in a cage and put it in the coop with her barred rock rooster Jack and the two other barred rock hens. After awhile we let the bantams out. There was some fussing going around. Jack pecked at them to let them know he was boss. The coop was large with plenty of room. Bantams being smaller and quicker usually dodged most of the attacks. They could fly alot better than the barred rocks. After the pecking order was sorted out everything was fine. Jack sometimes acted as a medator brtween the bantams and the alpha barred rock hen! Later on we added a buff orpington and a australorp pullets the same way via a cage in the coop. Same thing happened and even the little bantams picked on these bigger birds lol.
    I don't know a how lot about chickens yet and my knowledge about certain breeds is limited but I hear Plymouth Barred Rocks are pretty docile birds and are a dual purpose bird. I hear Rhode Island Red roosters are pretty aggressive, but I haven't had any personal expierence with them. With all this talk of Silkies has made me want one now! I doubt if I could convince my friend to add Silkies to her flock though:(.
  7. deeszoo

    deeszoo Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Okay, I will place a vote! [​IMG] If you want beautiful, dual purpose birds that are easy to find, go with Buff Orpingtons. They are generally mild mannered, are good layers and grow big enough to eat. If you are looking for breeds that are more rare, the Faverolles seem to be a great choice. I only have 2 little girls right now, and they are very sweet! They are a "favorite" dual purpose breed of the French, and supposed to be very good eating birds as well as good layers. They also have feathered feet!

    Wyandottes of any color are a great dual purpose breed, also. They come in a variety of colors, so you could choose your favorite! Dominiques are another all around good bird, nice and large - though their eggs tend to be on the medium side, rather than large.

    Now, if you want something on the wild side, the Turken is supposed to be one of the best winter layers out there! And - from what I am told, they have great personalities. I don't have any - but the Turken lovers swear by them!

    RIR's can be a bit quarrelsome and are not the friendliest breed. That may be good, or not so good for you. I chose to pass them up because they always get mixed reviews on their personalities.

    I keep large and bantam birds in the same barn - but they are all free-range and are able to get away from each other. My busiest roosters are my Silkies! The larger roos tend to stay away from the smaller girls for the most part - but I think that is because we have plenty of girls. You can mix them, but if they are in a confined area, it would not be the best scenario. I know one lady pens her large birds and allows her silkies to free-range. They can't fly so they don't range very far from home.

    Just some food for thought! It is a tough choice! I am still trying to decide. I really want one or two of everything!

  8. ncboman

    ncboman In the Brooder

    Feb 14, 2007
    Different breeds of chickens can be mixed but the problems can begin when different types of fowl are mixed.

    It's generally considered a nono to mix anything with turkeys in favor of the more valuable turkeys' health BUT I've mixed turkeys and chickens for years without problems, I think because the carrying capacity of my chickenyard is large relative to the number of birds I keep.

  9. rsf31tmp

    rsf31tmp Songster

    Mar 17, 2010
    Rochester, IL
    I am new to this and found a guy who had a dozen silver laced wyandotte chicks and they are now mine. How do I tell if there are any future roosters? I also have a Rhode Island Red pullet, a white leghorn pullet, an easter egg pulled and a black sex-linked pullet.

    Will these be ok together? What should I do if I end up with more than one or two roosters?

    Do I have a good mix or trouble coming?

    My space is 10 x 8 with about three times as much outside.

    can I let them just rome around free at some point, my neighbors do?
  10. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Songster

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC

    My happy, rainbow family [​IMG] PBRs, BOs, EEs, BAs, SLW.....

    Angelina Jolie would be so proud....

    [​IMG] I need to 'adopt' more..... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
    1 person likes this.

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