The flock. Mixed or all the same?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Eggscaping, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Eggscaping

    Eggscaping Enjoying Life!

    Dec 4, 2018
    Portland, Oregon
    In reading, I've seen it said that in a mixed flock, sometimes the different breeds don't get chicken or another will be picked on - or pick on another one because of the difference. I know that the same thing can happen in a non-mixed flock, since pecking order and all that. But does it get better if they are all the same breed? I'd really love to get speckled Sussex, but I'd like thoughts on whether an all-one-breed flock makes things better or not, since my partner wants a mix of different breeds.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    I've always kept mixed flocks....if breeding is a goal use of breeding pens to keep breeds separate as needed will work
  3. Kale Chips

    Kale Chips Songster

    Apr 2, 2018
    Central Wisconsin
    The day before I got my chicks I decided to get a mixed flock instead of all speckleds. Best decision ever! It made having chickens so fun and varied. The pecking order exists in all flocks...but you are right that some breeds will naturally be on top or on bottom. Both of my speckleds are on the bottom of the pecking order, but I still enjoy having the variety. The different patterns, temperaments, and preferences make for a fun flock. And you can actually tell them apart (as well as their eggs!).
  4. HuffleClaw

    HuffleClaw Addicted To Birds

    Jul 8, 2018
    Hi! :frow
    I have always kept different breeds together. I even have tiny OEGBs and large red sex links together, no problem. It all depends on their individual temperament. ;) Make sure, whatever you decide on, has plenty of coop space, hiding spots, feed/water stations, etc!
  5. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

    Jun 14, 2017
    Central PA
    If chickens are raised together all of a type, they're going to pick on the strange-looking bird that appears in their midst. I know a man who sold a Hereford calf to an Angus Farm. Shortly thereafter, the Hereford calf was trampled to death by the Angus.

    On the other hand, if you raise a bunch of different-looking chickens at the same time, they'll be used to chickens of different appearances, and they'll accept each other. Some breeds'll still be more docile and at the bottom of the pecking order, but they won't be targeted for looking different. I have quite the mixed flock myself.
  6. Thejperez

    Thejperez Crowing

    Oct 7, 2014
    The pecking order happens in any flock. I have mixed breeds and bantams together right now and get along well.

    Here's part of my flock.

    Bantam frizzled Cochin cockerel.
    Photo Editor-20190121_123907.jpg
    Silver duckwing OEGB
    Photo Editor-20190121_124146.jpg mixed breed. Probably EE/black copper marans. Photo Editor-20190120_175314.jpg
  7. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

    Sep 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    My first flock was Light Brahmas and they have got along just fine.
    I have seen many new chicken owners get a few different breeds of chickens. Plymouth Rocks and Rhode Island Reds tend to be very bossy towards other breeds in a mixed flock.
    Depending on how many birds you are looking to get you should get a few white egg layers, some brown egg layers, and some Easter Eggers for blue and green eggs. You’ll have a nice colorful flock and egg basket.
  8. Eggscaping

    Eggscaping Enjoying Life!

    Dec 4, 2018
    Portland, Oregon
    Farmgirl1878 and HuffleClaw like this.
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    I personally like a mixed flock - makes it easier to ID individual birds, keep track of their egg laying, and can make for a more interesting egg basket. Mixing different sizes of birds can sometimes cause bullying issues, but you can get bullying issues even with all identical looking birds, so there's no guarantee of that not happening no matter what birds you go with.
  10. Criticalicious

    Criticalicious Songster

    Feb 25, 2017
    New Market, VA
    It depends on what you want them for. If you want a colorful egg basket, then get mixed breeds. Get the chicks at the same time and raise them together, so they get along better. If you want to breed to a standard of perfection (SOP) of a specific breed or to keep a rare breed in existence or if you like a particular breed or egg color over others, that's another story.

    I would recommend that if you choose to mix breeds in one flock, try to get breeds that are at least somewhat similar in appearance or physical traits and especially be sure they are hardy in your local climate. For example, choose all clean legged or all feather-legged, because if you mix those, the odd-ball may get picked on for being too weird. Feather-caps like polish may have trouble seeing and get picked on more as well.

    Another thing to consider is, if you mix breeds, then you don't get to see the variety of personalities that can come out even within a single breed flock. And if you decide to breed, the chicks may be barnyard mysteries. Many people are OK with that too. Eggs are eggs!
  11. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Ive had a few special birds, but they are no more or less likely in either a mixed or single breed flock....
    Aceoky, DobieLover, puffypoo and 2 others like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: