Mixing breeds

G R I

In the Brooder
6 Years
Nov 27, 2013
36
3
24
My current flock consists of 1 lavender Orphington rooster and a lav hen. 2 barred rock hens. 1 black australorp, and 3 color variations of araucanas.
I've hatched eggs in the past with rhode island reds and barred rocks. But never mixed breeds.
I thought about getting more lavs to get all the same breed but can't find any by me and I wouldn't have room for the new hens and chicks.
I want to just hatch brown egg layers.
Do any of you hatch mix breed eggs for personal egg use? Is it frowned upon?
I'm not particular about my stock. Meat and eggs are all I care about.

Thx
 

Spangled

Songster
8 Years
Jan 12, 2012
865
96
158
Serenity Valley
Do any of you hatch mix breed eggs for personal egg use? Is it frowned upon?
Yes and yes.


I love the convenience of knowing which hen is which. For a number of years I had to keep all the hens banded just to know who was who. (which laid the best, which was how old, which was whose mom, which one is the one that roosts in trees, which one bills out all the food, which one lays her eggs on the porch, etc., and I still do have to band with my broody flock). But now, since purposely making some crossbreeds, I know which hen is which and can enjoy calling them by name easily and recognizing each one. It's easier to know which one should be put over in the other chicken house so I can check on if she's still laying through winter even though she's 4 years old, etc., etc., etc. I absolutely love knowing my hens apart. I absolutely hate banding and keeping track of the band colors. Ugh. My own little nightmare. A crossbreed flock, for me, is like a dream come true.

My crossed flock (and it is a planned mix over a number of years) works well and is suited to where I'm located and in my climate and my situation.

Some folks think it's a travesty for anyone to keep anything but American Poultry Association approved breeds which are bred to the standard. I get their position, but it's not practical for someone who just wants to enjoy a varied flock in their backyard for eggs. Having all the same color chickens in my backyard takes all the joy out of it for me and makes me sad.

We all enjoy chickens. We all have X amount of time. We all need to spend our time in the way that benefits each of us the most. Some of us enjoy keeping chickens one way and some of us enjoy keeping chickens another way or even another way. I truly enjoy chickens. I enjoy crosses best because I like knowing each hen from all other hens.

Do I still have some APA approved breeds? Yes. Of course. Yes, I even buy from breeders (eggs and chicks). I have also bought chicks from hatcheries, too, and also from local feed stores who use hatcheries. I don't discriminate too much
when it comes to chickens since they all have their advantages. But for the past couple of years, I buy just one of this breed or that. For instance, I have one Silver Spangled Hamburg. And there's no chance she can be bred into my crossbred flock because I don't hatch her white eggs. But she's a cutie!

Edited for clarity and to add: I personally have to be careful when crossing breeds, though, to know which plumage colorations are dominant, etc. If my rooster is an Australorp, then all the chicks for that year will be black and totally defeat my intention to be able to tell all my chickens apart. Same with breeds like White Orpingtons or White Leghorns, both of which most likely carry Dominant White.
 
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kingsfarm

Songster
8 Years
Feb 25, 2011
281
9
111
well said..I can add different types also...some for "EGGS"(Isa Browns for me) some for meat, I have 3 breeds (for meat)....Buff Orpington, Astralorpe, barred rock may try Dorkings later...
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,898
581
Southern Oregon
I've never had anyone on this board or elsewhere say anything bad about my mixed breed birds. I have a base of Leghorn, EE and barred Rock and have mixed and matched over the years, adding a few other breeds as they struck my fancy. As long as you breed responsibly, it's no one else's business. To me, responsible breeding includes the following:

You have homes or a reasonable expectation of selling the offspring. This includes the 50% roosters you're going to hatch out. There's no forever home with rainbows and green pastures for a ton of roosters.

You don't breed birds with defects, birds that are prone to illness or are generally unthrifty.

You don't breed birds with bad temperaments.

Other than that, have fun! How else would I have gotten these pretty, unique birds...







 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,616
26,804
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Ditto on the mixed breed back yard flock. That's where the pricey land raced breeds came from! My personal goal is to breed a mixed flock that will do well in my northern climate, using pea and or rose combs. My best layer is a gal hatched last year from a local BYF egg. She's a black sex link, completely black with iridescent green highlights. (RIR x PBR) Every one who sees my flock comments on the pretty black one. This year's hatch include EE x RIR, EE, and PBR. So, again I have some BSL, but this time, they all have pea combs. I'll keep one rooster this year (previous hatches have come from other folks flocks) so will be able to start my own breeding program. The girls that will be playing in the gene pool include EE, RIR, pea comb BSL, Dominique, Rose comb brown leghorn, and SLW. I may hold over a Pioneer hen to add some beefiness to the mix to counteract the leghorn. May add a Buckeye some where along the way. Can't wait to see what the future holds for these beauties!
 

Jcbdc

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 16, 2014
16
3
21
You may devlop a new sex link strain!!
Backyard chickens are like backyard dogs and cats., mutts, but some made great pets! :cd
 

distincthead

In the Brooder
12 Years
Apr 24, 2007
63
5
41
Central CT, USA
That's similar to what I'm going to be starting soon: crossing my lavender and blue Orpingtons with my various heavy breeds such as barred rocks. I know from experience that buff Orpington roos crossed with Barred Rocks can produce one heck of a pretty sex-link that lays well and has a great temperament IMHO. This "chicken calculator" breeding tool is fun and useful:

http://home.kpn.nl/h.meijers69/kruising.html
 

olderoo

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
58
8
38
Leesville sc
My current flock consists of 1 lavender Orphington rooster and a lav hen. 2 barred rock hens. 1 black australorp, and 3 color variations of araucanas.
I've hatched eggs in the past with rhode island reds and barred rocks. But never mixed breeds.
I thought about getting more lavs to get all the same breed but can't find any by me and I wouldn't have room for the new hens and chicks.
I want to just hatch brown egg layers.
Do any of you hatch mix breed eggs for personal egg use? Is it frowned upon?
I'm not particular about my stock. Meat and eggs are all I care about.

Thx
Frowned upon? By whom?
YOU are the steward of the flock; do as you wish.

Since you have such a diverse group, it isn't much matter as far as breed purity goes. If you want that, you really should specialize in just one or two breeds and maintain them separate from anything else. But to improve what you HAVE, the place to start is right with the flock you have.
Here is something for you to read along these lines

http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/ppp/ppp6.html
 
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