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Some Meat and some Egg-laying chickens or all Dual-purpose chickens?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Please let me know which would be better?  Buying all Dual-purpose chickens or half top meat breed and half top egg-laying breed? I am trying to think of it in terms of the most eggs and meat with the least amount of old hens (soup meat).

Another thing, which are the best Meat, Egg-laying, and Dual purpose breeds anyhow?hu

Thanks.

post #2 of 13

leghorns for eggs cornish rock for meat white rocks dual propose

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post #3 of 13

As I believe you're leaning in the dual-purpose direction, "best" is still totally relative to the flock owner.  I don't intend to process ANY of my chickens - they'll all become beloved backyard companions -  and I wanted brown egg layers, so that sorta put me right into the dual-purpose arena. 

None of mine have started laying yet, but what I've read all over BYC is Brahmas are great layers and hefty enough for the soup pot.  I also chose Orpington, Rhode Island Red, Plymouth Rock - Barred, Australorp, Black Sex-link, Cuckoo Marans and Easter Eggers.

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

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-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

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post #4 of 13

welcome-byc You're asking some great questions, but there are a lot of variables involved so opinions could vary.  It will ultimately be up to you, after some time & trial & error & experience, to decide what will work best for you.

One place to start is this website: http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com  It's a good place to order chicks and also to read descriptions of all sorts of breeds.  If you decide to order new chicks each time you can get sexed chicks of separate breeds that are best for each purpose.

If you plan to eventually keep a "closed flock" where you'll breed your own replacement chicks then you'll want to choose a dual purpose breed, one that has reliable layers and nice meaty roosters.  I like Jersey Giants, they come in different colors, get nice & meaty, & the hens can go broody.

No matter what breed you choose for layers you'll have to decide what to do with the hens after 2-3 years of laying.  They just don't lay as frequently after that, and you can keep them around for sentimental reasons, or treat them to the Broth Jaccuzi.

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post #5 of 13

My 2 cents...  The cheapest breeds to raise for eggs are leghorns for white eggs, and black or red sex-links for brown eggs.  They have an excellent feed to egg conversion rate and lay eggs more than 300 days a year for a couple years.
For meat the Cornish X (cross) can't be beat.  In literally 8 weeks you will have the biggest and best tasting chicken in the world (assuming you can cook lol )

With that being said, all of those breeds are not the easiest to deal with.  Most leghorns and link chickens are flighty.  Some have tamed them, but in my experience, they would not be my first choice as "lovable" Chickens.  The Cornish X's... well, they eat and poop.  That's about it.  I range mine which adds some vigor to their lives (and taste), but unless you have the room they may not be your best bet for a meat bird.

If you go here:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/breeds/breed-chart  you can read up on ALL the breeds.  If you click on the heading, such as "Purpose", it will organize the list to your needs.  Same for egg color, egg size, broodiness, etc.

Christopher Rathman

Self-Employed Automotive Restorer who should be working, not chatting about chickens
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Christopher Rathman

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post #6 of 13

i dont like the idea of a genetic frankenchicken that grows so fast that their legs cant hold them up or they drop dead of a heart attack. i like brown eggs and these chickens are good to eat if you process at the right time. when they get enough meat on them and before they get tough.

CUBALAYAS and ASIL

NPIP 52-294

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CUBALAYAS and ASIL

NPIP 52-294

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post #7 of 13

You want separate breeds.  For layers you can buy sexed chicks so you won't have a bunch of roosters to deal with.  Sexing is generally not 100%, but it's pretty good.  Get whatever production layer is popular in your area and meets your requirements for egg color.  (Unlike a previous poster, I've never had trouble with black sexlinks, in fact I think they amongst the most mellow birds I own.)

For meat, you want the Cornish Cross.  Quick and efficient.

If you are talking about sustainable breeds, that's another story.  But, if you're OK with buying chick, get the sexed layers and Cornish Crosses.

post #8 of 13

Australorps make the best dual purpose birds because the hens lay a lot of eggs and the roosters grow pretty fast and get pretty fat.

ETA: Idealpoultry.com is my favorite hatchery


Edited by Hollywood Chickens - 1/5/10 at 6:33pm
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubalaya 

i dont like the idea of a genetic frankenchicken that grows so fast that their legs cant hold them up or they drop dead of a heart attack.


If raised properly, you will have little to no issues.  Last year I only raise 25 but I had zero loses.

i like brown eggs and these chickens are good to eat if you process at the right time. when they get enough meat on them and before they get tough.


These Chickens???  You forgot to include the breed.


I don't think there is anything bad about dual purpose.  I just pointed out the best bang for the buck when raised properly.  I did point out that they were not the easiest too.

Christopher Rathman

Self-Employed Automotive Restorer who should be working, not chatting about chickens
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Christopher Rathman

Self-Employed Automotive Restorer who should be working, not chatting about chickens
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post #10 of 13

I think it depends on your goals.  Are you out to become more self-reliant and want to hatch your own?  Or are you simply trying to find the best bang for your buck?

Bethany, breast cancer fighting SAHM to 3 great kids
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Bethany, breast cancer fighting SAHM to 3 great kids
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