Originally Posted by ChickieMama2B
I've read through the posts, but I'm not sure if this question has been answered:
Had anyone been able to find a breed mix that doesn't quite consume is weight in food?
Bielefelders seem great, except that one thing, is there any way too get a more economical bird, without losing the friendliness?
Wow, that's a loaded question with probably several different answers. But here goes mine and only from experience of breeds that I've actually had:
Unfortunately friendliness or craving human touch is not the White Leghorn's forte but they do eat lightly for the amount of eggs they output but then they are not meat birds per se but you'll get 6-7 LG-XL eggs/week from a White Leg who will weigh about 4.5-lb. The White Leg cockerels will give you more meat than the hens but we ate both on the farm but Legs definitely are not the best pet chicken. My next economical eater was the Dominique hen who weighs at about 4.5 to 5-lb, is also a good forager, decent layer at 4-6 eggs/wk, and will brood her own young -- a very outgoing curious unafraid friendly breed for being classified a dual purpose -- but the breed is a lighterweight dual purpose and like the Leghorn the cockerels will make larger table meat - the Doms make a better friendly pet.
My RIR, NHR, BRs, and Marans were heavier birds and very big eaters and we found our Marans were our laziest foragers -- all these hens weigh 6 up to 8 lbs so of course they'll eat more feed. Can't have it both ways -- the big breeds are bigger eaters. When our sweet 5-lb Blue Wheaten Ameraucana is not laying LG-XL eggs, she is an economical eater, but once she starts laying her big eggs her appetite increases exponentially to get body nutrients replaced. My favourite economical eater is a slender 4-lb Breda hen that lays 4 to 6 eggs/wk at 1.75-oz and from the time she arrived at 4 months old has been a very outgoing naturally curious friendly unafraid breed and she was not handled much by the breeder. We had her in-house for quarantine and even our visitors were amazed at how outgoing she was sitting next to them on a bench or pecking at their shoes under the table or flying to their shoulder. We also had a Breda cockerel mis-sent to us which we had to re-home but he was from a big breeder ranch and didn't have much handling either but he was just naturally outgoing curious unafraid and naturally friendly. I love the sweet temperament of our Ameraucana but she has extremely noisy egg songs during her laying cycle where the Breda is just as friendly and sweet but a lot less high-pitched screeching than the Ameraucana songs. Since we don't eat our backyard flock I can't attest to processed table weights.
Hope this info helps and hope more will give you their breed inputs.