Mixing different breeds

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bogielousa, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. bogielousa

    bogielousa Out Of The Brooder

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    So after a night of insomnia, I've been thinking, planning and researching chickens, which I plan to add to the farm this spring. I really only want 2, who will primarily live in a chicken tractor that I'll move around my yard and pasture (I can't free range except for maybe a few hours at a time...terriers who have a job to do) but may also eventually live in the big pen with any ducks (three at most) that I end up permanently keeping.

    After using the BYC's breed selection tool and reading up about the breeds, I think I've narrowed it down to 3 breeds, all available through various hatcheries (which is probably how I'll order.) Is it ok to mix breeds? I know from the different personalities of my ducks, it probably would cut down on some of their conflicts to have the same breed, but they have a much larger pen and since I have a large ratio of males they're going to end up in the freezer after my dogs have learned to herd them anyway...

    But, like I said, I only want 2 for egg production, so please help me decide. Even if I get one of each, I still end up with a choice![​IMG] Or should I just pick a breed and get 2? Australorp, Buff Orpinton or Speckled Sussex? I prefer calm, easy going personalities. Chicks will be handled daily, more so than the ducks were but even my ducks are fairly calm and were handled often at an earlier age. I stopped daily handling when they were old enough to go out in the pen, I didn't want the ducks too tame, their primary purpose was to be herded! They still saw me daily but I didn't pick them up every day. Even so, the few I'm planning to keep still ended up being super tame and I've pulled them from the herding rotation so...I'm not too worried that my handling will result in a bad attitude [​IMG]
     
  2. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have three new chicks arriving next month and all are different breeds. The supplier said as long as they are raised together they should get along just fine, aside from the usual pecking order squabbles that happen in any flock. My three newbies will be a Welsummer, an Ancona, and a Barnevelder. [​IMG]
     
  3. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have many different breeds...i adore watching them all wander around my yard...last year I had all the same...boring!
    Get different types, they get along fine....!

    My Australorp girls lay light brown eggs, gorgeous birds...

    [​IMG]

    My Barred Rock hens are the most social, following me all over the yard:

    [​IMG]

    My California White lays an egg EVERY single day...but on the small side:

    [​IMG]

    too bad only 2...they are addicting! So much fun to watch!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    If you are only having two for egg production, wouldn't you be better off with better producing breeds? BO's take a long time to mature to POL.

    What are you looking for in a breed?

    I would choose speckled sussex & BO for looks. I would choose BR for looks and egg production.

    Nothing wrong with a mixed flock! I have different breeds. Silkie, Polish, BR, BO, Cochin, mutt, Delaware, Production Red, and Wyandotte.
     
  5. chickchicks

    chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    just two chickens or just two breads?

    when i got mine i only got two chickens but was told its best to have at least three as tere social

    breeds.. nearly allmine are different i have 2 BO, 2 warrens and a barnevelder at the moment and im looking into anew breed next year !!!! i love the differences inthemall

    just thinkabout the size as ive been told different sizes cancause trouble big girls pick onsmallgirls!

    i have no experience though here sorry
     
  6. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have a silkie and a silkie/cochin cross...they don't get picked on, they were raised together...what ever you decide, do it all at once...hard to integrate into the flock...
     
  7. Stephanie739

    Stephanie739 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I like mixing up my flock too! My neighbor has about 40 red chickens and a small flock of japanese bantams which all look the same too, adorable but identical! She just has a couple of oddballs in group....when I look at my babies and see the different colors and sizes, markings, I know I will never stick to one or two breeds. I much prefer the variety! Easier to name them too when you can tell them apart! [​IMG]
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a mixed flock and went with birds of similar size -- no bantams and no crested breeds. Every flock has pecking order dynamics but mine all get along fine and they don't seem to notice any difference in breed.

    You will have trouble ordering just two birds from a hatchery, though. Day-old chicks need warmth so hatcheries have minimum order sizes to help the chicks survive their journey. If you live near a large airport, My Pet Chicken will send as few as 3 (with a heat pack). Ideal adds surplus cockerels for warmth.

    If you truly only want only two birds, I'd suggest either getting whatever breed you like best of what is available in your local farm store this spring OR buying from a local breeder. If you go to the "Where Am I, Where Are You?" board here, you are likely to find people in your area who sell chicks.
     
  9. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Correct.....a feed store or breeder is what you want then...they are a social animal, like birds in the sky, they prefer more the merrier!
     
  10. Stephanie739

    Stephanie739 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    JodyJo, My flock will be looking like yours in the spring [​IMG] My baby barred rocks are very social too, even as babes. They hop up on my arm just about every time I visit. I love all the colors and personalities!
     

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