Good dual purpose breeds for meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by harleyjo, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

    890
    0
    141
    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa
    To be perfectly honest we have done Cornish Cross twice now. The birds taste great but everything else about them we hate. They are way more messy than my dual purpose birds.

    What are good dual purpose breeds that make good birds to eat? Keeping in mind skin color etc. what do you recommend?
     
  2. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,140
    63
    203
    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    Quote:I second that lol we are on our third batch and they poop too much and are disgusting...They do taste good though.

    I have the same feelings you do I just can't do them any more. I want healthy chickens who are happy and getting into trouble while we are waiting to eat them lol. I talked to a lot of people and we finally decided on the Delaware. It was the breed that was used for commercial meat before the Cornish X came about. They have a meaty breast and grow kind of fast compared to some of the other DP breeds. They are ready to process between 16 and 24 weeks depending on what size you want your birds to be. Much beyond that and they will be tougher. I have a batch in my incubator right now and I will be hatching one more batch between now and the end of the year and using these for my egg layers and roos for the following year. I figure they will start laying by March or April right around when I will want to start hatching meaties for my kitchen. Then it is just a matter of keeping the best from each hatching to breed and culling the rest for freezer camp.

    Other breeds I have heard are good are Hampshire, Orpingtons, Brahmas, Dorkings, Cornish (I'm sure there are more but those are the ones that pop into my head.)

    Good luck in your search.
     
  3. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

    890
    0
    141
    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa
    Quote:I second that lol we are on our third batch and they poop too much and are disgusting...They do taste good though.

    I have the same feelings you do I just can't do them any more. I want healthy chickens who are happy and getting into trouble while we are waiting to eat them lol. I talked to a lot of people and we finally decided on the Delaware. It was the breed that was used for commercial meat before the Cornish X came about. They have a meaty breast and grow kind of fast compared to some of the other DP breeds. They are ready to process between 16 and 24 weeks depending on what size you want your birds to be. Much beyond that and they will be tougher. I have a batch in my incubator right now and I will be hatching one more batch between now and the end of the year and using these for my egg layers and roos for the following year. I figure they will start laying by March or April right around when I will want to start hatching meaties for my kitchen. Then it is just a matter of keeping the best from each hatching to breed and culling the rest for freezer camp.

    Other breeds I have heard are good are Hampshire, Orpingtons, Brahmas, Dorkings, Cornish (I'm sure there are more but those are the ones that pop into my head.)

    Good luck in your search.

    I wanted some Delaware and just didn't get them this year. Maybe I will have to make that a breed to try to find a couple to get me started.
     
  4. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,140
    63
    203
    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    Quote:I second that lol we are on our third batch and they poop too much and are disgusting...They do taste good though.

    I have the same feelings you do I just can't do them any more. I want healthy chickens who are happy and getting into trouble while we are waiting to eat them lol. I talked to a lot of people and we finally decided on the Delaware. It was the breed that was used for commercial meat before the Cornish X came about. They have a meaty breast and grow kind of fast compared to some of the other DP breeds. They are ready to process between 16 and 24 weeks depending on what size you want your birds to be. Much beyond that and they will be tougher. I have a batch in my incubator right now and I will be hatching one more batch between now and the end of the year and using these for my egg layers and roos for the following year. I figure they will start laying by March or April right around when I will want to start hatching meaties for my kitchen. Then it is just a matter of keeping the best from each hatching to breed and culling the rest for freezer camp.

    Other breeds I have heard are good are Hampshire, Orpingtons, Brahmas, Dorkings, Cornish (I'm sure there are more but those are the ones that pop into my head.)

    Good luck in your search.

    I wanted some Delaware and just didn't get them this year. Maybe I will have to make that a breed to try to find a couple to get me started.

    If you have an incubator I highly recommend getting eggs and hatching them from some of the breeders on the forum. Their birds are by far superior to the ones you will get from the hatchery and you will start out ahead of the game for breeding than if you start with hatchery birds. Some might do chicks too not sure but I wouldn't use the hatchery birds since they are less like what the birds were meant to be like than the ones you will find through the breeders. Just my opinion though.
     
  5. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,790
    13
    163
    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    There are quite a few threads on this. Here are some of the recent ones:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=502661

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=536177

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/post.php?tid=537362

    Good luck! If I were to go DP for meat, I'd probably go to a Delaware first - and definitely buy from a breeder.

    I'm raising my first batch of Red Broilers (Freedom Ranger types) and am happy with them so far. We'll see what I say in a couple weeks.
     
  6. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

    890
    0
    141
    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa
    I do have an incubator so that is something to consider. Thanks
     
  7. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    973
    157
    188
    Oct 13, 2008
    Do you want hens that will lay well too (rhode island, barred rock maybe)? Do you want a breed that is cold-hardy/heat-tolerant (chantecler or brahma, respectively, perhaps)? Do you want hens that will set (dorkings, maybe)? Is personality/docility important to you (what about sussex, brahma, faverolle)? Do you need birds that will be good at foraging, or good at avoiding predators (dark cornish, speckled sussex)? Do you have aesthetic preferences in color patterns, body shape, skin color, etc. (wyandottes, barred rocks, white sussex, etc, etc)?

    These are all worth considering when looking at dual-purpose breeds. All DP will make decent meat birds, that's why they call them "dual purpose." I think one of the really neat things is that there are so many breeds with so many characteristics to choose from... I'd narrow it down to a handful that you think would be ideal for your situation, and then start seeing what's available to you... Note that different strains can vary a lot as well, so take the "general breed characteristics" with a grain of salt as you shop around...

    Good luck!
     
  8. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    7,176
    10
    241
    Apr 28, 2011
    TN
    well, i have rouen ducks, i haven't eaten one yet but, i heard they are wonderful meat birds.
     
  9. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    973
    157
    188
    Oct 13, 2008
    oooh! I would LOVE some farm-raised duck right now! [​IMG] LOL
     
  10. SirFarmAlot

    SirFarmAlot Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    22
    Jun 27, 2011
    My daughter and son-in-law gave me some Rhode Island Reds for Father's Day as a good dual purpose bird. I'm thinking they made a good choice.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by