Mixing Breeds in the Flock

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

  1. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd suggest a mix of breeds in your first flock, then you can see which you like best.
    Make your coop extra large, good for nasty weather climates and getting more chickens later on down the road.
    1 person likes this.
  2. KrisLehmann

    KrisLehmann New Egg

    Feb 8, 2015
    Thank you! I did end up with the 3 breeds I listed above and my husband is going to build the coop a little bigger just in case I want more :)
  3. bobrut

    bobrut Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a mixed bag including 3 RIR. They are sweethearts, one of them loves to be held, all are friendly.
  4. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    RIR hens are fantastic layers, but can be aggressive to people sometimes. I had one that would peck my leg whenever I went near her, and peck my hand (hard!) whenever I tried to handle her. Also, my RIR are usually the noisiest hens in the flock. Easter eggers are cold-hardy, friendly, and both kids and adults love the light green or blue eggs.

    My experience has been that both RIR and BR are very good layers, but that BO lay well for the 1st 2 years and then their production goes WAY down.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  5. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    I have to agree with just about everything mentioned in this thread.

    I just want to interject, that a lot of breeds are selling out at the hatcheries. Our local farm store sells out of birds very quickly. Maybe, just a suggestion, you should see what an online hatchery has available and then make your choice from what's currently available. Or wait until you get to the farm store, see what's available, and then decide. It's really disappointing for me to want breed X after much research and soul-searching [​IMG], and then find out there are none available until next year or in one case the year after that!

    The good news is that a lot of hatcheries are going to have plenty of the breeds you have been thinking about. If you wanted Dorkings, Jaerhons, Buckeyes, or Orloffs, you'd have more trouble. [​IMG]

    If you want an alternative reddish chicken to substitute for the Rhode Island Red, you could try to New Hampshire (sometimes called a New Hampshire Red much to the consternation of some RIR fanciers). The New Hampshire isn't described as "pecky" as often as the RIRs are. Our New Hampshires lay well (and large) and are quite unassuming -- actually nicer than the one Buff Orpington a friend gave me. [​IMG]
  6. Urban Flock

    Urban Flock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2014
    Southern Oregon
    We have a mixed flock and enjoy them. I like having the variety in eggs. All the ones you picked out age great birds and should all do fine together. Barred Rock and Black Sex Link are my favorite out of the ones your thinking about. Our Black Sex Link lays jumbo eggs vrs our Barred that lays large. Both are great egg layers.
    Best of luck to you.
  7. Chixlittel

    Chixlittel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2014
    I have 5 buff orpingtons and 6 Rhode Island reds. I absolutely love my BOs. They are so sweet. My RIRs on the other hand tend to pick on my BOs. They are definently higher in the pecking order. Mine just started laying, and both are laying well. But, the RIRs are laying better.
  8. KrisLehmann

    KrisLehmann New Egg

    Feb 8, 2015
    I am getting them at a local place near me that came highly recommended and these are the breeds I can choose from...

    Black Sex Links (Brown):
    Gold Sex Links (Brown):
    Rhode Island Reds (Brown):
    Barred Rocks (Brown):
    Wydottes (Brown):
    Auracanas (Green):
    Buff Orphingtons (Brown):
    California Whites (White):

    I did put in my order for RIR, Barred Rocks, and Buff Orphingtons, but I'm sure I could change it. I did research on all of these and the three I chose came out the best for our needs. Are the Black Sex Links noisy? I am definitely getting the BO. Any other suggestions from this list? Small kids (5 and 2).
  9. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    Sounds like a good plan! Check them out, see how it goes, and adjust as necessary next time you get chicks. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  10. cowchickfarmer

    cowchickfarmer Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 26, 2014
    Arkansas the ozarks
    I suggest you bet bo since you live so far north I live in Arkansas and it is really hot for buff orps

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by