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Best dual purpose bird?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Brad7558, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Brad7558

    Brad7558 In the Brooder

    Dec 14, 2008
    I'm learning everything I can before I begin this endevore. I do have someone who can help me in the raising of birds but I would like to know what breed I should go with. From everything I've read, it's down to three breeds. Buff Orps, Barr Rocks, and Delewares. I guess I'm leaning away from the Orps right now because there so docile and I plan on having some other poultry. Any experiences or suggestions would be welcome.
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    All three of those would be top of my list.

    I like Buff orps best.

    My Red star is also huge and would serve dual purpose... if I could get all of them like her I would... waiting to see what kind and how many eggs my Cinnamon Queen gives me.
  3. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:I'm beginning my experiment, also. I have a Delaware roo, with some white rock hens, a brahma hen (they are late developers, but she is a nice bird to have around, anyway) I also have a RIR hen in there. I plan to get some Delaware hens in the spring, and I have a pair of Buff Orps I hatched out two weeks ago to put into this group, also.

    The things I was looking for were size and early or moderately early development. Henderson's Chicken Breed Chart helped wit that.


    I also posted and read a lot of threads on BYC about alternative meat/dual purpose flocks.

    Mostly I chose delawares because they are not as common, and I think they are also pretty birds. If I have to deal with them every day then I want birds I can like, not just utility birds.

  4. Brad7558

    Brad7558 In the Brooder

    Dec 14, 2008
    I've looked at that chart also and it helped me determine my three choices.
  5. davidb

    davidb Songster

    Dec 15, 2008
    north east Georgia
    I like RIRs but the three you have are excellent choices
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    As long as you understand that "dual" means more meat than a leghorn, those breeds will do.

    None will look like store meat birds, all will be single breasted, and all will take at least 2x as long to reach a "worthy size". A commercial meat type bird will be ready at the table at 5/6 lbs dressed at 8 weeks old, while your usual dual bird will be if lucky 4lbs at 16-20 weeks old. Their age will give them more flavor though.

    Another note, is many "dual" birds now are more tuned to "egg production" from the hatcheries to get more eggs to make more chicks to sell.
  7. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Quote:Well, the Orps are not so docile they are like, um... dead... LOL They are delightful and personable, just laid back. That doesn't mean they get picked on if they are docile. Some breeds, like leghorns like to be aggressive and attack everything and anything- Orps won't do that, but they won't let themselves get attacked either! They get along fine with my ducks and my guinea. They hang with my Rocks and silkies and Wyandottes too [​IMG] I really like my Orps (can you tell?) I will say that my Barred Rocks are also very friendly creatures, with a nice temperment. I don't have Delawares... The Rocks and Orps don't eat as much as my Rhode Island Reds did....

    Good luck!
    PS- keep asking questions, someone will be glad to help!!
  8. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    I get more dressed weight than that out of delawares and dorkings. The trick is to access SHOW LINES and not hatchery stock. Birds from show lines are MUCH bigger.
  9. Brad7558

    Brad7558 In the Brooder

    Dec 14, 2008
    Ok that's about what I was figuring with the growth rate of these birds.

    About the docile part with the BO's I'm just conflicted with that I guess. I won't be where they'll be all the time to observe them.
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you want to use all the excess roos for meat, house them away from the girls so when maturity sets in, they don't start beating each other and the girls up. They'll start growing their egos at about 16 weeks or so. As with even "calm" and "docile" though, if you aren't there to be with them every day, you can almost toss those words out the window. Even an unsocialized meat bird, which are by far the calmest birds, due to their massive size and weight not giving them energy to spaz out, can be "flighty" when approached if not socalized.

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