My favorite dual purpose birds are Black Australorps. They are incredibly hardy. I've raised them where winter temperatures have reached 39 F below zero, and where summer temperatures frequently reached 117-118 F (123 F once), and in both climate extremes, they came through like troopers. Black Australorps are also calm and gentle birds. My children, and now my granddaughter made lap pets out of them. And they are the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. A Black Australorp holds the brown egg laying record with 364 eggs in 365 days, and while none of mine have ever reached that kind of production (and likely never will), I've still had a few of them lay over 300 eggs in a year. And Black Australorps have enough meat on them to make for really good eating. Obviously not everyone will agree, but I'm convinced that BAs are the best all-around, dual-purpose birds on the planet.
I found this interesting. I have some black Australorps also. I am even keeping a black Australorp rooster because of the egg production and I think they are beautiful birds. I have never thought of them for meat birds because they are not as heavy as I like. That said I have about 4 roosters going to freezer camp this week.
I actually am going to mark my packages with the breed of the birds when I freeze them just to see the difference in the breeds. I bought an assortment package this spring and I think I have all the breeds finally figured out... BUT I am not looking forward to eating a dozen EE roosters.... they are so scrawny.
Black Australorps are not as heavy as some other breeds like Jersey Giants, Brahmas, or Cochins, and certainly can't match the growth rate of Cornish cross or some of the other meat birds, but they have an adequate amount of meat (as much as most other dual purpose breeds), and they are considerably better layers than these heavier breeds.
Good to know,, thanks
After picking up a CX or rainbow or production red, then grabbing a BA, I am guessing they just appear smaller because of how large the others ones were... As I said they are BEAUTYS!