Are these good breeds??

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by nightingale7, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. nightingale7

    nightingale7 In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2011
    North Carolina
    We are wanting to start raising chickens for eggs and meat. These are the breeds my husband has chosen. Are these a good choice?? Delaware, Brown Leghorn, Plymouth Rock, and Rhode Island.
  2. josh44

    josh44 Songster

    Jun 16, 2008
    San Antonio Texas
    Is probably choose the Delaware if you wanted an egg and meat bird.
    They are good layers of brown eggs and are white feather birds in most of the body so will clean up easily as far as meat birds. [​IMG]
  3. Stacykins

    Stacykins Crowing

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Leghorn definitely not. Too leggy. They have lean frames, great egg layers, but not much meat.
  4. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Songster

    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    Every breed will have fans [​IMG]

    That said, the Delawares and Rocks will probably yield the most meat from cockerels. Leghorns are a breed known for laying lots of eggs, but they are a lighter build. The hatchery Rhode Island Reds may even rival the leghorns in egg production, but won't be as bulky as the Rocks and Dels.
  5. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    All of your breed ideas except the Leghorn are great, however if you plan to get them from a hatchery, do NOT expect much meat. [​IMG] Hatchery birds, all of them except the Cornish X, are bred solely for egg production and thus smaller and skinnier than the original heritage and/or show quality versions. They're certainly not a good choice for dual purpose unless you want slim pickings. They make decent stew though once past 1 year old, but not worth it anywhere younger.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  6. Kaceyx73

    Kaceyx73 Chirping

    Dec 14, 2010
    I agree with the previous posts. Most of my experience was with hatchery based Rhode Island Reds, or production Reds as you will hear them called. You seem to be looking for exactly what I was last year. A year later, here are my observations.

    To me, at least, having chickens for meat and eggs implies some sort of self sufficiency in your family, so why not look at your flock the same way? You will quickly find that virtually all hatchery based poultry lacks broodiness. If you are new to chickens, broodiness is like mammals going into heat. Its the female desire to raise young. Sure they will lay eggs, but will they set on them and hatch them out? Playing with an incubator can be fun, and informative for small children. No matter, a momma hen will raise chicks better than any of us, and will leave our time free to take care of other tasks.

    Some others will add to this short list, but game fowl, Cochins, and Silkies are about the only backyard poultry that will go broody. Cochins are probably the only of them with any real meat qualities, and I don't know about their laying. Many people will use them and silkies as surrogate mothers to raise mixed flocks.

    There is one other oddball possibility. There is a large, meaty chicken with better than average growth rates, that lays 3-5 eggs a week, and depending on the strain will go broody. Its the Marans, originally bred in France as a dual purpose chicken. Later they became well know amongst chefs for the meat qualities and for those wonderful, dark chocolate colored eggs. Yes, you may here from many that they are just a fad. Right now, we still have enough stock that hasn't been too perfected so that growth rates are good, and hens will occasionally go broody. Another advantage is there temperament. These calm and docile flock managers also make great crosses with other breeds for meat purposes. Personally, I can vouch for a black tail buff Marans crossed with production reds. They do actually grow faster, and make beautiful offspring.

    If you choose to talk to breeders, make sure you ask about growth rates and broodiness. These are the hallmarks of great dual purpose, back yard chickens that seem to be the first things lost in modern animal husbandry.

    Choose wisely. Only you can make the best choices for you and yours....

  7. nightingale7

    nightingale7 In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2011
    North Carolina
    Thank you all for the advice!! It has been very helpful![​IMG]
  8. Dont rule out leghorns for meat if youre going to get em. Once those layers are spent and the roosters are old they will make some of the best soup around. Boil the whole thing for a few hours then roast it. Delicious.

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