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Best meat/egg chicken breed.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by user6895, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. user6895

    user6895 New Egg

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    I want a chicken that will lay a lot of eggs and is also a good meat bird. My goal is to hatch chicks to replace the ones we eat and to also have a good supply of eggs to eat. I need someone with experience in this type of setup to tell me which breeds are best for this purpose. Thanks for any help in advance
     
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    I really like Faverolles for meat and eggs. Though you will get varying answers, of course, as everyone has their favorites. Faverolles were originally bred as a meat bird. Their eggs are a little smaller than many dual purpose breeds, though they tend to lay well all year long, even through winter, and will often brood their own chicks. Also, if you get salmon Faverolles, which is really the only large fowl variety readily available in the US, they are sexable by feather color within a few weeks. I can tell you that the flavor of the birds is absolutely AMAZING!!! Plus they are nice to look at while they grow out, with their bearded faces and lightly featherd legs... [​IMG]

    AND... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  3. price403

    price403 Out Of The Brooder

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    I like New Hampshire Reds for a dual purpose bird. I get 5 or 6 eggs a week from each hen once they start laying. Cold weather doesn't stop them but upper 90s will make them go on strike until the temps get back into the 80s. I kill the roosters at about 16 to 18 weeks if the crowing doesn't get too annoying first. The ones that start crowing around 3 AM usually go to freezer camp a little sooner. They aren't tough at all if you age them in the fridge for 3 or 4 days before cooking or freezing. I roast them whole or quarter them and braise in a dutch oven. I'm not sure about using them as fryers though. I raise Hubbard Redbros for that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Never had Favorelles. I like NH Reds for meat, supposed to be good layers but I never had a hen. Also like Buff Orps to eat, which are particularly good if you prefer dark meat as the legs are large. Mine lay well but I have read not all of them do. RIR and Barred Rock are classic DP breeds. I liked the RIR well for eating. Speckled Sussex were originally bred for DP -- mine are good layers and my friendliest birds -- never ate one. Never had Delawares, which are supposed to be excellent DP birds, large, tame, lots of eggs.

    Really there is not a whole lot of difference, though, among the dual purpose breeds. I'd choose breeds that appealed to me.

    Have you checked out Henderson's chart? http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
     
  5. user6895

    user6895 New Egg

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    Thanks for the help, am just getting started and need all the help I can get.
     
  6. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What you describe is just not in the cards. The genetcs are just not there for both egg and meat production in the same bird. What you need is a specialized meat bird for meat and an egg layer specialist for eggs. The rest are just mere pretenders at best and in the long run more costly in terms of expended dollars and time.
     
  7. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mere pretenders?

    I'm sure if we broke down the math of keeping two different types of chickens around vs a dual purpose heritage breed it'd be difficult to consider them "mere pretenders."

    It all depends on what someone is looking for. If they like Birdzillas and Leghorns, then more power to them. If they want to buy chickens once and be able to raise their own for generations thereafter then heritage breeds are going to be more what they are looking for.
     
  8. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How about some breeder quality Delawares? I have some hatchery delawares and recently processed a few extra roos. They were easy to process, the carcass was clean (white feathers), and we were surprised at the amount of meat on the young fellas. They are NOT cornish cross behemoths, but there is something to be said for a bird that doesn't eat itself to death. My delaware hens are just starting to lay, and doing a fine enough job. They are all around a great breed. I am assuming that if the hatchery quality is good, breeder quality would knock your socks off!
     
  9. pringle

    pringle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Pepperell,MA
    You will get many different responses in this thread but my favorite dual-purpose chicken is the Black Austrolorp.They are very smart and intelligent birds,they are good foragers,the males grow pretty fast(no were near to cornish x's though) when the hens get old they are nice and big for soup,they hold the record for the most layed eggs but that was under the best conditions but in my old flock each girl usually gave me an egg a day,and last but not least they look amazing in the sunlight becouse there dark feathers are iredecent.
     
  10. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    I have to vote Delaware's as well. They are a great heritage breed for both meat and eggs. I won't get into the "behemoth" "Birdzilla" arguement. Delaware's simply are what they are, and the one thing they have to offer that "Birdzillas" don't is sustainability. The thing they have to offer that egg breeds normally don't have, is meat quality. They are DUAL purpose, sustainable, and I believe that is what the OP is asking for folks. After all they did ask for "a chicken" not "chickens."

    WELCOME TO BYC user6895, the home of the great chicken debate [​IMG] Nevermind that. You'll get a lot of posts of varying opinion. Glean what you want to know, and leave the rest behind. That's my best advice [​IMG]
     

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