“So how many do you have now?” People ask when I tell them I have chickens. “Umm, 13.” I reply.
Usually I don’t get a weird look, but every now and then I can only imagine what that person is thinking. Yes, I am a crazy chicken lady. No, you can never have enough chickens. Yes, they are like potato chips and since I’m a sucker for potato chips, I’m essentially a sucker for chickens.
Don’t judge unless you’ve raised chickens. If you have, you know what I mean.
Once someone sees my flock of chickens, they usually comment on how pretty all of them are. Besides the fact that they are spoiled and fed great food, I totally think it’s because I have a mixed flock of hens which results in a multitude of colors and shapes (and personalities) making it pleasing to the eye. In fact, out of the 13 chickens I have, only three of them are the same breed.
Here are the breeds I have:
- Black sex link (3)
- Red sex link
- Rhode Island Red
- New Hampshire Red
- Blue Copper Marans
- Easter Egger
- Barred Rock
- Buff Orpington
Aside from all the pretty colors that comes with different breeds, here are 3 reasons why I love having a mixed flock —
1. It’s easy to tell the backyard chicken soap opera story
Could you imagine if you had 10 of the same breed? You’d have to name every single one of them (and when you’re trying to be a real life farmer, naming them is not a good thing) and know which one is which — and even then you may not know who is who.
Instead, when my husband and I chat about the daily scoop of what’s happening in our own backyard soap opera, we’re able to just name off the chickens by their breed. That being said, there are some chickens that have been allocated special names like “Misfit” — the chicken you see below — and the zebra colored one goes by “Fatty.”
2. You get a rainbow of eggs
Although you have to be a bit more selective on the types of chickens you raise in order to get that rainbow effect of eggs, by having a mixed flock of different breeds, the eggs are all unique in their own way.
Is it necessary? No. But when you have chickens, you want pretty eggs. And despite having a dark chocolate egg, it doesn’t taste anything like chocolate. It’s just pretty to look at when it’s next to a blue or light brown egg.
And that matters, a lot.
3. It’s much easier to do a head count and tell if anyone is missing
“Alright… five black, two brown, one gold, one zebra striped…” you say to yourself as you let them back in their coop at night.
By having a wide variety of colors specific to the breed you have, it’s much easier to scan out your back window when they’re free ranging and making sure no one is in the neighbors yard or when you’re putting them up for the night and you want to make sure you have everyone.
There are so many breeds of chickens to love and it makes it even more fun when you have a variety so before you decide on getting six of the same breed, consider a mixed flock!