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Best Dual Purpose/ Heritage Breed...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am considering giving up all my birds (to focus on goats) and just going with one breed.

 

I was wondering what the best dual purpose heritage breed is. I want fast growth, good egg laying capabilities and a NICE meaty carcass. I'd like to go with a rare/ preservation breed if possible... I tried Dorkings and they were just way to slow growing and delicate.

 

 

I'll appreciate everyone's opinions! Thank you!

post #2 of 13

Cream Legbar! Good Auto-sexed breed, so you don't grow out what you don't want. Heritage breed that lays at 20 - 24 weeks, plus a blue egg which is cool. 

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post #3 of 13

PS other than that any Plymouth Rock. 

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post #4 of 13

I think your list is a bit self contradictory, if you will, in a way.  Heritage breeds, at least those I am familiar with, are indeed slower growing.  A true bred, honest to goodness heritage breed simply isn't going to compete against the Leghorns and their crosses, nor the thin bodied, quick developing RSLs of the world.  These are your egg laying champs, 300 eggs their pullet year, but their bodies have little meat.  

 

The chicken that can do it all?  I'm scratching my head a bit.  The true bred, heritage breeds can do things well.  Good meat.  Good egg laying.  (if you can accept 200 eggs as good laying) And, they'll do that egg laying over a long time and will also be able to brood their young, something lost on most modern, top egg layers.  Some particular heritage breeds will be better than others in the meat department, (though few, if any will ever give the CornishX a threat).

 

You'll get a lot of votes for each person's nominated, personal favorite, but the ideal bird that can do it all?  I dunno.   I like a number of the heritage DP birds, but you have to be honest with yourself whether you can be satisfied with what those birds are.   Asking questions and doing research is part of all this, and I wish you well in your search.

 

 

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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred's Hens View Post

 

The chicken that can do it all?  I'm scratching my head a bit.  The true bred, heritage breeds can do things well.  Good meat.  Good egg laying.  (if you can accept 200 eggs as good laying) And, they'll do that egg laying over a long time and will also be able to brood their young, something lost on most modern, top egg layers.  Some particular heritage breeds will be better than others in the meat department, (though few, if any will ever give the CornishX a threat).

 

 

 

Hi Fred,

 

Thank you for the well thought out answer. I do appreciate it.

 

I am aware that a heritage will never compete with a leghorn or cornish x, or grow as fast, but I'd like to find one that does a pretty darn good job; maybe my question should be "out of the heritage breeds, which one is best"... I just found the Dorkings to be TOO slow and I would think that there would be another Heritage breed that maybe grows a little faster than those guys?

 

Could you maybe list some of your favorites? Thank you!


Edited by WhiteMountainsRanch - 7/27/12 at 5:38pm
post #6 of 13

Thanks for understanding my reply to your post with your kind response.

 

Our heritage, pure bred Barred Rocks (ringlet line) are taking virtually an eternity.  Now, at 16 weeks, the cockerels are taking off, but the pullets are still lagging.  Slow growth is simply a feature of these old lines.  My goodness, they took 9 weeks just to feather out.  I don't expect POL until 7 months, if then.  The cockerels are HUGE and will make nice meat birds.   No experience, YET, processing one to give you any feedback.  I'll let you know in March.  LOL

 

True bred, true heritage Delawares are arguably extinct, or virtually so.  There are some folks working hard to re-create them.  We're all wishing them success.  Again, there is some debate, but some wise chicken folks believe that most, if not all, the original genes were lost.  Pity that.  The Delaware of 1945-55?  Gosh, wouldn't you just love to have some.

 

Buckeyes.  How can you go wrong?  But again, slow, slow, slow.  Eggs only OK.  White Rocks?  True bred to their original DP capabilities?  LOVE to have some.  I will scale walls to get some next spring.  The WR would be my first choice, since I will wait awhile on the Delaware work to progress.

 

So, there you have it.   Since you specifically asked,  those would be MY personal choices, but there are many, many more.  Big old RIR heritage, Mohawk type, perhaps.  True New Hampshire, also questionable as to any really still exist.  The German NH is also out there.  Great choice, too.    

 

Well, that's enough.  big_smile.png

 

 

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post #7 of 13

goodpost.gif White Rocks, I think are great, but then again I am a bit biased big_smile.png  I would have a ton, if they did not stand out so bad here in TX.   Speckles Sussex blend in better, but not as quick growing. 

***ONE Nation Under GOD!*** 10 YO Boy, 7 YO Girl, 11 Cubalayas, 5 White Leghorns, 3 German Shepherds, 2 Kittens and a hubby that can fix anything
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post #8 of 13
You seem to want that perfect bird that doesn't exist. No one bird does everything well. I like Delawares a lot. They are about a dual purpose so have found. They are listed as critical and they are nice and calm. If you want more eggs and less meat go with a New Hampshire. If meat is more important try dark Cornish. Jersey giants do both well but they grow slow and eat a lot. I still vote for Dellies
Free range Delawares, White Jersey Giants, Araucanas, Welsummers, Red Stars, and Chaps a Buff Cochin.
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Free range Delawares, White Jersey Giants, Araucanas, Welsummers, Red Stars, and Chaps a Buff Cochin.
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post #9 of 13

 It is as much about strain as it is breed. Delawares and New Hampshires are the most recent of the "heritage" breeds and should be the quickest to mature of the dual purpose "heritage" breeds. They should also be good layers.

post #10 of 13
I've been contemplating the same thing. (I also have Nubians.) I currently have a small mixed flock (Orps, RIR, and NH), but would like to concentrate on just one breed of chicken for now and improve quality. Will be experimenting with NHs next season because the ones we have are nice sized birds and have been laying well throughout winter. (Our RIR has been laying better, but is smaller; and the Orps stopped laying altogether.) May also try Wyandottes. Of course, we have to worry about cold hardiness here, which may not be as much of problem for you in CA. Was also considering Ameraucanas (love yours) but I'm guessing they're not as meaty as some others?
Edited by uphilljill - 1/5/13 at 7:14am
Tumblewood Farm is home to Nubian dairy goats, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Midget White turkeys, a barn cat, and a Maremma LGD.

Our coop build (ongoing construction)

Our blog about building a net-zero house in upstate NY.
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Tumblewood Farm is home to Nubian dairy goats, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Midget White turkeys, a barn cat, and a Maremma LGD.

Our coop build (ongoing construction)

Our blog about building a net-zero house in upstate NY.
Reply
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