Right now I have all hatchery birds. At 9 weeks, maybe 10 weeks they seem pretty meaty to me. All but 2 or 3 birds are big with big feet and legs. I also am going to cull and breed to eventually have some very nice dual purpose birds.Right now It looks like I got pretty lucky and am off to a good start.I can testify; the Buff Orpington is a fantastic breed by my experience. My hatchery hens are impervious to weather, don't fly, eat ANYTHING, great foragers, gentle (unless they think they can eat it of course) and have proven to be phenomenal egg layers. I had 14 when they started laying at six months old in December. 47 eggs. January; 274. In March a Fisher cat ate one leaving 13, and I had a change of roosters which threw them for a bit, I still got 288. Then 5 of them went broody. The others are giving me 6 or 8 eggs a day. Right now I have one broody sitting on 7 eggs. She sits tight! So far so great. My current rooster is a dark Cornish so I am growing those out for the table. I plan to set my other 4 on eggs in the next week or two, either my own for meat or my friend's multitude - her incubators are stuffed full of a bunch of birds.
But... the Orpington is supposed to be a dual purpose bird. I want my breeding to be working (back) towards this. The issue I have with my hatchery birds is they have no meat on their frames, and only like 3 of them have good bones. But these 3 also have good color (and are now broody). My friend gave me 7 chicks from some hatching eggs she got from show lines (forget from where, need to check my email...). I will try to post some pics of them, EXCELLENT little frames on like 5 of them, absolutely huge feet and legs. Their little hard feathers have good color. Super calm, inquisitive temperment also. And 1 is a little cockerel! So... Using him, my 3 best hatchery hens and hopefully in the next batch of hatching eggs to arrive a cockerel and some pullets from a line being bred with the focus on meat... I'm hoping to wind up (someday...) with some very nice, truly dual purpose, excellent backyard chickens, that also meet the standard for the lovely Buff Orpington.