The flock. Mixed or all the same?

Eggscaping

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In reading, I've seen it said that in a mixed flock, sometimes the different breeds don't get along...one 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.
 

Kale Chips

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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!).
 

HuffleClaw

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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!
 

sylviethecochin

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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.
 

Brahma Chicken5000

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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.
 

rosemarythyme

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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.
 

Criticalicious

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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!
 

Ol Grey Mare

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