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Old 02/11/12, 04:51 PM
Phillip's Avatar  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: TX
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Mixed Breed Chickens

Some of the best chickens I've been around were mixed breed. They seem to be better foragers, better mothers, and lay more eggs then their parent breed alone. Not to mention they can look quite nice too. One of my favorites is Rhode Island Red crossed with Barred Rocks.

Does anyone know what makes some good crosses?

Anyone got photos of your mixed breeds / what the parent breeds were? Or some second or third generation birds hatched from mixed breeds?
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Old 02/11/12, 07:07 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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I agree with you about the mixed breeds. I have eggs in the incubator right now that have either an Americauna or mixed breed (white leghorn and americauna) rooster for the father, and the mothers are white leghorn, rhode island red, black australorp or americauna.

I don't have second or third generation yet...but here are a couple pics of the first generation crosses.

Mixed Breed Chickens - Poultry

and one of the eggs in my incubator...

I have more pics on my blog if you are interested in checking them out.

Crossing a Rhode Island Red roo with a Barred Rock hen gives you a Black Star sexlink I think.

I like my Amicauna mixed with the Rhode Island Red and the White Leghorn. I have 2 young pullets that started laying at 4.5 months and 5 months that are these mixes.
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Old 02/11/12, 07:37 PM
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I have some experimental eggs in the incubator now.
10 more days to go.
I will wait until I see what hatches before trying to explain them.
Might not have anything to explain.
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Old 02/12/12, 12:36 PM
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By Golly, if that hen in the first picture ever hatches that egg she is setting on, be sure and post a picture of the chick!! LOL
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Old 02/13/12, 05:28 PM
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I have some Americana mixes who just hatched over the past few days. I am wondering what type of hens and roosters they will make. I do have an Americana/RIR mix who is a pretty pretty girl with big red muffs and lays me HUGE olive colored eggs. I wouldn't trade her for anything.
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Old 02/13/12, 05:30 PM
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I'm going to 'inject' a little Cochin blood into my New Hampshire Red flock, hoping to add a little broodiness to them.
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Old 02/13/12, 06:10 PM
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Some of our best hens came from stock that had game hen mix somewhere in their line. They were a tad bit smaller but we used them as layers. One of our most protective roosters came from the same stock.
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Old 02/14/12, 04:53 PM
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I love the Buckeye x EE mix. Large eggs and pretty birds - and good gentle personalities.
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Old 02/14/12, 05:32 PM
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One has to keep in mind that the best mixed breeds are the F1 generation of cross breeds. For those that aren't familiar with breeding....taking 2 different pure breeds and mating them creates hybrids....the first mating produces chicks with the most vigor. If you take one of those pullets and breed it back to the same pure breed rooster as before and save one of those pullets each year and breed that to the same pure breed roo as before for eight generations it will breed true again...that's called grading...just sayin, in case someone cares.

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Old 02/15/12, 08:41 AM
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That's interesting, thanks for posting that!
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Old 02/15/12, 01:06 PM
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about half of ours are mixes. I have about 7 that are 1/2 white wyandotte (by americauna, buff orphs and the jersey giant crosses) and 5 that are half jersey giant (by americuana, buff orphs and dark cornish) I love the mixes, they are really good mamas and sitters. They lay well and are quite hardy
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Old 02/15/12, 03:18 PM
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We have a broody hen working on some natural mixes right now!
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Old 02/16/12, 08:37 PM
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I have had a real mix of birds for past several years. I started with a mixed bag from McMurry of 25 heavy hens with 5 different breeds, I bred them to a RIR Roo and brd those Hens to an Americana Roo and bred those hens to 3 different Americana Roos for and then bred those to a White Rock\RIR crossed Roo. And finally The Hens I have this year were bred to Black Australorp Roos. I get all different color eggs from light blue to dark green with brown spots and all shades of brown. I keep 3 Roos with about 35 hens and cull and replace 1 or 2 Roo's each year. And rotate Hens every other year. We process and eat the extras. Someday I may achieve my own specialty breed of Mutants.

