Like numerous hen keepers, you would possibly need to embrace a wide range of breeds in your yard flock. Possibly you stay up for gathering baskets full of colourful eggs. Or, relatively than all one breed of the identical shade and kind, you favor a extra fascinating number of colours, sizes, and personalities. Or possibly you merely have hassle selecting only one breed. To efficiently combine completely different hen breeds in a single flock you should know one thing concerning the traits of every breed you select.
The very first thing to search for is breeds with related temperaments. Many breeds are docile, others are extra assertive. Some docile breeds are typically simply bullied by the extra assertive breeds.
Dimension issues to a sure extent, however not as a lot as temperament. A feisty small breed could also be an excessive amount of for a bigger however extra tranquil breed. However, chickens of vastly completely different sizes might get alongside simply advantageous if all are comparatively serene. The larger concern could be to ensure all sizes are in a position to entry the feeders and drinkers.
Local weather adaptability is one other function to contemplate. Some breeds are extra tolerant of heat climate, others do higher in chilly climate. A number of are versatile all-climate breeds. Selecting breeds that simply adapt to related climate situations ends in a extra cohesive flock.
In case your flock consists of solely hens, you’ve a bit extra latitude in breed choice. Hens are typically much less aggressive than roosters, however not all the time. When mixing breeds of various temperaments in a single flock, maintain a watchful eye and be ready to step in ought to conflicts happen.
The entire variety of chickens in your flock may also decide, to some extent, how readily the completely different breeds get alone. Hen social construction dictates that it takes a minimum of three chickens to make a flock. So, relying on the general measurement of your flock, and the full variety of chickens concerned, you’d be clever to incorporate a minimum of three of every breed to allow them to lean on one another for consolation and assist.
Why does that matter? As a result of chickens (like human children) have a tendency to select on a person that appears completely different from all the remaining. Take, for instance, a single crested hen blended with flock of non-crested breeds. Beards and feathered legs additionally draw consideration. So does plumage shade, if all of the chickens within the flock are the identical shade aside from one.
However, if you’d like numerous selection in a small flock of, say, lower than a dozen chickens, you would possibly embrace simply considered one of every breed. That manner no explicit hen will stand out as being completely different from all of the others.
Chilly hardy breeds which are docile and simply bullied get alongside properly collectively. Examples are:
Docile all-climate breeds that match this combine embrace:
Chilly hardy breeds which are equally docile and would do properly in the identical combine embrace:
Nonetheless, these breeds are usually not as simply bullied and subsequently would extra readily stand as much as chickens that are typically a little bit extra assertive. Along with mixing properly with strictly docile breeds, additionally they would combine properly with breeds which are typically docile however can get a little bit pushy. For instance:
Tougher to establish are warmth tolerate breeds which are docile sufficient for a blended flock. Along with the all-climate breeds, the few warmth tolerant breeds that come to thoughts are:
Amongst crested chickens, docile warmth tolerant breeds embrace:
All-climate crested breeds which are a bit extra assertive are:
Protecting the Peace
Though you’ll see some extent of peck-order jostling in any flock of chickens, by choosing the correct mix of breeds your chickens ought to get alongside properly with minimal strife. Additionally useful is a wealthy atmosphere with loads of area to let the extra timid chickens discover peaceable locations away from the extra lively birds.
And that’s as we speak’s information from the Cackle Coop.
Gail Damerow is the creator of Storey’s Information to Elevating Chickens.