Mixing breeds

mossyoakpro

Songster
Jun 9, 2022
464
1,030
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South Georgia
New to the forum...thanks for having me!! I am about to populate my first coop. I am rehabbing an old barn on our farm that will become my coop. My primary focus will be egg production as my wife and I eat a lot of eggs on a weekly basis. My question is: Can I populate my coop with different breeds of hens? I have narrowed down to RIR and Barred Rock....will these 2 get along? Also I will want only 1 rooster so which of those 2 breeds would be the best rooster?? Thanks in advance!!!
 
My question is: Can I populate my coop with different breeds of hens? I have narrowed down to RIR and Barred Rock....will these 2 get along?
Yes, that should be fine.
Some people have flocks where every single chicken is a different breed, and they often work just fine.

Also I will want only 1 rooster so which of those 2 breeds would be the best rooster??
Either one could work.

Are you planning to hatch chicks? If so, having just one rooster means you will get some purebred chicks of his breed, and some mixed-breed chicks with the hens of the other breed.

The two possible crosses:
--Rhode Island Red rooster x Barred Rock hen will produce sex-linked chicks (can tell their gender at hatch by the coloring. Females are black, males are black with a yellow dot on their head.)
--Barred Rock rooster x Rhode Island Red hen will produce chicks that are not color sexable. They will all have the yellow dot on their black head.

This happens because the yellow dot is caused by the barring gene, that causes white bars on the feathers of Barred Rocks. The barring gene is on the Z sex chromosome, which is why it is inherited differently depending on which parent is barred and which parent is not.
 
Yes, that should be fine.
Some people have flocks where every single chicken is a different breed, and they often work just fine.


Either one could work.

Are you planning to hatch chicks? If so, having just one rooster means you will get some purebred chicks of his breed, and some mixed-breed chicks with the hens of the other breed.

The two possible crosses:
--Rhode Island Red rooster x Barred Rock hen will produce sex-linked chicks (can tell their gender at hatch by the coloring. Females are black, males are black with a yellow dot on their head.)
--Barred Rock rooster x Rhode Island Red hen will produce chicks that are not color sexable. They will all have the yellow dot on their black head.

This happens because the yellow dot is caused by the barring gene, that causes white bars on the feathers of Barred Rocks. The barring gene is on the Z sex chromosome, which is why it is inherited differently depending on which parent is barred and which parent is not.
I don't plan to hatch any chicks but you never know after I get started!! I fortunately have a hatchery nearby me and can go get my chicks without having to have them shipped...my starting point is around 6-8 hens and 1 rooster. My coop is 60 sf so they should have plenty of room. Thanks for the answers so far!!
 

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