mixing hen breds

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by tav1, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. tav1

    tav1 Songster

    Nov 4, 2014
    gonna start for the first time in the spring......can you mix hen breeds(will they get along?) , would like to get brown eggs and white eggs.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Most breeds mix well. Not games though and RIRs tend to be the bullies of a mixed flock.
    Makes for a pretty flock and pretty egg basket.
    My favorite white egg layers in order are Jaerhons, Minorcas, Anconas and Leghorns.
  3. tav1

    tav1 Songster

    Nov 4, 2014
    kinda looking at RIR (brown egg) and leghorn (white egg)

    think those will get along?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  4. lovemy6hens

    lovemy6hens Songster

    Nov 4, 2013
    Central Texas
    Absolutely! We have seven and no two look alike and they all get along well.
    Some caveats:
    - For breeding purposes, they should probably all be the same so you'll know what kind will hatch. There are probably other reasons for having the same breed if breeding them, but that's beyond the scope of my knowledge.
    - Having different breeds of the same average size is better so each is able to defend herself as best as she is able. It's not always the biggest bird who's at the top of the pecking order though. This just provides a more even playing field.
    - They should be of the same feathering type. If one has head feathers like a Polish or has feathered legs and the others do not, they may take more of an interest in picking at those feathers.
  5. Free as a Bird

    Free as a Bird Chirping

    Aug 20, 2014
    New England
    Mixing breeds should be fine, but those are some good points brought up by lovemy6hens. I have a flock of eight birds, eight different breeds! I like the look and variety of multiple breeds.
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    "Games" are game birds and RIR is Rhode Island Red.

    I have an RIR in my mixed flock and she's not a problem, but then mine free range so they all have plenty of room to avoid each other if necessary and she isn't top hen anyway.

    You might also want to consider blue, green and/or olive egg layers if you are interested in having a bonny coloured egg box. Legbars, Easter Eggers(EEs), Araucanas lay coloured eggs and Marans and Welsummers lay beautiful darker brown eggs (toffee and terracotta coloured).

    I would say that probably most of us hobby chicken keepers have a mixed flock and there are certainly benefits to it..... some breeds are more inclined to become broody and raise chicks, some are egg laying machines, some will lay right through winter and others will stop and then as previously mentioned, some lay really pretty coloured eggs. Also some breeds are really friendly whilst others are very flighty but also perhaps better at evading predators, if you are thinking of free ranging.

    Lots to consider when thinking of which breeds to start with. I love the fact that my flock of birds look pretty and when they are all different, you can tell them apart easier.

    Good luck with choosing your flock.

  7. Beer can

    Beer can Free Ranging

    Aug 12, 2014
    Upstate NY
    I have brown leghorns for white eggs, EEgrs for blue and olive eggs, wellsummer for dark brown. They all get along just fine, even the wellsummer roo is nice. If you get wellies, plan on a long wait for eggs, but once they start the are supposed to lay good (Im still waiting).

    One of my favorite breeds is the RIReds. I had 15 once and got 15 eggs a day for over a year before they molted, and then they took turns so I still had tons of eggs. Laid all winter also with a light over their water.They can be a little agressive though.
  8. lovemy6hens

    lovemy6hens Songster

    Nov 4, 2013
    Central Texas
    If each one is different, the multiplier for chicken math changes. You'll want one of those and one of those and one of those and so on. You'll also want to consider how it would change things if you had two of those or those or those....
  9. PDPercherons

    PDPercherons Chirping

    May 1, 2014
    Central Michigan
    I think space is a big one. I allowed my birds to free range all summer long once they were big enough up until a few weeks ago. They are confined to a 16'x24' run with an attached 8'x5' coop. I have Andalusians, Buttercups, Favorelles, Sussex, EE, Hamburgs, BSL and a Australorp. There's a pecking order like every flock, but the feather pulling is extremely minimal and the biggest issue is between me ending up with 3 roosters. My lowest rooster, a polish, tends to get picked on from time to time.

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