Can Ameraucana's be good dual purpose chickens?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by iamcuriositycat, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A friend of mine has a small flock of Ameraucanas and is offering me some fertile eggs. I want to develop my flock into a dual-purpose flock, and am wondering if these are a decent choice. I'm interested in developing my flock from local sources as much as possible, so I'm not looking for the "perfect" breed--just a "good enough" breed that I can readily source locally. My friend, by the way, is a good and educated chicken breeder/owner, so the birds will be good quality. But I don't think she eats her birds, so she may not know whether they serve well in that capacity as well.

    Thanks!
     
  2. nicalandia

    nicalandia Overrun With Chickens

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    they have a fair size and lay good. they will not be the best dual purpose birds but they look nice and lay blue eggs
     
  3. gallorojo

    gallorojo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think they are great Dual Purpose, edible for sure, and decent size, but, in my experience the good quality breeder birds were not great layers, just average in that aspect. As for carcass, the ones I've eaten were not well fleshed, flavored, or textured. A hatchery Rock honestly is faster growing, lays way more eggs, and has more meat and better flavor and texture, and they are pitiful in comparison to the standard bred ones. The Ameraucanas never struck me as great except for the blue eggs and cold hardiness they have. They may make acceptable crosses with a larger breed though. Sorry, wish I liked them more as dual purpose, but, I don't think they fit the bill real well.
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Thanks. I can also get barred rocks and buff orpingtons locally, so I'll look into those. Is it true orps can be sexed at hatch? Seems unlikely but, you know, cool if it's true. Nice thing about a dual purpose flock, though, is that it's not nearly as important...
     
  5. mrwoodboat

    mrwoodboat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi CuriosityCat- I am right down the road from you in SC- does your friend have any pullets she would sell? Also- I have 2 EE (they were sold as Americaunas) roos if she is interested, they are very nice young guys that have been raised together that I would trade for a hen- both have been inoculated and are eating well.
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll check with her and see--if so, I'll put you in touch. :) I'd be surprised if she were willing to trade pullets for roos, though. I have very little luck finding homes for roos even when they're free around here... which is why I'm looking at growing a dual purpose flock.
     
  7. LeBlackbird

    LeBlackbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are we talking about purebreds or Easter Eggers? My EEs were excellent layers, and gave me eggs well into late fall. They seem a bit skittish when young, but they mature out to be a very entertaining, curious, in-your-face bird. Boys would make good small-medium meat birds (depending on the cross) and they vary in variety so they never seem to get boring. I think they would make an exceptional dual-purpose bird. That said however, they don't compare to the reputation and reliability of Barred Rocks (very, very excellent and well known dual purpose breed).
    My pure Ameraucanas did very well in shows, but mine were poor layers (tended to lay in early spring, take large breaks, and lay again for a bit until they stopped around November). My boys were bulky, but on the small side (compared to my BRs, RIRs, etc. The BR roos I had were tanks). That said, both EEs and Ameraucanas are very cold hardy and do very well against the elements, they never had the frostbite issues I had to deal with when I had my BRs! (oh my gosh, those big tall Single combs freeze right off up here!)
     
  8. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup, she has real Ameraucanas. I also have access to EEs, and in fact have a couple EE pullets growing out now. I like the idea of a mixed-ish breed flock--especially of varieties that I can sell extras from, like EEs. I like variety. :)
     

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