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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well just something better than a mix of Multiple breeds. A breed that I can mix with reds and have great chicks.
 

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Well just something better than a mix of Multiple breeds. A breed that I can mix with reds and have great chicks.
What would the chicks be used for? Meat, eggs, dual purpose, pet? Are there any specific traits you would like to get from the cross?
 

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New Hampshires make a good mix with RIRs...some folks breed the two and call them Utility Reds.... and also White Rocks would be a good mix, which will give them a heavier build but still retain the good laying traits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mostly laying is what I'd like. I'm incubating some RIR's so I may not need to get another breed but I just wanted to know what everyone thought was a good breed to mix. Thank you for your Input!
 

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Mostly laying is what I'd like. I'm incubating some RIR's so I may not need to get another breed but I just wanted to know what everyone thought was a good breed to mix. Thank you for your Input!
(White) leghorns would increase value as a layer
 

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Are you needing layer birds for selling of eggs or just for family use? Do you intend to keep them for longer than 2 years or will you incubate a new flock as replacements for egg production?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bee said:
Are you needing layer birds for selling of eggs or just for family use? Do you intend to keep them for longer than 2 years or will you incubate a new flock as replacements for egg production?
Well I don't know I haven't thought about replacements.. I just wanted to have enough eggs so that I can sell the eggs
 

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RIRs burn out in a couple of years and lose their rate of lay progressively after that point, so if profit is the main goal, you will need to replace them after a couple of years to keep up your egg production.

If that is your goal, Leghorns would be another breed to get, though they have white eggs, so you'd have to take that into consideration if you were wanting only brown eggs.

If wanting brown eggs and high production, you might consider red or black production breeds that also burn out on laying at about 1 1/2 to 2 yrs of age~pretty much the same as what you now have.

If you want sustainable flock options, you might consider breeds that don't lay quite as stellar~still great, mind you~ but won't burn out as soon and won't develop laying issues as frequently, such as Black Australorps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bee said:
RIRs burn out in a couple of years and lose their rate of lay progressively after that point, so if profit is the main goal, you will need to replace them after a couple of years to keep up your egg production.

If that is your goal, Leghorns would be another breed to get, though they have white eggs, so you'd have to take that into consideration if you were wanting only brown eggs.

If wanting brown eggs and high production, you might consider red or black production breeds that also burn out on laying at about 1 1/2 to 2 yrs of age~pretty much the same as what you now have.

If you want sustainable flock options, you might consider breeds that don't lay quite as stellar~still great, mind you~ but won't burn out as soon and won't develop laying issues as frequently, such as Black Australorps.
Thank you for that! Is there a big difference in brown and white eggs?
 

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Not really, but people seem to like the brown eggs when they buy from a private individual because they equate brown eggs with all natural, farm raised food. :rolleyes:
 

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Personally, before I owned chickens I enjoyed buying a mixed dozen. Brown green and a few white. I'm not sure why, but they just looked prettier! Most folks who buy from a farm just enjoy the fact that they aren't pumped out in some factory upon layers and layers of hens:) just my opinion. I have have best luck with the white rock or Colombian rocks. I swear they take a break every 8 days or so. Many many white eggs and they taste just as good as the brown! If you really want to sell some eggs... People love the chocolate eggs. I have some marans and I will say that the mixed dozen looks amazing with the colors. I'm going to cross the Americana with the maran and get some olive eggers this next spring. Only for my purpose. Good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jennifer said:
Personally, before I owned chickens I enjoyed buying a mixed dozen. Brown green and a few white. I'm not sure why, but they just looked prettier! Most folks who buy from a farm just enjoy the fact that they aren't pumped out in some factory upon layers and layers of hens:) just my opinion. I have have best luck with the white rock or Colombian rocks. I swear they take a break every 8 days or so. Many many white eggs and they taste just as good as the brown! If you really want to sell some eggs... People love the chocolate eggs. I have some marans and I will say that the mixed dozen looks amazing with the colors. I'm going to cross the Americana with the maran and get some olive eggers this next spring. Only for my purpose. Good luck!!!
I understand that! I like seeing brown eggs everyday! Are marans a good breed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bee said:
RIRs burn out in a couple of years and lose their rate of lay progressively after that point, so if profit is the main goal, you will need to replace them after a couple of years to keep up your egg production.

If that is your goal, Leghorns would be another breed to get, though they have white eggs, so you'd have to take that into consideration if you were wanting only brown eggs.

If wanting brown eggs and high production, you might consider red or black production breeds that also burn out on laying at about 1 1/2 to 2 yrs of age~pretty much the same as what you now have.

If you want sustainable flock options, you might consider breeds that don't lay quite as stellar~still great, mind you~ but won't burn out as soon and won't develop laying issues as frequently, such as Black Australorps.
What are some breeds you suggest having for laying and meat
 

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What are some breeds you suggest having for laying and meat
For laying and meat, my favorites have always been White Rocks. I still have 6 yr old hens of that breed laying every day or every other day in peak laying season. They've been the most hardy, the heaviest, the thriftiest on feed, best on free range and best laying of any true DP I've ever had. They are very calm and regal...can't say enough about that breed. No down side.

Some really like the Buckeyes, though I've never tried them..I wouldn't mind trying them out just to see if they lay up to par.

Not as heavy for meat but still have excellent traits in all the areas I value are Black Australorps. They are truly laying machines but won't burn out early, are hardy to the max and good for any kind of flock goals.

Another breed to consider, though I've never had them..but have heard all good things, is the standard Cochin.

I have heritage Delawares and they are truly a meaty DP bird, are said to lay very well...but I only kept a a few of them to try for laying quality(they are only 3 mo. old currently) because the feed conversion is so poor...they eat like BOs or even CX. If they eat too much, it doesn't matter how well they lay...they can't earn their feed back.
 

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Some really like the Buckeyes, though I've never tried them..I wouldn't mind trying them out just to see if they lay up to par.
Buckeyes are an excellent choice to cross with RIR's....I currently raise Buckeyes almost exclusively and used to breed and raise RIR's! One thing about egg laying, not only is higher yield or greater egg production breed specific it can also be different from different lines within the same breed. For example I know folks who have purchased hatchery Buckeyes and had poor egg layers....I have worked on my line of Buckeyes to improve their egg laying ability for over a decade now. My Buckeye pullets start laying around 18-22 weeks of age and are very good brown egg layers these days!

When making a cross you need to have a "plan" or "goal" in mind....for example I cross my Buckeyes with Dark Cornish (BDC, as I call it!) to produce a faster growing "meat" bird. The cockerels are outstanding meat producers as early as 16 weeks of age where a "pure" Buckeye might take 22-24 weeks to reach the same weight! The taste of the meat is also excellent and has a slightly different texture than the "pure" bred Buckeye. My goal was faster growth (hybrid vigor) and a product that was not too tough and very tasty....you might say I achieved that with the BDC cross! Just something to keep in mind.... :)
 
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