Starting a new flock - what breeds suit Orpingtons?

mamahen amateur

In the Brooder
May 12, 2015
26
0
24
New Zealand
I'm starting my very first flock of hens!! I have pre-ordered a blue and a lavender orpington pullets. I want 6 hens to start off with (I hear it's addictive and I can have up to 10 :) They will have free range of our large bushy and hilly backyard and a safe coop at night. What breeds can I add to the Orpingtons so that they don't get beaten up too much? Would gold/silver laced Wynadottes be ok? If they all grow up together as pullets does the pecking order even out or does the breed dominate anyway? I'd prefer good egg layers and I also have small toddlers so I don't want an aggressive breed (if there is one?). Thank you!
 

CascadiaRiver

Songster
6 Years
Dec 12, 2014
1,664
277
201
Pacific Northwest
Well age does matter, such as do not mix a month old chicks with week olds, but orphingtons and Wyandotte's should have no problem. We mix our tiny bantams (smaller than my foot) with our cochins (size of a small dog) so that's nothing to worry about. And pecking order will always be a problem I have a tiny bantam who is higher on the pecking order than some of my cochins, and some not, I would say no matter what do not interfere much with the pecking order as it may seem brutal but do not interfere unless you start to see wounds or blood is spilled~

Neither of those breeds are known for aggression but every bird its self varies, and larger birds aren't normally good layers though so medium sized birds I seem to get the best eggs out of~ (personally Sicilian buttercups are pretty good as are leghorns but leghorns are the pretties ^^)
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,434
438
Montana
Any breed that has a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (potential lap pets) such as Australorps, Brahmas, Cochins, Sussex, and Faverolles should go fine with your Orpingtons as long as they are about the same age and size. If egg production is a priority, Australorps are the best layers on this list, and Cochins are the poorest layers (although they are the best brooders and mothers).
 

CascadiaRiver

Songster
6 Years
Dec 12, 2014
1,664
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Pacific Northwest
@Michael OShay Our cochins are the best layers we have atm, we have 3 cochins, 1 buttercup and an easter egger and the cochins lay an egg everyday while the others don't. They are feed mill birds that could be mixes but they follow standard pretty well all besides the laying part~
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,434
438
Montana
@Michael OShay Our cochins are the best layers we have atm, we have 3 cochins, 1 buttercup and an easter egger and the cochins lay an egg everyday while the others don't. They are feed mill birds that could be mixes but they follow standard pretty well all besides the laying part~

That's very unusual for Cochins to lay like that and it sounds like your Cochins are probably indeed mixes. The various charts that give the lay rate of Cochins almost always list them at 2 eggs per week per hen (see examples at http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/breed-list.aspx and http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html#ch) which is consistent with what our Cochins laid and with what I've seen posted from a number of other BYC members. However all charts and BYC members who have had them agree that they are excellent brooders and mothers.
 

CascadiaRiver

Songster
6 Years
Dec 12, 2014
1,664
277
201
Pacific Northwest
That's very unusual for Cochins to lay like that and it sounds like your Cochins are probably indeed mixes. The various charts that give the lay rate of Cochins almost always list them at 2 eggs per week per hen (see examples at http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/breed-list.aspx and http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html#ch) which is consistent with what our Cochins laid and with what I've seen posted from a number of other BYC members. However all charts and BYC members who have had them agree that they are excellent brooders and mothers.

Ours lay an egg every, we have had them for a year and they have never gone broody either ^^
 

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