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Thinking about a mixed breed flock-need any helpful advice

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by roni65gt, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. roni65gt

    roni65gt New Egg

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    Mar 3, 2014
    I am in the planning stage of building a new coop and starting over. I used to raise only barred rock, have not had experience with other breeds. I would like to have a mixed breed flock for the beauty, colorful eggs, and some for meat. Any advice from someone with experience would be greatly appreciated. I am going to start with chicks when I get the coop done. Example- are there breeds that should never be together, and are there breeds that are great together. Definitely will want a couple Rocks. But need advice on what other breeds would fit my needs.
    Thank you for your time! Roni
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    As long as you stay with all heavy/dual purpose or production breeds, you'll be fine. Pretty much the only issue is when folks try to add ornamental breeds like polish or silkies. The breeds that are noticably different or sight impaired or so incredibly docile can have difficulties being part of a large bird flock.

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    As you can see, I'm a fan of mixed breed flocks--at the time of this photo I have Rocks, Wyandottes,
    sussex, EE, Welsummers, hatchery Red, red sex link, and then of course the mixed of those breeds.

    Key for any flock is making sure you have lots of space for them. Plan for a minimum of 4 square feet per bird in a coop, and 10 feet per bird in an outdoor run. Being able to get away from each other will make most any flock more harmonious.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. akelley

    akelley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have wyandottes and easter eggers together with no problems. I'm adding speckled sussex next week.

    I processed my extra roosters and got about a 3Lb dressed bird from each, so these breeds do pretty well from a dual purpose standpoint. If you're looking for a colorful egg basket, look at EEs for blue/green eggs, and marans and welsummers (I think) for dark brown.

    Have fun building a diverse flock!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. jc12551

    jc12551 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have/had cuckoo Marans, Dominiques, EE's, buff Orpingtons, black Australorps, and sex links together free ranging. The BA's are on the bottom of the pecking order, the BO's were predator magnets and are all gone now, the Marans and Doms have been great foragers, the EE's basically went feral on me. The different red sex links are younger and stay to themselves, but they forage far and wide through the woods while being guarded by bantam cochin roosters!

    You could order something like an all heavy rainbow special from a hatchery and get some different shades of brown, maybe some EE's, and then add a few dark layers.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. CarolinaHen

    CarolinaHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have Polish, Silkies, Black Australorp, LF Brahmas, and Easter Eggers all together. I am extremely particular about which birds I keep since I have such a huge difference in sizes with my birds. The Silkies barely come up to the Brahma's hocks! They all get along together and no one gets picked on. I think this only works because my Silkies and Polish are my broody hens and raise the younger birds. It is quite comical to watch a young Brahma cockerel run away from a tiny Silkie :)
     
  6. roni65gt

    roni65gt New Egg

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    Thank you all for the advice. Glad to know my thinking on getting birds that would be about the same size was on the right track. Happy to know it can be done successfully. Thank you all for the advice!
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  7. jc12551

    jc12551 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have bantam cochins and silkies that raise my big babies and it is hilarious to watch! I used to have these tiny little Japanese bantams in with my standard chickens and they terrified my standards!
     

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