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Old 02/16/12, 08:48 PM
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Five more days to go before some of my experimental chicks hatch.
I am not expecting a very good hatch.
Will be satisfied with a step in the direction I want to go, no matter how small.
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Old 02/16/12, 10:02 PM
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started out with a mixture of heavy breeds and a barred rock rooster. I wll every year buy trade to get some new blood into my flock last year There was a tro of eastereggers the year before some brown leggerns the year before a big RIRed rooster and some new hampshire hens .This keeps my flock colorful and my eggs colorful they sell very well at the market .I hatch a lot of my own eggs and try to eat or sell the almost all the roosters my hens are big and good layers my mistake was the legern blood as it knocked the size of my rooster crop down a notch but they have been weeded out this years roosters are RIred x Americona to add size and color .I'm careful not to get any banty or game blood so as not to slow down the laying or hurt the size any more
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Old 02/17/12, 12:36 AM
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Last year we had a clutch from our Black Americauna rooster and a Black Copper Marans hen. It was a hidden clutch that only had 5 eggs hatch with one pullet. The pullet laid her first egg yesterday. It is an amazing dark camouflage green egg. We're hoping it wasn't a fluke and we'll be getting 6 of those a week this year.
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Old 02/17/12, 10:25 AM
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DenMacII, you have bred your first Olive-Egger. They seem to be all the rage around here. Everyone is breeding for them.

From what I hear, the extra roosters and old hens are very flavorful meat birds as well.
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Old 02/17/12, 10:43 AM
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Not real sure but the olive eggs is easy to breed for. Take a blue egger and mix in a brown egger. I have one but she is a hatchery bird and I am not sure of the mixture.
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Old 02/20/12, 12:15 AM
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Okay. I'll bite.

Cross a Gold Laced Wyandotte over anything and you're bound to get a colorful flock. Here's one of our sires - GL Wyandotte/Americana X:

Mixed Breed Chickens - Poultry

Here's our second in command - Maran/LangshanX.

Mixed Breed Chickens - Poultry

The nice thing about this duo is that thanks to the different combs and those cheeky puffs, we can nearly always tell who's the daddy!

Here are their progeny.

Mixed Breed Chickens - Poultry This is one weird looking bird. Easy to see that gold lacing coming through, but that thick feathered neck. Strange.

"Embroidered Gray Velvet" (Mum was a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte), and "Cheeze Puff" - (Mum is a bantam Buff Cochin).

Mixed Breed Chickens - Poultry

'Sequin & Gold Lamay" - Looks a lot like her sister, but more gold. Absolutely shimmers in the sunshine. Note that pea comb too.
Mixed Breed Chickens - Poultry

On the Langshan side of things, here's a real beauty. Savvy too. He'd have gone to the soup pot months ago, but I can't catch him, and he seems to know when I have it in mind! Given his comb and that upright carriage, I'm pretty sure he's got the Langshan genetics (though he's not long legged).

Mixed Breed Chickens - Poultry

Here he is with Dad (and a junior sis).

Mixed Breed Chickens - Poultry

My Langshan/Maran cross came from Chickenista. Hefty, hearty, good layers of large, dark eggs and great mothers! The GLW/Americana cross is the better of the two males for taking care of his flock (posting food, alarming against predators) but he's also the lead roo - and our Langshan fellow is a cripple who grew up compromised, so not sure how he would have performed normally. The Americana fellow adds A LOT to the bulk of his progeny. We recently butchered some 6 month old Minorca crosses he sired. The hen was natually a small breed, but thanks to his genetics, the offspring were plump for their size - weighing in over 3 lbs. Not bad for a Minorca cross, so I'm happy to have him as a lead roo, and if I were to recommend a roo for meat offspring, I might suggest the Americana based on our experience.

Mixed Breed Chickens - Poultry
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Last edited by LFRJ; 02/20/12 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 02/20/12, 02:32 AM
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Those are all good looking chickens.
I have 3 breeds only, all dull looking compared to those pictured, and I've mixed the marans roo with ameraucanas to get olive eggers.
I've also mixed the marans roo with black australorps and did get some black babies with leg feathers. They lay a pinkish colored egg.
My marans hens are laying a darker brown egg but not very dark so I'm sure these are already mixed with australorp too.
The ameraucanas are still breeding true and lay nice blue eggs, so I also have a nice color variety in my cartons.
Nice big carcases when butchered at 12 weeks and great egg layers in the winter.

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