Duel purpose chickens - Australorps v. Cochins?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by scoopy82, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. scoopy82

    scoopy82 Songster

    Dec 19, 2010
    Victoria - Australia!
    I plan on starting up my incubator next weekend and have 2 dozen eggs to put in it. So that means I have room for another dozen and I would like to try a dual purpose bird so the unwanted boys will be acceptable for eating. I have narrowed down my choices to either Australorps or Cochins as I have access to fertile eggs of both breeds.
    So which breed would be better? I have heard that Australorps are popular, a good meat bird and good layers too, where as Cochins aren't as popular and dont lay was well but mature into an excellent table bird. I plan on selling what ever hatches and will keep and eat whatever boys are left.
    Anyone have any opinions on this?

  2. ericwaddle3

    ericwaddle3 Chirping

    Sep 6, 2011
    Australorps are excellent layers, and while I prefer dressing lighter plumage birds they are hefty and do provide plenty of meat
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Unless you're going to get show birds, Australorps are actually generally pretty small and skinny, as they're bred for super-production these days. Because they're so popular, they're pretty far from being a hefty, meaty, dual purpose bird.

    Cochins are also bred a lot for production, but not as badly. I've seen some hatchery/poor quality Cochins still with decent size, so, I'd personally go with them.

    But from show stock, again I'd hit the Cochin department and with much satisfaction. The standard asks they be over 10 lbs after all. [​IMG]
  4. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    The problem that you will have with Cochins is they are very slow to mature. Mine started laying 2-3 months after the rir of the same age. They do get big, very big, and would be nice and plump with nice big breasts, but it will take a lot of time to get there. I think my roosters were crowing at 7-8 months but they didn't really reach full size till around a year. But when they do they are magnificent! They are also good foragers and great at taking care of themselves, so if you go the free-range option that will help on your feed, but I would say that the feed to meat conversion would be awful, as is the feed to egg conversion. I just love them anyway. [​IMG]

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