dual purpose breeds?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chicka_dee, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. chicka_dee

    chicka_dee In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    hi everyone

    i've got a few questions about dual purpose breeds i was hoping someone could answer.

    at the moment a few have caught my eye. they are (in order of preference) australorps, wyandottes (silver laced?) and orpingtons (buff?). I want a breed that will lay well (just incase i can't bring myself to do it), taste good, be a decent size, go broody occasionally, be docile (even the roosters) and just basically be a good all-rounder. does anyone have experience with these breeds or could suggest another breed available in australia?

    also, do you have to slaughter the chook young? does it get tough and yucky? or could i wait till they are full size/ the hens stop laying so much?

    lastly, whats the quickest, most pain free way of doing the deed?


  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well, most "dual purpose" birds are not very meaty compared to the cornish x and alot of them have been bred more for eggs than dual purpose. As for eating them, if you are gong to eat them, get them under 20 weeks old if you don't want a rubber band and remember to age the bodies. If you want to butcher a spent hen, it's good for soup and that's bout it. As for doing the deed, there are many ways, do a search and find the one best suited for you.
  3. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Personally I would say the Buff Orp. They lay beautiful eggs and they are supposed to be real tender and juicy. I know mine are beautiful and plump.
  4. JerseyGiantSoldier

    JerseyGiantSoldier Hatching

    Sep 14, 2007
    Port Arthur, Texas
    We own Jersey Giants they are rated as a dual purpose breed so far they all started to lay eggs at 5 months of age!!! and I think there is no question as to their size!!! as they are the largest birds in our mighty land!!! for the record they mature very slow:(
    Good Luck:)
  5. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    I have Buff Orpingtons, Silver Laced Wyandottes, and Light Brahmas, which are all rated as dual purpose. 4 of my hens have started laying within the last two weeks (the first egg arrived at exactly 21 weeks). I know for sure that at least one is a BO and one is a SLW that is laying. One is alreay laying full size eggs.

    I had a dozen of them processed at 20 weeks, but I haven't had a chance to cook one up yet.

    My chickens aren't overly friendly - I have to wait until they're on the roost if I want to hold one, they run away from me otherwise. I blame that on not holding them enough when they were babies.

    One word of advice - Buff Orpingtons are SO docile that you have to be careful about mixing them with other breeds. They generally won't defend themselves if the others start pecking at them. I found this out the hard way and ended up having to isolate all of mine from the rest of the flock when they were young.

    Good luck!
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I would go with the orpington, plymouth rock or sussex. Then, when you order your chicks, get a couple Cornish roosters (may be called Indian Game in Oz). Then when you want to do meat birds, pragmatically breed the Cornish to the hens and compare the results.
  7. J.R. Richards

    J.R. Richards In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hey there Country Gal,

    I have 5 Buff Orpingtons hens and they were raised with 30 Rhode Island Reds & 30 Light Brahmas Roosters along with another 35 Hens of different breeds and surprisingly enough, the Buffs were never picked at. The Light Brahmas and Reds were pickers, but the only breed of hens that I had to separate were the ones that I got for free that were 12 days older than the rest of the chickens. The Reds and Brahmas would pick all the tail feathers out to where they would be dripping in blood. That is when I made a Medical/Rehab coop. All of the roosters will be culled out by this next week and next year my roosters will be put in 15 separate 5' X 10' pasture pens that I saw someone here make, They look like mini quansit huts. I have one done and 14 to go. I have a 20' X 24' 40's era Woods open air coop that I built for the Hens.[​IMG]
  8. J.R. Richards

    J.R. Richards In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hello JerseyGiantSolder,
    I ordered five Black jersey Giant cockers and 1 pullet about 10 weeks ago and I now realize that my order was mixed up. I have 5 pullets and 1 cockeral. I wanted to try the roosters for my meat birds and was wondering what they are like if mixed with something like Cornish super X Rocks. I will be getting 75 of each of these breeds next year for my meat birds.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If you buy meat birds ment for meat, they are probally already crosses so even if they made it to maturity, they might not cross out again very meaty.
  10. chicka_dee

    chicka_dee In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    wow thanks guys for the quick replies!

    there is a lot of food for thought here (hehe pun intended!!!). i'll have to go have a ponder. i don't think we have jersey giants in australia. and i'm not sure about the indian game though they sound excellent (neat idea for crossing the indian game roo with another breed. hadn't occurred to me. what can i say... i'm new [​IMG]).

    i looked up the sussex... the light sussex is beautiful so i'll keep them in mind too :[​IMG].

    does anyone know if there is much size/meat difference between the australorps and the orpingtons. i know australorp is short for 'australian black orpington' but i also know the australorp lay better so that probably means their meat is a bit dodgy hey?

    also if i cross the indian game with the australorp/buff orpington will they be able to reach maturity with the collapsing leg thing happening (like the cornish x... what EXACTLY is a cornish x crossed with?)

    [​IMG] thats for all the great info everyone


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: