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mixing chicken breeds

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:40 pm
by dermers
Hi guys, I have a question about chicken breeds.. I've bought myself 36 hatching eggs which are currently in an incubator and are due to hatch in about 2 weeks. There's a few varieties in there, French Marans, Cuckoo Marans, Black Silkies, Rhode Island Red, Black Orpington, Buff Orpington and Welsummers. When they hatch, I'm planning on keeping the breeds separate, getting cockerels from different breeders and breed my own hens from the 'hopefully' fertile eggs.
My question is about the French and Cuckoo Marans, should I keep them separate or put them all together? Same with the Orpingtons, will I get either Buff or Black from the eggs or will the offspring be a hybrid mixture of the two?
Any advice anyone can give me would be most appreciated.
Nick D. :)

Re: mixing chicken breeds

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:31 pm
by trappa
I started off with similar good intentions too. I had marans and light sussex but simply couldnt seperate them with any success so i ended up with them all together. :dontknow:
We raised about a dozen chicks this year in three seperate occasions. They obviously were a mix of breeds but i didnt mind in the end. I will leave the pure breeding to someone else and simply enjoy the numerous eggs. :iconbiggrin:

Re: mixing chicken breeds

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:17 pm
by Henwoman
My hens too are all in together and the resulting chicks are interesting and it's fascinating to watch what colour chick emerges from the incubated eggs. They all still lay beautiful eggs.

Re: mixing chicken breeds

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:59 pm
by Somnophore
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Re: mixing chicken breeds

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:00 pm
by Somnophore
I agree, it's not really practicable or desirable to keep them apart. The orpigtons make great broody hens for any eggs.

Re: mixing chicken breeds

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:20 pm
by darkbrowneggs
dermers wrote:Hi guys, I have a question about chicken breeds.. I've bought myself 36 hatching eggs which are currently in an incubator and are due to hatch in about 2 weeks. There's a few varieties in there, French Marans, Cuckoo Marans, Black Silkies, Rhode Island Red, Black Orpington, Buff Orpington and Welsummers. When they hatch, I'm planning on keeping the breeds separate, getting cockerels from different breeders and breed my own hens from the 'hopefully' fertile eggs.
My question is about the French and Cuckoo Marans, should I keep them separate or put them all together? Same with the Orpingtons, will I get either Buff or Black from the eggs or will the offspring be a hybrid mixture of the two?
Any advice anyone can give me would be most appreciated.
Nick D. :)


English clean legged Cuckoo Marans are (or should be) quite different to the French Marans, so if you are intending to keep purebreeds then these two will need to be kept separate You will need a lot of pens to keep them all separate once they have reached breeding age, but you can certainly rear them all together till then as long as you can identify which is which.

Don't forget the sexually mature male birds may try to fight each other, even through the wires of pens, which can lead to some nasty injuries.

Anyway it sounds as you are going to have lots of fun with them. Enjoy :iconbiggrin:

Re: mixing chicken breeds

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:55 pm
by HOMER
First off mate,
You will not need to get any Cock birds, You will be hatching them, It works out somthing like 50%-70% of what you hatch will be Cocks and the Rest will be hens. Now This is not cast In stone.
I have just given a home to 4 chicks from the kids school, They had 11 eggs, 10 Hatched, 6 hens and 4 cocks, So with them It was the other way around. So not sact In stone.
Are to going to be able to keep the Number of boy's that you may hatch ? or do you have plan In place for them ?

If you are going to breed Pure breeds then you will have to keep the breeds apart. So you will need quite a few pens.

Rough you should aim for one Boy to every 8 ish hens In a pen.

If you are not worried about breeding pure, Then there Is no need to keep any of them apart.

I have a mixed flocks t the moment. Not a large a number as you. But the breeds run together fine. And many people that Just keep hens for Pets and Eggs have mixed flocks.

Good Luck.

Re: mixing chicken breeds

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:00 pm
by HOMER
Sorry only just seen how old this thread is,

Hope the poster got on well with there hens, And has had many a happy hour with them as I have with mine.

Re: mixing chicken breeds

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:39 am
by Thurston Garden
Would it be possible to keep the hens all together and just put them in with the corresponding cock for a period of time until there were enough fertile pure eggs? The eggs could then go under what ever broody hen was available or in an incubator?

Keeping them separate all the time would meen loads of hen runs and hen houses all of which need to be bought or made and cleaned out. If it were me, I might keep the hens together and have a breeding run/house and a broody box/run. Not sure how you would deal with having a cock for each breed through. More thought required on my part lol