Dual Purpose Birds?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Country Gal, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    I'm getting ready to order my first batch of chicks. I would love to have some layers AND some meat birds. I understand that the layers are usually only good layers for the first year or two, but I've gotten mixed reviews on whether or not they are good for eating afterwards. Any input? (I'm planning on starting with Silver Laced Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons, and Light Brahmas)

  2. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    Plymouth Barred Rocks are also supose to be dual purpose birds.
  3. ChrisnTiff

    ChrisnTiff In the Brooder

    Jan 11, 2007
    Crane, Missouri
    You can eat the layers after a few years. They will have quite a bit more texture and flavor so they would be great for soup or stew. They probably wouldn't turn out well on the barbecue. We generally will cook them up with some oatmeal or barley and feed them to the dog and cat. We raise about 100 broilers a year so we don't have a need for an old stewing hen. The pets sure do like them. Good luck,

  4. Kitsune

    Kitsune Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Manchester - England
    I've had the best luck with light sussex for my duel purpose birds, the roosters are big and meaty and the hens lay a relatively good amount of eggs, though it does take them a while to get started.
    I'll be going for light sussex again when I restock the garden in Spring.
  5. SueNH

    SueNH Songster

    Feb 24, 2007
    I have 12 year old hens that still lay. Not like they did at 2 years old but still plenty of eggs for the family.
    The dual purpose roosters I've processed have been small and stringy. The cornish x birds put on 4x the meat for the same amount of feed.

    I'd like to get more egg birds but I have plenty of pet birds now. Have to decide in my mind wether I can rotate more out once they are past their peak. The present ladies are safe. Too much a pet. Harder once they've been around a bit and you notice individual personalities.

    Guess it depends on what you like and what you want to do. My egg girls are pets. My meat birds are something different but no less worthy of good conditions in their short lives. I just don't interact with them like my egg girls. Too big and poopy to ride around on your shoulder anyways. They had no names and were refered to collectively as the McNuggets.

    The wyandotte roos I've done were more slightly more substantial than the australorp x rock roosters I've done. One australorp roo was even a tad over a year old and he didn't have a lot of meat. Wasn't because he was hungry either. Feeders are always full and easy to get at.

    For laying the dual purpose girls of various breeds are pretty equal. My least favorite because of the skittishness are the leghorns but they kicked in laying first. The other girls are buff orps, production reds, barred rocks, wyandottes, black australorps, red and black sexlinks and a few daughters of mixed dual purpose backgrounds. All have layed well over the winter and through the summer heat. Only the senior citizens slack off in a hard molt.
  6. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    My wife will prepare all of our chicken’s whole (head, feet) in a cooking pot with a lid top; afterwards she’ll uses the broth as a soup and then butchers the chicken. Age doesn’t matter, but if a chicken is properly cared for it should be an egg producer for many years. We like leghorns and sex-links for eggs, and RR’s, Barred Rocks, Wyandotte’s, and Brahmas etc. for their meat.

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