Dual purpose breed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ak funny farm, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Ak funny farm

    Ak funny farm New Egg

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    So I was just telling a family member about my plan for Buff Orphingtons and Black Australorpes (wrong spelling) as a dual purpose breed in Alaska. He informed me there is no such think as a true dual purpose breed. If I went that way, I would be unhappy with egg production, and the meat would not be what it could be. Do I need to rethink my plan? Anyone have some insight here? Would love to know what you think.
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
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    I think it all depends on what you're looking for in your flock. If you're looking for a bird that will lay like a leghorn and get as meaty as a Cornish cross, then yes - you will be disappointed. If you're looking for a bird that will lay moderately and develop more slowly and will not dress out looking like a small to medium sized turkey, you are on the right track. Everyone has different goals for their flocks. I'm not real familiar with Australorps, but BOs are pretty good layers I think. They won't have the huge, meaty breasts like the birds bred specifically for fast-growing meat birds, but they will have plenty of meat on them. I had some Buckeyes which are also dual purpose birds. The roosters dressed out pretty well, and the hens are 2 1/2 years old and still laying regularly. I believe the two breeds you mentioned lay large eggs. My Buckeyes lay medium eggs. Good luck with your chicken venture! Be sure to check in from time to time and let us know how you're doing. There are plenty of great people on the site who are very knowledgeable and willing to help.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I might suggest the Delawares - very good layers, very meaty birds.

    I will say, though, that mine do quite a bit of free ranging and my meat is tougher in the dual purpose breeds. I like it in casseroles and in soups, but not quite as well as fryers. They do grow slower, so it might be that I just don't get them butchered earlier, but I think it is the free ranging.

    All of my dual purpose eggs have been good layers except the Austrolorpe, but I think that may just have been that bird.

    Thing is try some and see, some of us like some breeds and some of us like other breeds, you will just have to try some, to see what you like best.

    Mrs K
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    What growing zone are you in? I'm zone 4 in Maine. For my own flock choices, I stay away from straight combed birds, and would not have a feather footed bird on my property. So, my new flock members are pea or rose combed. I'd like to suggest that you look at EE or Ameraucana, and Dominique. Also check out the Wyandottes. And depending on your husbandry methods, (free range vs. close confinement) you might look at Rose combed brown leghorns. The leghorns are not as large, but have an excellent feed conversion rate for eggs. Will you be breeding your own chicks in the future? That provides some excellent options for future breeding. I hatched eggs from EE x PBR this spring resulting in beautiful black sex linked pullets. Tight pea comb, beetle purple/green sheen feathers, and they lay a beautiful green egg. It's said that the cuckoo patterned birds (or barred) are actually among the best cammoflaged feather patterns. Partridge colored birds are great also. So, look at what your goals are, and realize that you don't have to get birds of just one breed. Good to experiment and take time to decide what you want. Unless you plan to run a geriatric coop, your first flock decisions can morph over the years to give you the flock of your dreams down the road.
     

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