Quickie Newbie Question: Will maintaining a flock of mixed breeds result in cross bred chickens?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by karchworld, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. karchworld

    karchworld Just Hatched

    Oct 27, 2016
    Forgive me if this question is too basic but, if I were to introduce hens (or roosters) of a different breed to my Rhode Island Red flock, would they all start to interbreed? Would I eventually wind up with a flock of mutt birds?
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  2. dragonthehunter

    dragonthehunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2016
    New brunswick Canada
    Yes unless you just didn't hatch the eggs
  3. karchworld

    karchworld Just Hatched

    Oct 27, 2016
    That confirms my thoughts. Thank you.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Yes, if you chose to.

    the wonderful thing about birds is how easy it is to control their reproduction. with mammals, breeding or mating pretty much means you have babies incoming. With chickens, they can mate all they like, but until you decide to incubate eggs, there are no babies from all the mating.

    So, if you currently have a flock of Reds, and introduce other breeds of hens, yep, your Red rooster will happily mate those hens. Their offspring, should you chose to incubate their eggs, would be mixed breed birds.

    But, if you wanted only Red chicks, you could easily figure a way to separate a few Red hens and collect just their eggs and incubate those, giving you pure bred chicks.

    Having a rooster of a different breed makes things a bit trickier. Hens are capable of storing sperm from a rooster a good 2 weeks. So, if you had say an Australorp rooster in with your Red hens, you'd have to find a way to separate them at least that long, while still letting them be exposed to the Red rooster to fertilize the eggs you wanted to hatch.

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