Best Dual Purpose Breeds?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hwxeper, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. hwxeper

    hwxeper Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2011
    I have been reading books and researching chickens for a while now and am having a difficult time figuring out what breed(s) would be right for me. I need a dual purpose bird(s) that lays a decent amount of eggs, makes a good meat bird, cold hardy, is good at foraging, and one that can go broody as I want a self-sustaining flock. I plan on having a large coop and free ranging during the days. I am madly in love with partridge wyandottes but I am not sure they fit the bill? Other breeds in consideration are white orpingtons, game, dominiques, and cochin. I want to have some eggs in the winter too if that is at all possible. I am trying to become self-sufficient and want to stay away from as much supermarket food as I can.
    Thanks in advance! [​IMG]

    What about bantam breeds? I have read some can be prolific layers.
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Wyandottes are better in the cold due to their combs, but have you considered Delawares?
    Big birds, decent egg layers and beautiful to look at.

    Giant partrige Cochins are great for meat but the hens don't lay that well.

    A Dominique will give you cold heartyness and a decent amount of eggs, but unless you get them from a breeder they can be on the small side.

    Games are decent layers and great broodies, but too small in the meat department.

    If you want meat, bantams don't provide much.

    If you want the best of both worlds?

    Why not get a few silkie hens that will go broody for you and then some Red or Black sex links for hens.... Black Sex links are great sized and are egg laying machines. Put a leghorn or RIR roo over them and hatch the babies under the silkies.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  3. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2010
    I really like my White Plymouth Rocks. I don't know if they will go broody or not, as I have not had them very long they will be a year old on 12th of March.
    From the things that I've heard the Orpingtons ( I can testify to this) and the Cochins will go broody for you. The Buff Orpingtons that I've got are not really that good of layers, but I think most of them are. I think that it is the peticular line that I have.
    Here's my suggestion for you though, get some White Plymouth Rocks (or any Variety of Rocks) most of them are very good layers, and some Orpingtons or Cochins or both for your broodies. All of them ( not really sure on the Cochins) are good meat birds also. Also, I've heard that Specked Sussex are good layers and they were breed for a "table bird". The Wyandotte breed (most varieties) are wonderful layers and fairly good sized meat birds, not sure about broodiness. Dealware, was the orginal broiler meat bird. They also lay very well.

    You have many choices out there, you just have to get what you think is best and try them out, if they don't do it for you scrap them and go with something else.

    Best of luck to you in you endeaveor.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  4. hwxeper

    hwxeper Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2011
    I have been considering Delaware's and I can find a breeder near me. All descriptions have said they are exactly what I have been looking for. And I do like the white coloring, stout body, and general plump-ness of them. I hear they have pretty good temperments. I want a nice chicken!
    However, I want more color than just white in my flock. I really like partridge colored birds and was thinking of some partridge cochins too. They are pretty big birds so they would have some meat on them, are broody, and lay well too.
    What is the different between a Barred Rock and a Plymouth Rock?
  5. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2010
    Quote:Then go with the Delaware and the Partridge Cochins, good choices.

    There is no difference between Barred Rock and Plymouth Rock. The breed is the Plymouth Rock (barred, Partridge, white, etc., are Varieties). Peolple just tend to shorten the Plymouth Rock to plain Rock
  6. Jake Levi

    Jake Levi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2011
    Harrisville, MI
    My two choices are the Wyandotte, and the RIR, in my case the RC RIR and the Partridge Wyandotte, both do excellently free ranging, are hardy and excellent dual purpose, the Wyandotte will brood easier then the RIRs, which only occasionally, the Wyandottes a bit easier, myself I keep an incubator, if one wants to brood then its fine with me, both are easy to handle the Wyandotte again a bit easier. bOTH breeds the hens produce longer then most other large fowls.
  7. Casey76

    Casey76 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2011
    Alsace, France
    LF Faverolles [​IMG] Traditional dual purpose French breed. [​IMG]
  8. punky rooster

    punky rooster Awesome

    Jul 21, 2010
    Easy, Buckeyes [​IMG]
  9. joletabey

    joletabey SDWD!!!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    western NC
    I have been extremely happy w th my Delawares. Excellent egg layers, very friendly, easy going birds, and the few I have actually processed tasted great! I politely disagree with getting sex links for meat birds- the ones that I have had were tiny, in fact my smallest hen is a BSL. On the other hand, that may just be my experience with them overall.
  10. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Here is a link that will help.

    more help read my blog on my chickens. I have a thread called the search it tells how I made my choice of breed. Which fits your needs perfectly by the way. The down side to many good duel purpose breeds is that unless you buy from hatchery and bred up you will have a hard time finding stock. But the best way to find stock is once you pick a bred join the breeds club members will have better quality stock than a hatchery. Then it is all a matter of keeping to bred up to Standard.

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