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Best meat/egg chicken breed.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I want a chicken that will lay a lot of eggs and is also a good meat bird. My goal is to hatch chicks to replace the ones we eat and to also have a good supply of eggs to eat. I need someone with experience in this type of setup to tell me which breeds are best for this purpose. Thanks for any help in advance

post #2 of 27

I really like Faverolles for meat and eggs.  Though you will get varying answers, of course, as everyone has their favorites.  Faverolles were originally bred as a meat bird.  Their eggs are a little smaller than many dual purpose breeds, though they tend to lay well all year long, even through winter, and will often brood their own chicks.  Also, if you get salmon Faverolles, which is really the only large fowl variety readily available in the US, they are sexable by feather color within a few weeks.  I can tell you that the flavor of the birds is absolutely AMAZING!!!  Plus they are nice to look at while they grow out, with their bearded faces and lightly featherd legs... smile

AND...  welcome-byc


Edited by Cloverleaf Farm - 11/14/10 at 9:08am
post #3 of 27

I like New Hampshire Reds for a dual purpose bird. I get 5 or 6 eggs a week from each hen once they start laying. Cold weather doesn't stop them but upper 90s will make them go on strike until the temps get back into the 80s. I kill the roosters at about 16 to 18 weeks if the crowing doesn't get too annoying first. The ones that start crowing around 3 AM usually go to freezer camp a little sooner. They aren't tough at all if you age them in the fridge for 3 or 4 days before cooking or freezing. I roast them whole or quarter them and braise in a dutch oven. I'm not sure about using them as fryers though. I raise Hubbard Redbros for that.


Edited by price403 - 11/14/10 at 11:00am
There's plenty of room for all God's creatures. Right next to the mashed potatoes.
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There's plenty of room for all God's creatures. Right next to the mashed potatoes.
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post #4 of 27

Never had Favorelles.  I like NH Reds for meat, supposed to be good layers but I never had a hen.  Also like Buff Orps to eat, which are particularly good if you prefer dark meat as the legs are large.  Mine lay well but I have read not all of them do.  RIR and Barred Rock are classic DP breeds.  I liked the RIR well for eating.  Speckled Sussex were originally bred for DP -- mine are good layers and my friendliest birds -- never ate one.  Never had Delawares, which are supposed to be excellent DP birds, large, tame, lots of eggs. 

Really there is not a whole lot of difference, though, among the dual purpose breeds.  I'd choose breeds that appealed to me.

Have you checked out Henderson's chart?  http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help, am just getting started and need all the help I can get.

post #6 of 27

What you describe is just not in the cards. The genetcs are just not there for both egg and meat production in the same bird. What you need is a specialized meat bird for meat and an egg layer specialist for eggs.   The rest are just mere pretenders at best and in the long run more costly in terms of expended dollars and time.

post #7 of 27

Mere pretenders?

I'm sure if we broke down the math of keeping two different types of chickens around vs a dual purpose heritage breed it'd be difficult to consider them "mere pretenders."

It all depends on what someone is looking for. If they like Birdzillas and Leghorns, then more power to them. If they want to buy chickens once and be able to raise their own for generations thereafter then heritage breeds are going to be more what they are looking for.

Raising American Buff and Pilgrim Geese, Ancona, Harlequin, Rouen, Campbell, Saxony, and Buff ducks, Muscovies, Rosecomb Barred Rock, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Wheaten/Blue Ameraucana, and Red Ameraucana chickens, Blue/Royal Palm and Blue Slate turkeys, Jumbo Coturnix quail, Jumbo Ringneck Pheasants, Redclaw Lobsters, Blue Tilapia, and an assortment of show rabbits. Hatching eggs available.
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Raising American Buff and Pilgrim Geese, Ancona, Harlequin, Rouen, Campbell, Saxony, and Buff ducks, Muscovies, Rosecomb Barred Rock, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Wheaten/Blue Ameraucana, and Red Ameraucana chickens, Blue/Royal Palm and Blue Slate turkeys, Jumbo Coturnix quail, Jumbo Ringneck Pheasants, Redclaw Lobsters, Blue Tilapia, and an assortment of show rabbits. Hatching eggs available.
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post #8 of 27

How about some breeder quality Delawares?  I have some hatchery delawares and recently processed a few extra roos.  They were easy to process, the carcass was clean (white feathers), and we were surprised at the amount of meat on the young fellas.  They are NOT cornish cross behemoths, but there is something to be said for a bird that doesn't eat itself to death.  My delaware hens are just starting to lay, and doing a fine enough job.  They are all around a great breed.  I am assuming that if the hatchery quality is good, breeder quality would knock your socks off!

post #9 of 27

You will get many different responses in this thread but my favorite dual-purpose chicken is the Black Austrolorp.They are very smart and intelligent birds,they are good foragers,the males grow pretty fast(no were near to cornish x's though) when the hens get old they are nice and big for soup,they hold the record for the most layed eggs but that was under the best conditions but in my old flock each girl usually gave me an egg a day,and last but not least they look amazing in the sunlight becouse there dark feathers are iredecent.

post #10 of 27

I have to vote Delaware's as well. They are a great heritage breed for both meat and eggs. I won't get into the "behemoth" "Birdzilla" arguement. Delaware's simply are what they are, and the one thing they have to offer that "Birdzillas" don't is sustainability. The thing they have to offer that egg breeds normally don't have, is meat quality. They are DUAL purpose, sustainable, and I believe that is what the OP is asking for folks. After all they did ask for "a chicken" not "chickens." 

WELCOME TO BYC user6895, the home of the great chicken debate lol Nevermind that. You'll get a lot of posts of varying opinion. Glean what you want to know, and leave the rest behind. That's my best advice wink

Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called Sons of God. Matthew 5:9
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Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called Sons of God. Matthew 5:9
http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/cindiloohoo HERE Earn free stuff with me
I'm a blood bought bible taught born again child of God!
If we threw all of our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd quickly grab ours back
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