I am about to get my first chickens and am trying to decide on breeds to try. I would like to try 2 or 3 breeds with an initial flock of 25 chicks. My goal is a healthy flock that will forage, hopefully free-range, during the day (I have the space, will need to see about predators) and produce eggs as well as meat for us. I was leaning toward straight-run dual purpose breeds like New Hampshire, Barred Plymouth Rock and Delaware, so that I can butcher most of the males for meat in the fall. I am aware that these will not be meaty birds like a cornish cross would be, but I would like to have good foraging birds that act like chickens, and for now would rather not use the highly efficient meat birds. I also think that straight run seems a more sustainable approach. A neighbor told me that my male birds will be lanky with virtually no meat at 5-6 months, and thought it not worth the effort. Her experience is with sex-link crosses she uses for eggs. But, I'm reading that breeds like the Delaware and New Hampshire have lost many of their dual purpose qualities. I don't live near any small breeders, and this being my first batch of chicks, I was planning to get them from a major hatchery. Does anyone have experience with buying straight run dual purpose breeds and butchering the males for meat in the fall? What size birds do you get, and do you have to feed them separately from the pullets to get them to a reasonable butcher weight?