Mixing different breeds in a flock.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DoveStar, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. DoveStar

    DoveStar Chirping

    Apr 13, 2013
    Chandler, AZ
    Hello, I want to start my own backyard flock, and plan on getting three hens. I can't decide between all the breeds, so I have decided to get one chicken of three different breeds; one Orpington, one Amercauna, and one Silkie. Is there any reason these three breeds wont get along with each other, or there will be any problems?

    P.S. For the hens, I am not looking specifically for egg production, mainly for personality. :) They will have to live in a somewhat small coop and run, not make a lot of noise, and be friendly enough to cuddle. :)

    Thanks! Any help is appreciated!
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I can't say anything about the silkie, but I have a mixed breed flock (I started out with several breeds a couple of years ago, but with two years' worth of hatching, my breeds are now truly mixed!) and they all get along just fine.
  3. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Those breeds are great!! They are friendly, layers, lap hogs and docile. They should all get along fine. Silkies don't do well when introduced to an already established flock who aren't used to their different feather type. But if they are all raised together then every thing should work out. :)
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  4. texaschickyall

    texaschickyall In the Brooder

    Jul 7, 2014
    I have all 3 of these breeds mixed in my flock with no issues. The BO's and silkies are so sweet. Love to be with people. Just know silkies can't be sexed till they are older so you risk a rooster and need to have a plan for that if you can't keep him.
  5. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Songster

    May 19, 2011
    North Texas

    I had Buff's Barred Rocks, EE and Light Brahma's with a GLW roo. Everyone got along well.
  6. DoveStar

    DoveStar Chirping

    Apr 13, 2013
    Chandler, AZ
    Thank you all for your replies! :) Your help is much appreciated! :)
  7. Bronson

    Bronson In the Brooder

    May 22, 2014
    9 chickens, 8 breeds. Everyone plays nice in the sandbox.
  8. MelissaZeno

    MelissaZeno Chirping

    May 28, 2013
    Did you start breeding your mixed flock after the first year? I have 1 14 week old Rooster who is a Lavender Orpington, I guess I just want to know will he be able to fertilize eggs in the spring of 2015? Not sure what the outcome will be but excited to find out.
    I'm hoping he will be a friendly rooster, who I won't be hand feeding anymore. he can be a bit rough. But he is never mean he probably is mad at me for having to catch him and spray him down for mites poor guy. I got him when he was 6 weeks old with 3 LO hens and they ended up having mites and now the rest of my flock has been treated. I have been using DE and Poutry Protector.
  9. Bean789

    Bean789 Songster

    Apr 25, 2014
    Spring Hill, FL
    I am still new to chicken keeping but will pass along my experiences thus far with our mixed flock.

    I ordered 8 different breeds from a hatchery. The only advice they gave me when I ordered was not to get the RIR I originally ordered if I wanted the bantam Silkie so I changed that one for the Black (blue) Orpington. We now have 1 each of Golden Laced Wyandotte, Barred Rock, Mottled cochin bantam, Easter Egger, Buff Brahma bantam, Buff Silkie bantam, Blue Orpington (tuned out to be all black), and our mystery chick was a Sultan. They are listed in their current pecking order.....until our Silkie died last week (do not know cause). As chicks, we handled them several times a day until they went into their temporary coop at 10 weeks of age. Then they were handled at least 4/5 times a week as we examined them for issues, etc. Each one of them has a different personality but none are very aggressive towards another one except for the Buff Brahma bantam, our 'problem child', who continuously goes after the Sultan even now at 28 weeks of age, who in turn is mostly 'protected' by the Black Orpington , who is twice the brahma's size, if not more. She is also occasionally 'corrected' by one of the higher ups when she gets too rowdy towards the Sultan. My biggest surprise is the Mottled cochin being 3rd in the line up. She is just a little ball of fluff and feathers but has attitude. As you can see, our Chicken TV is quite entertaining when they are free ranging. We do not have any roosters.

    Our chicks were chosen based on friendliness traits, colors/markings, size of comb, and egg color/size/production.

    They are our pets and we wanted at least 3 that were suitable for my granddaughters, ages 9, 4, and 2 and their abilities to hold and care for them.

    Our Silkie, Che Che, belonged to the 2 year old and it was heartbreaking to watch her try to 'wake up' her chicken the morning she died. Bavis, the brahman bantam 'problem child', belongs to the 4 year old and they do have the same personality traits (full of mischief and stubborn). LOL The Sultan, Coconut, was chosen by the 9 year old, before we knew what her breed was, and they are best buds. We call the 9 year old our chicken whisperer because they go to sleep in her lap when she holds them...well, some of them.

    I also asked a similar question as you have and it was explained that the biggest difference in friendliness was how often you interact with them. I have found that to be so true. Our only skittish girl is the Black Orpington. She has always been that way though. Her eyes almost bulge from her face every time she is held even now but she will close her eyes while being petted and loved..for a mintue.

    In our other up and coming along flock, we have 2 Buff Orpingtons who, at 10 weeks of age, almost beg to be held. In that flock we have Blue Silkie bantam, Splash Silkie, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rock, Black Star, and 4 guineas being raised together, no real pecking order established....at least not that I have noticed. Only thing we know so far is that the BR will be boss in that group but does 'butt chests' with the Black Star when free ranging. Considering the members of the full flock when integrated, I do have some concern for the Blue Silkie bantam. She will need to be fully grown before we let them all live together.
  10. Bean789

    Bean789 Songster

    Apr 25, 2014
    Spring Hill, FL
    I realize my above post was made a couple of months after the initial query but I remember reading many posts on this same subject posted years ago and thought I would post my experiences here....for the next up and coming chicken keeper who might happen along.

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