Mixing Breeds in the Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KrisLehmann, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. KrisLehmann

    KrisLehmann New Egg

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    Hi Everyone! I'm starting my first small backyard flock soon and need some advice! I have narrowed it down to 4 breeds and can't make up my mind on which ones to get. I am settled on getting 6 (to start) and would like to mix breeds if it's possible. Either 2 breeds (3 of each) or 3 breeds (2 of each). Or should I stick to one breed for my first time? I live in New England and need hardy birds. I also have small children.

    I am looking at the Black Sex Links, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, and the Buff Orpingtons.


    Would these breeds do well together? Thank you in advance!!!
     
  2. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's really a personal choice. I like a flock of all one breed, but other people love having lots of different breeds. The ones you have picked out should all be fine together. Good luck with them!
     
  3. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like a mixes flock, plus I sell eggs so my customers like a mix of colors. But I am partial to barred chickens. All those breeds will be fine together.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. nanahogs

    nanahogs Out Of The Brooder

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    Should all be fine together. Barred rocks are great!
     
  5. ScouterJoe

    ScouterJoe Out Of The Brooder

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    I've got both Barred Rocks and Buff Orpingtons. Also have ISA Browns and Ameraucanas. They all do very well together.
     
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in New England and I have 6 ladies--3 Barred Rocks and 3 Buff Orpingtons--all hatchery birds. My ladies all get along very well. I got the BOs 4 weeks before I got the BRs so had to keep them separate until the BRs were about the same size as the BOs. Integration went well. The BOs were very accepting. If it had been the other way around and the BRs had been older, I think they would have given the slightly meeker BOs a tougher time. I would say the my BRs are pushier than the BOs but that the two breeds are pretty evenly matched temperament-wise and you should have no problems especially if you get them all at the same age.

    Oh, my BOs lay slightly larger and a bit darker brown eggs than the BRs do. I'm really pleased with both breeds temperament and looks--so much so that I will probably always have some of both in my flock. They remind me of the flock my grandmother had.
     
  7. KrisLehmann

    KrisLehmann New Egg

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    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! This helped a lot! Now I just to need to make a decision...
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I currently have a mix of Buff Orpington (1), Red Sex Links (3) Cuckoo Marans (2) and Easter Eggers (5). Before we pared down the flock, I also had Speckled Sussex (2), Golden Laced Wyandottes (5), Buff Orpingtons (5) and I haven't had any issues. My young grandkids especially like the funny faces and the blue eggs from the Easter Eggers, and I have found all of my chickens to be very docile. I also like the Easter Eggers because of their small combs - no frostbitten combs in the cold weather! I rehomed the excess birds, keeping what I have now. None of the EEs were rehomed. I love my grandkids and want them to continue loving me! [​IMG]

    Whatever you decide, have fun with them!
     
  9. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just noticed that you said you have small kids. I've only had limited experience with Rhode Island Reds. Growing up, my sister raised a flock of them as an FFA project. I just remember that they seemed to be very "pecky" birds. I remember squatting down in the run and getting my back pecked at where my shirt had crept up. It seemed like any exposed flesh was fair game. They were sociable birds-wanted to be around us and not flighty--but they were pecky little buggers. And not just curious little pecks like my current girls occasionally give me now. Those RIR girls grabbed and twisted. Maybe it was just that bunch, but based on that (albeit very limited) experience, they didn't make my breed list when I was choosing my birds.
     
  10. KrisLehmann

    KrisLehmann New Egg

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    Thanks for your input! I've been going back and forth about the RIR. I heard mixed things... now I'm not sure. I was going to do 2 orpingtons, 2 Barred Rocks, and 2 RIR. I've got some more research to do I guess :)
     

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