Mixing Breeds ?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by indulgence87, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. indulgence87

    indulgence87 New Egg

    Jan 24, 2012
    i have not yet started keeping chickens, but am doing some research before i start. i would like to have some chickens that are good egg layers an also some that are good eating.
    My question is, can i keep more than 1 breed/type of chicken in the same coop an run/yard? and also will they only mate/lay eggs with the same type/breed? or will they mate freely?
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Oh yeah...I love having a mixed flock, although only a few of mine are considered dual purpose. Any roo you have will mate with pretty much any available hen, not just the ones of his breed.
    Now if you're talking straight meat birds such as cornish X, then it might be better to have separate facilities if you're keeping very many of them (although some have one or two among their layers), simply because they can be pretty messy....
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  3. indulgence87

    indulgence87 New Egg

    Jan 24, 2012
    yes! the cornishx is what i was thinking of having.
    my idea was building a large coop but seperated, 1 side for the cornish an the other for a mix. an 1 large run big enough for all, but divided in the middle..
    but after reading your response i think it may be less time consuming an easyer to just get several different types of Dual purpose chickens.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Agreed. They will mate freely and lay freely. They really don't care what the other breeds around them are.

    The dual purpose breeds were developed for what you seem to want. They lay pretty well and eventually get big enough to provide meat.

    One big difference in eating dual purpose chickens and Cornish X is that the Cornish X are big enough to eat at a very young age, normally 6 to 8 weeks. For dual purpose breeds they will have to be a lot older to provide much meat. I don't even consider eating mine until they are at least 15 weeks old and really prefer them to be older. What that difference in age means more than anything else is that you cannot cook them the same and get the same results. Many people think that the Cornish X are bred to provide tender meat. I don't agree. I think if you process a 7 week old dual purpose bird and cook it, the texture and taste would be the same, you'd just have to look a lot harder to find any meat.

    I don't even consider frying mine. I braise, roast, stew, or most often, use a crock pot. It takes a longer, slower, moister method of cooking to really get them to do well in the kitchen.

    That brings up another point. Many of the recipes you get in recent cookbooks or online assume you are getting one of those really young birds from the store, not an older dual purpose bird. Even if you braise, roast, or stew it like they say, an older bird just will not cook right. You need longer, slower, moister cooking methods for them to get really tender. I think that's why many people get turned off our home raised chicken.
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  5. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2008
    Palominas, Arizona

    I agree, dual-purpose is probably the way to go for your first poultry project. But you don't have to get several breeds, unless you either enjoy variety or are trying to see which one you like best.

    There's plenty of meat on a 12-week-old Australorp cockerel, I can tell you [​IMG]

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