To mix or not to mix....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by akchick76, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. akchick76

    akchick76 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personal opinion: Is it "better" to get 15-20 of the same breed or to get a mix of different breeds at the same age? Does it make a difference in the way they are raised? I am planning on getting 3-4 chicks of 3-4 different breeds next weekend for a total of about 15 birds. Do they grow better with a flock of their own breed? Will having a mixed flock make a difference in development? I am wanting a variety of plummage and eggs, mainly for backyard enjoyment. Not planning on breeding anytime soon, not raising them for meat either.

    Variety is the spice of life.
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I have always had mixed flocks just because there is no way I could ever limit my addiction to only one breed! If you raise them together they will be fine. My flocks are a mix of breeds of standards with bantams mixed in as well, all one big happy family.
     
  3. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My personal opinion and experience: The breed is not important....size and age are. I would suggest you get large fowl or bantams to keep together, and similar ages worked best for me. I know folks who have kept bantams and LF together successfully, I'm just not one of them. They tend to pick on the smaller, more timid birds. Go for the variety pack--much more fun!
    The funny thing is, my breeds still segregate themselves, the Buckeyes all hang together when they're out free ranging, as do the BLRW, etc. Have fun and go for the gusto!
     
  4. akchick76

    akchick76 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am planning on Barred Rocks, B.O., and Ameraucanas, and possibly bantam cochin. Now I'm thinking about some marans, but I'm afraid the menagerie is getting a little big for my first time out. I just want them all and am having a hard time controlling myself [​IMG]
     
  5. wastintime202

    wastintime202 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Love your avatar! I started with two hens of four breeds. It has worked well for me and of course I picked my favorites of those breeds. We never have enough and so this spring I plan on adding two more of two different breeds and two more barred rocks. We personally like the brown egg layers but I do have three Ameraucanas and love the greenish eggs.
     
  6. Cockle-Dood

    Cockle-Dood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think i asked this same question when i first started looking...and i belive was thinging about getting a flock of striaght leghorns...im kinda glad i ventured away from that idea, nothing aginst the leghorns, just so much more pleased with what i have.

    What i did was kinda make a list of my top 5 or 6 breeds that i would like and since i dont like to mail order i based it off the avaibility at my local feed store. in my brooder right now are 3 barred rocks, 3 silver laced wyandottes, 3 black australorps, 3 polish, 2 EE's and 1 silkie!

    I would agree in sticking with either bantam or LF per brooder...started with 2 silkie chicks but i think one got trampled during a treat time in the brooder (my bad...i felt horrible, but live and learn). Pick what you like...how ever many you like...and enjoy, they dont dissappoint!
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Personally I'd stay away from the bantam Cochin. Not as a breed but more wary of overall flock fun and health (gettin'-alonged-tageh-tha-ness). Many bantams have a Napoleon type complex and do quite well with pecking order with standard size but I'd think Cochin (and this is only from reading and not personal experience) would not be one of those. And even with the bantams that can co-mingle with larger I'd think they'd be stressed a lot of the time. It's like a fish tank of cichlids and you put an African in with the bigger South Americans...it finds it's place in pecking order or corner of pen/tank but achieves a stress filled life constantly maintaining it.

    Above is probably an overstatement- I'd certainly go with Marans in lieu of bantam for a nice egg basket and general flock health co-mingling.
     
  8. Cockle-Dood

    Cockle-Dood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    bantam cochins are big time broodies too...if your not looking to breed for a while they will seem to bug you more than benefit, but if you wanna hatch eggs silkies and cohins are your best friend!
     
  9. akchick76

    akchick76 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great advice everyone!! Actually what drew me to cochin was being good at going broody and I found some mille fleurs. Who could really say no to those colors? Maybe next year. The marans would come from a different breeder and my only concern there is coodies from another farm. Everything is local, not shipping them up to Alaska, trying to only buy local, so selection is a little limited. So far I am only getting chicks from two breeders.
     
  10. Cockle-Dood

    Cockle-Dood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if your buying them as chicks, you may be able to get them before they are exposed to the "coodies" and as long as they are all similar in age they should mingle just fine
     

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