Seeking advice on breeds to get, specifically what makes good crosses in the future...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by newchickenista, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I plan on getting 1-2 dozen baby chicks in the next month are so. I am wanting predominantly laying hens, but I plan to acquire 1-2 roosters. I am buying from my local feed store and I want a variety of breeds, because up until now I've only had Barred Rocks, and 1 production red. They are great chickens but I want to experience some different breeds. I want a rooster because I plan in the future to raise my own babies and I want to pick the right hen to rooster combination to get the best chicks possible in the future. Out of the breeds I have available to me, I would like everyone's opinion on what they like best, which breed is a favorite rooster, and what would be the ideal combination of hens and rooster to get the best future chicks. I right now have the following breeds available to me:

    Rhode Island Red
    Barred Plymouth Rock
    Buff Orpington
    Black Australorp
    Black Sex Link
    Americauna

    I think in the next few weeks I might also be able to get:

    White or Brown Leghorn (or both)
    Some variety of Wyandotte (Silver Laced maybe?)
    California White
    Silkies

    Basically any information or suggestions or experiences of any of these breeds and the crosses of any of these breeds would be appreciated.

    I am in far Southern Oklahoma and we usually have a few weeks of triple digit temps in the summer.
     
  2. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are you after out of your cross breeds? Interesting colors? Sex-linked chicks? Good layers? Something else?
     
  3. HS Pye

    HS Pye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,

    As for cocks, do not get a Rhode Island Red, they are very aggressive and you probably do not want to be attacked by them. We had a good Buff Minorca cock and have a good EE cock right now, I would recommend those breeds. I don't know enough to say about the other breeds for a cock.

    As for a good hen to lay, brown/white leghorn, RIR, Plymouth Rocks, and Buff Orpington.

    The best mothers (aka broody hens) are silkie and cochin bantam.

    For mutts (crosses), we breed an EE with a white leghorn and we get what we call a Legger. They lay large green eggs 4-6 times a week and are great foragers. But do not expect to get any meat off of them.

    Hope this helps ;).

    HS Pye
     
  4. melroseladi

    melroseladi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Worst roosters I ever had were all feed store RIR's. Even as chicks they were mean. Now I have Heritage Rhode Island Reds and my oh my what a difference. I have a RC roo and a SC roo and both are very docile. I have never been pecked at or even gotten stink eye from either of them. My grandkids wander around the yard with their friends hooting and hollering and neither of the Roosters even give them a second look.
     
  5. Laingcroft

    Laingcroft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  6. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2012
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    I am really interested in peoples experience with everything. Egg laying, temperament, and appearance I guess would be most important.
     
  7. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2012
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    I want to get about a dozen or so hens and a rooster or two this year, and ideally I would like this to be the last time for a while that I buy baby chicks, I would like to from here on out hatch my own chicks. I want to get a variety of breeds this time and I know that when I do hatch chicks it will be the rare chick that is a pure breed due to the variety of my flock. So its not that I am just after cross breeds, but I know I will end up with them so I am interested in knowing what to expect and/or advice on what breed of rooster would cross best with the variety of hens I have available to me. I want to know if, people have had success with crosses of wyandottes and rir or if people aren't pleased with the amount of eggs they get from their americauna mixed with a barred rock. Those are just "for instances" but gives you an idea of what I'm talking about.
     
  8. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2012
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    I'm happy for the advice about the RIR roosters. I was leaning towards a RIR rooster because I'd be interested in getting sex linked chicks and also I like the idea that an aggressive rooster would protect my girls from the cats and things if I wanted to free range them sometimes. But I also don't want a rooster that is mean to me or mean to other people, so I may re thing this. Thanks!
     
  9. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, it's really very hard to predict in the long term. The first year of crossing may give you some great offspring, that's hybrid vigor for you. But if you continue to keep breeding them that way there's really no way to know what your results will be. With selective breeding, you may be able to develop a wonderful flock of your own over time. But mixing up a bunch of blood also means you might just revert to less desirable characteristics, too. It'd definitely be a fun project for you, and you should take lots of photos and let us know how it goes.

    As for which roos, I can't really speak from experience on that. I've had hens before in many of the breeds on your list, but once I narrowed down my favorite breed I've only ever used Dominique roos. If you want a colorful egg basket, get the Ameraucana roo to pass the blue egg gene on to all the offspring. If you want a calm roo, I imagine orps or australorps would be good choices. Black sex links are, themselves, already a cross breed, so it depends on what roo went into making the black sex link in the first place as to what the temperment would be like in a black sex link roo. Really what you are asking is an extremely complicated question, and in the end all chickens are individuals and there's a great deal of variation even within a breed.
     
  10. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2012
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    I do actually think it would be a fun project to sort of selectively breed my chicks. And I realize there isn't really a right or wrong answer to my question, I'm really more interested in hearing other peoples experiences with cross breeds in their own flock. I'm probably about a year or so away from being ready to hatch chicks so this is more a conversation topic than anything else. But nevertheless, while I am making my breed selections right now, I am looking for any and all advice. Thanks so much!
     

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