Pros and cons of having different breeds in one coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mystiegl, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. Mystiegl

    Mystiegl Hatching

    Jan 28, 2014
    As a newby to this backyard chicken fun, if we are only getting 4 chicks, is it better to have all 4 in the same breed? Or may be it doesn't matter? And what happens if you have 2 of the same breed and 2 others? Do they team up against the others or do the just live happily all together?
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sometimes they do, but mostly they mix pretty well, at least if they are all either large fowl or bantam. Certain breeds tend to be less or more aggressive, such as Orps tending to be bullied and production reds tending to bully. But, in the end, this is very much an individual matter; I was just reading about an Orp who was the leader of the flock. Also, sometimes the crested breeds tend to get their crests attacked by non crested breeds.

    My personal preference would be for 4 different large fowl, so two birds are maybe less likely to team up, and I can easily tell them apart, and so they will lay larger eggs.
    1 person likes this.
  3. annav410

    annav410 Chirping

    Mar 7, 2013
    Broomfield, Colorado
    We got 9 chicks last year and we have a mix of different large fowl (no bantams) and it has worked out very well. We don't have any bullies and the top of my pecking order are my Austra White (leghorn x australorp hybrid) and my BSL with my EE at the bottom. I agree that I would get 4 different breeds if you can and try to avoid getting one chicken that looks really different from the others. For example, don't get just one Polish since they are likely to be picked on for being different. Good luck and have fun!
  4. acsteele

    acsteele In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2013
    South Central Kansas
    We had Orpintons and silkies in the same brooder last summer, they did fine together, the silkies kept out of the way when the "big girls" did their chest bumping thing. We kept the silkies for a couple of other people, until they were ready to go, no issues. The silkie hen we kept is a regular member of the flock, the only exception being, she won't roost on the top bar (she's afraid of heights)
  5. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Songster

    Jun 29, 2012
    When the subject of mixed flocks comes up, I like to share this photo. I have Polish Crested, Easter Eggers, Black Sexlink, Production Red, Bantam Cochins, Bantam D'uccles, Black Australorp, Old English Game Bantam, and more, all coexisting as peacefully as chickens ever coexist.

    I think the biggest factors in whether or not they get along is, a.) being raised together so that they see each other as "normal", and b.) never being allowed to get bored and thereby start looking for trouble.

    Even if all of your chickens are the same breed, you may have problems with bullying if one of them is prone to it, so feel free to mix your flock and just play it by ear to see if they get along.
    1 person likes this.
  6. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Songster

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    When I got my first chickens I started out with 5..... 3 same breed (gold laced wyandottes), one EE and one faverolle. They were 3 weeks old, the faverolle 5 weeks. They are all larger girls, all got along well but I noticed that the wyandottes tend to stick together. Since then I have added/lost some, always have a mix of breeds. Mostly EEs tend to be 'low' in the pecking order in my flock but they are not being pecked on and they all get along well. Never mixed banties or silkies or polish in my flock though so I can't speak to very'different' looking chickens in the flock
  7. ocap

    ocap Crowing

    Jan 1, 2013
    Smithville, Missouri
    last spring I ordered seven breeds including two different types of bantams, they all did fine. I had to eliminate a couple of the more aggressive cockerels for more "harmony" as they began to crow. [​IMG]
  8. onwingsofdragons

    onwingsofdragons In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2011
    North Texas
    I've found that"Birds of a feather stick together" when it comes to color. Not even breed though lol! If I was limited to 4, I would get all different breeds for a variety of color. They'll be discouraged from forming cliques too.
  9. Mystiegl

    Mystiegl Hatching

    Jan 28, 2014
  10. TheChickInn

    TheChickInn Songster

    Feb 29, 2012
    Hi! I have a mix of Marans, Ameraucanas, Silkies and Showgirls in my coop. They get along well for the most part. They get along better when they are not "cooped up" We let our chickens free range, and it's funny to see how they divide up into groups of their respective breeds. There will always be a top hen and one that is at the bottom of the pecking order. The top chicken in our coop is a little banty turken that we adopted. She is 7 years old and no one messes with her! LOL!

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