Production cross breeds

handyman42

Chirping
6 Years
Oct 17, 2013
201
21
78
Sardis, AR
Hey guys, I was wondering if any of y'all cross breed simply for production? I had some RIR/Buff Orp crosses this past year and they were great. They laid the most and biggest eggs I got and when broody time came around they were the first ones to set. So it got me to thinking that maybe if I just intentionally and strategically cross breed my chickens with a a different roo every year (sticking to production breeds) that maybe I'll have a great flock of Heinz 57's that are large enough for the table and good layers.

This years flock is 1/4 RIR and 3/4 Buff Orp so I'm thinking about getting a Maran, Australorp or Plymouth Rock Roo to breed em too. Any suggestions?
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
I have cross bred in the past for production. I chose to breed sex links because they are the hens used by laying houses for producing brown eggs as they are egg laying machines. I've bred Black Sex Links by crossing a RIR rooster with some Barred Rock hens and some Red Sex Links by crossing a RIR rooster with some SLW hens. I eventually stopped breeding sex links myself because of having to maintain flock of the breeds used in the sex link crosses. Now I just order my sex links (I currently have only Blacks) from a hatchery.
 

handyman42

Chirping
6 Years
Oct 17, 2013
201
21
78
Sardis, AR
I have cross bred in the past for production. I chose to breed sex links because they are the hens used by laying houses for producing brown eggs as they are egg laying machines. I've bred Black Sex Links by crossing a RIR rooster with some Barred Rock hens and some Red Sex Links by crossing a RIR rooster with some SLW hens. I eventually stopped breeding sex links myself because of having to maintain flock of the breeds used in the sex link crosses. Now I just order my sex links (I currently have only Blacks) from a hatchery.
I had some Sex Links once apon a time. The Black rooster was gorgeous and the Red hens were some of my best. They would wait for me to come into the coop and get a scoop of feed then they'd fly up on my arm and eat it out of the scoop. It was funny. They were also good layers.

I kinda have an idea to get a different breed of rooster every year and just breed using them then the next year get another and just keep rotating them out and end up with crazy Heinz 57 mixes where the hens lay good and the Roos are big enough for the table.
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
I kinda have an idea to get a different breed of rooster every year and just breed using them then the next year get another and just keep rotating them out and end up with crazy Heinz 57 mixes where the hens lay good and the Roos are big enough for the table.
There's no way to predict what kind of lay rate you will have doing that, but it should be a lot of fun experimenting with it. Good luck. :eek:)
 

handyman42

Chirping
6 Years
Oct 17, 2013
201
21
78
Sardis, AR
There's no way to predict what kind of lay rate you will have doing that, but it should be a lot of fun experimenting with it. Good luck. :eek:)

Yea, well I plan on using only good laying breeds to kinda have a starting guess, but wanted something with some interesting colors, patterns and personality.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,057
581
Southern Oregon
It kinda inhibits the "males big enough for the table" part, but several years ago I ran brown Leghorn roosters with my mixed dual purpose flock. It really boosted the production over the next few generations.

I think any of the breeds you mentioned would work nicely. I like barring, so I'd go with the barred Rock rooster myself. You'd probably get some pretty calico offspring.
 

handyman42

Chirping
6 Years
Oct 17, 2013
201
21
78
Sardis, AR
I was thinking barred rock or light Sussex starting out. But I'd have to buy either one of them. I may let one of my Buffs or Buff X RIR run with the girls this breeding season and see what I can find next breeding season
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
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Southern Oregon
You shouldn't have to pay for a cockerel, around here folks cant' hardly give them away. I'd think anyone who had an Oops bird would be thrilled to their toes to know their bird was going to rooster heaven aka a breeding position.
 

handyman42

Chirping
6 Years
Oct 17, 2013
201
21
78
Sardis, AR
You shouldn't have to pay for a cockerel, around here folks cant' hardly give them away. I'd think anyone who had an Oops bird would be thrilled to their toes to know their bird was going to rooster heaven aka a breeding position.
Yea, around my neck of the woods people sell em off for $3-$5 typically. Although a craigslist add looking for a free breeding roo might go a long way.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
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Southern Oregon
I was looking for a rooster of a specific not-so-common breed (splash Ameraucana) and put a wanted ad on CL. Took less than a week, and he was free. She was thrilled someone wanted him for a breeder, not a stewpot. She even drove him to town for me
smile.png
 

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