Mixing breeds

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Smiley Chicks, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Smiley Chicks

    Smiley Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    We plan on getting Orpingtons, Australorps, RIR and a couple silkies. Wondering if it's okay to mix all these breeds. I've heard great things about Orpingtons and how friendly they are. Are they good layers? Also thought of barred rocks
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    All those breeds should be fine together except possibly the silkies. Silkies often don't do well in with dual purpose birds, they look different, move different and tend to get picked on. A lot of this will also depend on how much space you have, more is always better. Often silkies don't roost, they sleep on the ground, so a lot of the smaller coops don't have a spot for them to sleep without getting pooped on by the roosting birds. Unless your space is larger than advised (minimum recommendations is 4 square feet per bird inside the coop, 10 square feet per bird in the run) I'd nix the silkies or provide separate housing for them.
     
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  3. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    I haven't had Orps yet but have had RIR and BA's. From what I have read, the Orps are ok layers but excel at being broody (as do Silkies) so if you want to hatch eggs, they'll be a big help with that. The RIR and BA's are both good egg layers (at least mine have been).
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    @Smiley Chicks My good friend NorthFLChick, in that one sentence, just summed up why it's so hard to advise folks on what kinds of chickens to get! Silly chickens don't read the book to know how they are supposed to behave. I have a Buff Orpington, and she's very laid back and quiet. She falls somewhere in the center of the pecking order. When the others are running around frantically trying to be first, she just ambles over to the treats or whatever the others have found in the yard and helps herself. She was hatched in February of 2014, started laying at about 20 weeks, and is one of my most consistent layers. I can almost always count on an egg from Kat. But she has never, ever gone broody, nor shown the lest inclination to go broody. On the other hand, I have an Easter Egger - a variety that isn't known for broodiness - go broody twice now, and the first time she was only 8 months old and sat on the eggs I ordered for her until the hatch. She was an excellent mother to the one chick to hatch from that batch of eggs.

    Some folks swear by Golden Laced Wyandottes. I swore AT them. I couldn't get those aggressive bullies out of my flock fast enough. So while we can give you generalities, each breed or variety will have some traits that are fairly consistent, but within any given group there will be individual birds who are pegs that just don't fit into the hole. I've never had Silkies, so I will defer to those who have had them to advise you there. I've been very happy with my Buff Orpington and would not hesitate to get a couple more of them. But the luck of the draw being what it is, with my luck I'd get the only aggressive BO ever hatched and she'd do nothing but brood her whole life - the total opposite of the one I enjoy so much.
     
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  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Buff Orpingtons are one of my favorite breeds, they are pretty easy going, not prone to hysteria, most are decent layers, about 3-4 eggs a week, but they lay for many years. I enjoy barred rocks as well, some can have an attitude, others are friendly, Australorps also a good breed, RIR, kinda the same as the barred rock.

    Silkies, I wouldn't keep with the other breeds, they can't see well, they need a bit more protection from the elements, they are prone to having their crests pecked, some are hatched a bit off and slow, I would personally keep them in their own coop, but one advantage is you have a perfect incubator for hatching eggs.
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I've had all of these breeds over the years and they will all do fine together as long as they are not overcrowded, with the possible exception of the Silkies which may take a beating from the larger breeds. We had to separate our Silkies from the main flock and put them in their own enclosure for this very reason. Orpingtons are wonderful birds; very friendly and gentle (my children and granddaughter made lap pets of ours) and good layers, but do not typically lay as well as Australorps and RIRs. I usually got around 4 eggs per week per hen from my Orpingtons compared to 5-6 eggs per hen per week from my Australorps and 5 eggs (occasionally 6) per hen per week from my RIRs. The lay rate of my Barred Rocks has been about the same as that of my Orpingtons.
     
  7. Smiley Chicks

    Smiley Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much i guess we'll scratch the Silkies. I love this site and all the expertise I get from people! This helps greatly, thank you!
     
  8. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I have to say the grouchiest breed I have ever raised was Silver Laced Wyandottes. They spent a lot of time making the whole flock miserable!
     
  9. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I've had some hatchery quality RIRs that were like that.
     
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You're welcome.
     

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