Hello Everyone :D

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by CydniPatton, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. CydniPatton

    CydniPatton Just Hatched

    Sep 26, 2016
    Cleveland, Georgia
    Hi all, I am new to Back Yard Chickens. Just like all newbies I've been researching coops, runs, feed, eggs, chickens. Everything Chicken related basically. I thought I wanted dual purpose chickens. But in my research I think I've found that no one chicken breed is truly good at both meat production & egg production. Even the birds known as dual purpose. If you want a chicken for eggs then by the time you get a fair # of eggs from said Hen, she's no longer tasty to eat! Or if you slaughter her before she gets tough & stringy, then she's not met her maximum potential for egg yield! Is there a way to have the best of both worlds? Is there a magical hen out there laying eggs & then tender & juicy when she's done laying? Probably not. Is there a hen out there that lays enough eggs early on before she gets too tough? I'm thinking I'm going to have to have a flock of two different breeds. The High yield egg producers & the tender juicy meat producers. So far my list of potentials is quite long & the research exasperating. I would also like to keep a few hens to raise more of both egg layers & meat production. Although that dream seams like just that, a dream. So far the breeds I'm looking at are Jersey Giant, Orpington, Plymouth Rock, Langshan, Sussex, Australorp, Delaware, Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Faverolle & Dominique. Maybe I'll just buy a few off all of them & see what happens. Just have a bunch of back yard mutts running around next spring. Got any wisdom or experience, feel free to tell me about it. Hope everyone is having a clucking good day.
  2. ChickenGoesRuff

    ChickenGoesRuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2015
    I find that my plymouth rocks have done well, and also my delawares. Welcome to the addicting world of chickens and BYC!
  3. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

    Apr 11, 2010

    Australorp..just had one hatch, looking like a boy. Come on girls! More of them and some leghorns. Leghorns, not a very big bird for meat, but they sure do give the eggs!
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC [​IMG] I do have some dual purpose birds, but I usually slaughter them at 18 months, so i get almost a year's worth of eggs, and some tasty (not too chewy) meat as well.

    All the best
  5. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello there and welcome to Backyard chickens!! Another thing you can do is order St. Run, of a dual purpose breed, then slaughter the roosters around 6 months old when they are fully grown and let the hens live out their laying potential. And St run is cheaper to. I hope you enjoy BYC!!
  6. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

    Most folks do not use DP hens for meat, until they are several years old and then they are only good for stew. It's the roosters you eat. Yes, roosters often have a gamey flavor. They won't taste like store bought chickens and they won't be as tender, though a cockerel butchered younger than five months and rested at least three days should be pretty good. Still not something you can barbeque, but good.

    No hen who lays an extraordinary amount of eggs will be a very good meat bird, and no good meat bird will be a great layer. Dual purpose means compromise on both sides. A great DP pullet will give 150, maybe 180 eggs in a year and a great DP cockerel will dress out to a nice 4-8 pounds depending on breed. The more emphasis on meat, the less eggs likely to be laid. The more emphasis on egg, the smaller and skinnier the frame.

    If you go dual purpose, you need to go to a breeder. Hatcheries have bred all true DP birds into very small, watered down, egg laying machines, with absolutely no value as a meat bird or breeder thereof. Only a breeder who works with real, standardbred birds is going to have a good DP.

    If you decide to raise separate breeds, then you could go with one egg production breed and one meat production breed, or you could simply keep a flock of layers and raise and freeze a crop of Cornish Cross once or twice a year if you prefer the look and taste of a store bought chicken.

    For eggs, any hatchery bred production fowl will do. Leghorn, Black Sex Link, Red Sex Link, Barred Rock, Australorp, Wyandotte, the list goes on. Any of those will give you 200+ eggs in a year and Leghorns, BSLs, and RSLs tend to go above 300.

    For meat, you need breeder stock/standardbred birds. There just isn't a hatchery in the world that hasn't horribly watered down its DP and meat breeds. The Standard Cornish is the best meat bird around, hands down. Thick, stocky bodies, short legs, overall very good size and very pleasing carcass. They grow slow but they'll be bigger than other birds at any age. Beyond that, Delaware and Buckeye are nice, as are Plymouth Rock, Orpington, Naked Neck, and Rhode Island Red.

    And yes, good old fashioned mutts - if they come from the right stock - can be excellent producers and layers. I have a pair of 1/2 Cornish 1/2 Orpington (ish) birds, my first hatch of this year, and at about 8 months now the capon is getting HUGE (mm Christmas dinner) and the pullet gives a respectable 4/week and has already brooded and hatched 7 chicks for me. Mutts can be some of the best birds around, but only if their parents are - the parents of this particular pair of siblings are among my best birds, the Cornish mother has excellent size and is very broody, her type isn't half bad either, and the cockbird is a 10 pound "mostly" Orpington beast with an excellent personality and who's daughters and nieces are all very respectable layers.
    1 person likes this.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Queen Misha you are making me very hungry. I would willingly settle for a cold chicken sandwich [​IMG]
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard chickens.[​IMG]
  9. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Mm... nothing better than a chicken dinner. I've been eyeing up my oldest capon all summer... can't WAIT until Christmas... he's gonna be HUGE.
  10. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, and :welcome. Pleased you joined us. You've already received some great advice so I'll just say good luck and best wishes!! So many great breeds from which to choose! :)

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