New to raising Chickens with a flock question...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by WaldensRidge, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. WaldensRidge

    WaldensRidge Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2011
    Red Bank, TN
    New to the forum and to raising chickens, but i'm super excited for my family to have fresh eggs and for my daughter to be exposed to the values which accompany raising animals.
    I'm putting an McMurray Hatchery order together and started wondering how different breeds would co-mingle. I was wondering if Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, and Rhode Island Reds would co-habitat well together. If not do you guys have suggestions? Im ordering 26 female chicks from McMurray's and will be splitting the order with a friend. So I need to figure out what 13 to keep.

    Thanks in advance and have a great new year!
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle


    It's OK to mix different breeds. I think most of us do that.

  3. JakRat

    JakRat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Here is my coop at the moment:

    2 12 week old speckled sussex pullets (if you want loveys I would get these... they are the sweetest chicks I have ever had)
    1 Barred Rock... her sister was being evil so I sent her away... SO I of course would say no to them
    2 Easter Eggers... neat girls
    1 Serama. OMG she is super sweet and calm, but she hasnt laid any eggs yet.
    1 partridge silkie. These go broody well so if you want to hatch some babies you should get one of these... they are neat looking.

    If I could, I would also get some of the marans or wellsummers. They lay dark brown eggs, super neat. It is fun to see all different colors of eggs.
  4. WaldensRidge

    WaldensRidge Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2011
    Red Bank, TN
    "1 Barred Rock... her sister was being evil so I sent her away... SO I of course would say no to them" JakRat

    I thought Barred Rocks (Plymouth rocks) where on the calm side?
  5. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    Yes, mixing is perfectly fine. [​IMG]

    If I was you I would keep a few of each breed. It helps you learn what you like or dislike about a breed.
  6. chickmama1662

    chickmama1662 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    We currently have a total of 16 chickens (2 roos, 14 hens) and 5 different breeds. Have not had any problems with mixing the breeds. We have noticed that the Minorcas and the Brown Leghorns tend to range in groups.
  7. sophiejw

    sophiejw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2010
    Yes definitely mix your breeds- makes it more interesting to see the different personalities [​IMG]

    As someone has said, it's really nice to have different egg colours when you collect them, so if you could get a blue egg layer, white egg layer, dark brown egg layer amongst them it makes for a really pretty basket of eggs when you collect them.

    Orpingtons are nice, but I'm not convinced they are the best layers, they make up for it in friendliness though. You can get white leghorn types, they lay a large pure white egg and lots of them- I have White Stars which are similar- the only thing I would say about them is that they are very flighty, they just don't get tame.

    As far as mixing goes, this is what I have in my main run just now: 2 Australorps, 1 buff orpington, 1 black orpington, 1 white orpington (I do like my Orpingtons!), 1 Old Cotswold Legbar. Also various hybrids: 1 x Burford Brown, 1 x Shaver Brown, 1 x Old Cotswold Legbar x ??, 2 red farm type hens, 2 x Old Cotswold Legbar x White Star. And 3 spotty silkie x bantams. They all get on OK, there is a very distinct pecking order though.

    Might be worth looking at egg colours that they lay and also making sure you get a couple of hens at least that are breeds that lay really well so that you have a good chance of getting at least an egg or two a day. It's dead of winter here (we just had our shortest day) and between the ones listed above and two White Stars in a different run, I've only had about 2 days with no eggs at all, every other day we've at least one, usually two eggs a day, and the odd 5 egg day which is nice. Does help that they are all different ages though- some have just come into lay, whereas Ginger the red hen who was rescued from a farm is 4.5 years old and I suspect she hasn't laid for a long time. But between them they keep us in eggs [​IMG]

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
  8. Jackie B.

    Jackie B. Paris Mtn. Eggs

    May 13, 2010
    Greenville, SC
    I have a mixed flock of 15 (JG, EE, D'anvers, Silkie, bantam cochins, frizzles, and guineas) and everyone gets along great. The ones that were raised together tend to stick around each other more which makes me think if yours are all coming same time and same age there really shouldn't be any issues beyond the regular pecking order.

    And welcome!!!![​IMG]
  9. NC ChickenKate

    NC ChickenKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2011
    Wilmington, NC
    I haven't had chickens very long but my mixed flock of same aged Welsummers, Easter Eggers and silkies all get along wonderfully. One thing I've noticed with my mixed flock...the silkies have consistantly tried to keep up with the rest of the flock so they easily go up and down their steep ramp for their pop hole, they jump up into the roosting tree and the regular roosts in their yard and now they have taken to jumping up onto the coop roosts 2 1/2 ft. off the floor and the nest boxes 2 ft. off the floor. Not saying they are the brightest bulb on the tree but they are sweet and if mixed in with other breeds they'll try their very best to keep up with the other chicks.
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My flock is quite varied, and I have some of the original birds with which I started in Oct. '09. I've added chicks by feed store purchase, incubating shipped eggs, and by the occasional broody hen hatching some little mutt chicks. Which grew into grown up mixes. I have bantams, large (standard) fowl and a couple BIG birds like Jersey Giants, as well as ducks and geese.

    Only had ONE mean cockerel attack to kill other birds, and he met his end at the business end of a shovel. With 60 some birds, that's not bad.

    Here are most of what's in my flock:
    Lots of Easter Eggers.
    Bantam mottled Cochins
    Silver Sebrights
    Bantam gold laced Cochins
    Black Copper Marans
    Mille Fleur D'Uccles
    White Leghorns
    Jersey Giant (Splash, not black)
    Salmon Faverolles
    Black EE
    Black sex-link
    Golden Lakenvelder
    Buff and Blue Orpingtons
    Cuckoo Marans
    Rhode Island Reds
    Black Autralorps
    Bantam Easter Eggers
    Light, Buff and Dark Brahmas
    Bantam dark Brahma
    Silver Laced Wyandotte
    Blue Laced Wyandotte
    Gold Laced Wyandotte
    Delaweggers (Delaware and EE crosses)
    bantam Barnevelder
    White Rock
    "Cinnamon Queens"
    Wheaten Amereucana
    ...and I may have forgotten a couple other breeds...

    And it's a happy, friendly flock.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011

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