Best dual purpose breeds?


Dec 30, 2019
Polk City, FL
My Coop
My Coop
I recently had some cornish X chickens that I raised up for meat.... I will NEVER have that breed again. They just have to many issues in my opinion. They are NOT parasite resistant AT ALL. Just not the breed for me.... so now I am looking for the perfect breed to raise for meat AND eggs! I need something that obviously has a good bit of meat on it. It also needs to be something that can lay eggs. I want to be able to hatch them myself instead of having to buy more chicks each time so it must also breed true. I'm not picky on color or anything. I just need a good dual purpose breed that can tolerate heat better than cornish X. We are in Florida so it's pretty hot all the time. The cornish X just do not work for me... any suggestions on what breed I should look for? Oh and is there by any chance a auto sexing dual purpose breed? Thanks!
There is no breed that will lay like a layer and also put on flesh like a meatie. A dual-purpose cockerel harvested at the customary "old enough to be annoying, not so old as to be too terribly tough" age is going to be a scrawny thing compared to a Cornish X.

There are individual lines of heritage birds that individual breeders have bred to be better meat birds, but if you're getting hatchery birds the balance for the dual purpose breeds will be tilted toward eggs -- because having more birds to sell is what hatcheries select for. :)

You'll probably want to consider heat tolerance first and foremost and select for carcass quality as you work forward.
Check out the heritage New Hampshires and Delawares from Freedom Ranger Hatchery. The NHs were bred for meat and the Delaware are very decent egg layers. Cross a NH roo with a Delaware hen and the babies will be sex linked. Keep the males for meat, sell/replenish flock with females. The Meaties should HOPEFULLY dress out around 4 pounds at 16 weeks. I will be breeding the pure NHs on the side selecting for fast growth and body type. I have a dozen of each bird, about 3 weeks old rn so this is all just theoretical for now, but it to me seems like the best shot at a true dual purpose, sustainable option.

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