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Newbie Question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 3LilChicks707, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. 3LilChicks707

    3LilChicks707 Hatching

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hi All!
    Our family is pretty new at chicken farming & ever since we started I've been mulling this question in the back of my mind. So, if you decide to include a rooster in your flock then I'd assume that you'd then have to commit to one breed of chicken? Because if you didn't then wouldn't you get a bunch of mixed breed chicks? We started raising chickens for two main reasons, one being that my kids joined 4H & plan to be part of the Poultry Project. This includes showing their hens at poultry shows, county fairs, etc,. Obviously, they can't show chickens that are mixed breed. Here in lies the conundrum. We'd love to see our hens sit (set?) & hatch out a few chicks! Then just sit back & watch how "Mom" raises them, but I feel like we can't do that unless we commit to one sole breed which would be near impossible to choose from & in all honesty, a bit boring too! Any ideas or advice heartily welcome!

  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Songster

    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    Great to hear the kids are into poultry! If you want pure-bred chicks, you will have to have one breed together to ensure breed purity. However, if you have a mixed flock, you can always take out birds of like breeds into a separate pen and have them breed off by themselves. I've done this a few times. When you integrate them back into the flock, they may go through a slight pecking order process again. Another option, if you have the space and resources, is to have two coops, that is, two flocks. A mixed flock, since deciding on one breed is darn near impossible, and maybe a smaller breeder flock of a breed you really like. As for broodiness (willingness to set), it varies by breed. Most of your heavy breeds (and Silkies) retain this quality. Lighter breeds won't be too keen to set as a rule, and most of your hybrids have had the broody trait bred out of them. I've had a good number of mixes turn out to be great mothers too, most of which had either Silkie and Orpington blood in them. Most of the time, I let my broody hens hatch out eggs that come from my flock, which consists of around 15 different breeds. So yes, most of the chicks I personally hatch are mixed. I mainly do it to appease the wanna-be momma hen. She'll love her babies the same, whether they're mixed or pure. Plus I just love seeing a hen with a bunch of chicks foraging in the yard!
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017

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