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Crossing Breeds

Spiro, OK(Zone 7a)

I'm not sure how the whole chicken breeding thing works. I have four roosters - three are buff orpingtons the other is an unknown banty type (I've attached his picture). I have two banty hens, both of which are mega broody right now. One is a gray cochin looking one, the other, I have no idea. Some have said Welsummer? (sp) Anyway, can you take a rooster and a hen that are not the same breed and mate them? The banty roo actually has two "girlfriends" - I can tell because of the bare spots above their tails on their backs. They are full-sized hens! (White leghorn and silver penciled Wyandotte). Can a banty cross with a standard hen? What about the Buff Os? I only have one Buff O hen, and I was thinking of putting her and another hen in with one of the B.O. roos, but again, I don't know if that will work! I've got a huge mix of hens. Barred Rocks, Brown and White Leghorns, one Americauna, RIRs, Sex Links and one Polish Crested. There are some that I have no clue what they are (I got them as banded pullets at Atwoods (a farm store). Advice?

Thumbnail by mevnmart
Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

Yes, you can breed different breeds. It is totally possible for a bantam roo to breed with a full sized hen. Your good lookin lil roo pictured looks like an Old English Game to me.. and they can be pretty small.. But trust me, they can get the deed done...
You won't know if it will work to put any of the hens with a roo till you try it. Sometimes, even a roo and hen of the same breed will not accept eachother.. I guess it's chemistry.. LOL
It's hard to give advice unless you have a particular goal you are trying to reach.. What is it YOU want? If you want more BO babiez, try putting them together... it may or may not work... What you do is all up to you.. it's trial and error.. and FUN!

Spiro, OK(Zone 7a)

I'm of two minds about what my goals would be. We're working toward getting our farm close to 100% self-sustaining, and since the B.O. are such a nice size dual purpose, they'd be preferable for meat birds (I refuse to raise those poor things that get too heavy for their own legs!). Then, I'm also interested in selling hatching eggs online, but I'm not sure there'd be much of a market for cross-bred breeds. Our flock isn't really earning us anything when you take into account the winter months when only a handful of them keep laying. Their feed is costing anywhere from $80-100 a month and with me just working a part time job (all I can find), them "earning their keep" would be nice.

My main concern about the hatching eggs is that I'd have no clue whether they were fertile or not! I wouldn't want to sell someone a lot of dud eggs. Maybe there's a way to tell?

Thanks for the info. Oh, and if "Rooster" (the banty) fertilizes a White Leghorn's eggs, will the chicks be banty, full size, or somewhere in between?

Ferndale, WA

Mevnmart, ZZ's is right on, and as far asa banty breeding with a standard, the offspring could go either way or inbetween. Same as midget people whose offspring is sometimes full sized rather than midget. You can't know until it's done.

Mevnmart those broilers that are two heavy for their leggs, well if you let them free range you don't have that problem as their leggs get to excerise. It's when their penned and get any excercise that have the weight proble...Hay

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

I just re-homed two roosters that were half bantam, and they were bigger than my Ameracauna and Turken roos. I know they were half banty because they had white earlobes, and my only white eared are White Faced Black Spanish Bantams.

For hatching eggs I doubt there'd be much market for anything but full bred. For people to pay for eggs+shipping, knowing that the hatch rate will probably be middlin', they probably want something specific. I know that the only time I've considered buying hatching eggs by mail is when I wanted really nice examples of a breed I couldn't find locally.

Can't hurt to offer, though, I guess. You might have better luck offering locally on something like Craig's list.

I do have to admit that I'm very fond of my mixed breeds. I have four growing up now, and they're just beginning to get their coloring. Even that can change before they're full grown, so it
s great fun:)

Tamworth, NH(Zone 4b)

I don't think there's anything wrong with cross breeding, as long as you're honest about what you're selling. Maybe you'll create a good utility bird for your farm, and that would be perfect. But it'll take some trial and error.

Some people don't care about purebred or not, if they lay well and are a good size for eating, they're happy.

We have a Speckled Sussex rooster, and hens that are a variety of breeds - gold laced Wyandotte, Americauna, Barred Rock, NH Red, and soon we'll have Buff Brahmas, Buff Orpingtons, more Americaunas, and Partridge Rocks to add into the mix.

I'd really like to see what a Speckled Sussex-Buff Orpington cross would look like! :)

I agree with Hay about the broiler chicks. We free ranged ours and had some of them going to about 11-12 weeks before I was able to get them all butchered, and they had no problems. They are just a cross between a white Plymouth Rock and a Cornish, that happens to make a bird that has a really really good feed conversion rate! We did take the food away around 7pm at night, and put it out again in the morning. That helps a lot to keep them from getting too big too quickly.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

There are some fantastic birds that are not purebred.. I have no problem with that either, but if you are going to sell online, you can't make money on hatching eggs that are not purebred... You could do it as a hobby I'd guess... but unless you live REAL close to the post office, and you have a LOT of eggs to offer, you won't get enough $ to make it worth it.. Packing and shipping eggs is a pain. Dealing with customers who complain, is a pain... etc. There are "barnyard mix" eggs on ebay all the time for less than $5. so do you want to do all that work for $5. with today's gas prices? (unless you can walk to the post office) I hate to rain on someone's parade, but if you are informed before hand, you won't feel like such a failure and wonder what you are doing wrong if it doesn't work out.. Least, that's my take on it..

If I were raising a dual purpose bird... it would be Marans...Hands down the best meat if you like dark meat that is...

Richmond, TX

Catmad, I hope you make the crosses and post pictures of the results. I'm curious about the outcome.

Spiro, OK(Zone 7a)

I'm not a big fan of dark meat, though my family prefers it. My main thought on the cross breeding wasn't for selling - I was thinking of the Buff Orpingtons when I mentioned that. I don't have a registered lineage on them, but they are siblings too, so I don't know how important that is. It was more a curiosity factor of how it worked. That's good to know about the cornish cross though - they would be free range. I understand they don't roost though? Or is that only if and when they get too fat?

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Porkpal, I think it was gallesfarm that was making an intentional Speckled Sussex/Buff Orpington cross :)
My mixes are much less controlled *g*. I will try to get some pictures and post them, and we'll see if they can be identified. I know what some of them are, but others??

Richmond, TX

I love guessing games!

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

remember that all 'breeds' started out as cross breeding. Maybe in a few decades there will be a breed called "Mevnmart"!

Your rooster looks like a serama. Is it real small?

We have a big wyandotte and a big red/brown leghorn hen (amongst others). I have seen our little frizzle rooster (before he died) doing his thing and I'm hoping some of the eggs we're hatching now are his offspring.

As far as fertile or not, you can see a little 'seed' on the yolk if you crack one for breakfast. If one is fertile, at least 90% of them should be if you leave the rooster in there. When people/I buy hatching eggs, they/I expect a few won't hatch anyway.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

You know what? I think your bantam is a Dutch Bantam.. If it is a hatchery bird, chances are good it is a Dutch. The blue legs and white earlobes make me think this..

If it's a serama, it's got a reeealy long back.. You probably wouldn't get a serama from a hatchery..

Here is a pic of one of the Dutch Bantams I had once..

Thumbnail by ZZsBabiez
Spiro, OK(Zone 7a)

Do they usually have green feathers? Because he's entirely black and white. That roo does look similar though.

And yes, he's quite small. I'd say maybe 7 inches tall - about 3 times the size of a robin maybe?

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

The green, (could be purple and blue are just the sheen on black feathers..) He was in the sun when photographed, and that often happens in the sun.. black feathers shimmer beautiful colors.

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