Is anybody else trying to breed the perfect dual purpose breed.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Lordofchickens 86, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Lordofchickens 86

    Lordofchickens 86 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2011
    The Burg FL
    I am trying to breed a heat tolerant good meat and good egglaying fowl. im using american breeds because they are the best in my opinion. also using south american breeds . i love me some organic eggs and chicken meat. i started years ago with a leghorn rhode island mutt roo and a buff orpington hen the only english blood in the light strain.i have two strains going a light strain and a dark strain. the dark strain is started with a americana roo and a wyandotte hen. if your wondering have no life.hahaha [​IMG] does nobody else farm chickens for food. i have a flock of 2 barred plymouth rocks ,2 rhode island reds,2 silverlaced wyandottes,1 new hampshire,2 aracaunas,2 jersey giants.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  2. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Well of course we farm chickens for food around here - A lot of us who have special breeds and the sort usually eat our "culls." Plus there's those of us who use heritage/non-hatchery stock, since it is indeed bigger and meatier. [​IMG]

    I myself am indeed working on a dual purpose/meat mutt who's cold hardy, a decent speed of growth rate, has an attractive color, colored eggs that aren't brown, and does well in a free ranging environment. I'm actually steering clear of the slow growing American breeds, but instead using some more oddity/rare breeds like Araucana, Shamo, Sussex, and French Marans for my project as well as a little Polish in there too. Long story.
  3. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2010
    Got one started in June but putting on hold for now, I'm gonna have to down size.
  4. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    Quote:I would have suggested the following breeds for your project:

    Game x Asil or a 3-way: Game x Asil= f1 x Dorking

    I wouldn't put Leghorn into anything I was going to eat (unless you are talking about exhibition quality Leghorns which are heavier than any other Leghorn).
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  5. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    [[[.......also using south american breeds for heat tolerance......]]]]

    You do know that South America isn't any warmer than North America? Araucana come from the south of Chile which is rather close to Alaska in weather.

    I'd breed in a few Leghorns to try to capture that heavy laying gene. However, you'd sure need to somehow get that small size and poor feed conversion removed.
  7. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    What precisely IS the definition of a "perfect dual purpose breed"?

    I've seen a lot of folks talking about breeding "dual-purpose" birds over the years but seldom do I see a definition of what it's supposed to be.

    As I understand it the dual-purpose chicken is the best compromise attainable of both a high-egg producing bird and a meat bird. Thus we'd want a bird that grows out quickly if not as quickly as the modern day Cornish crosses can do. It needs to attain a good size by no later than twenty weeks if it's to be slaughtered while still moderately tender. It may grow still larger at a year or even two years, but if it's hasn't hit market weight by twenty weeks it's value begins to plummet along with its feed conversion rate. Can't forget that because feed costs are THE major driver in the economic equation.

    On the other side of the ledger our perfect bird needs to begin laying by no later than twenty weeks for spring hatched birds, the eggs should size up fairly fast to at least a large size, and it should lay...? How many eggs should a flock of dual-purpose birds lay in their first year? I maintain they should lay at least 200 eggs flock average per bird in their pullet year and if you can get to 250 without sacrificing the desirable traits in the above paragraph you've put your accomplishment squarely in the bullseye.

    As I read the old poultry books and articles those birds did once exist. They never got as big (or even close) at twenty weeks as a modern day Cornish cross can by eight to nine weeks and they did it at a much poorer feed conversion rate. Even at 250 eggs in their pullet year that's nothing to write home about compared to a well bred Leghorn or modern day commercial sex-link, but still it was a pretty dang good rate of lay for the birds of their day. Putting all of that into a single bird that can reproduce itself without resorting to hybridizing would be quite an accomplishment.

    If a bird that can meet all of the above requirements still exists today I can't find them. I hear about such creatures, but they are proving to be elusive so far. Which means that if they are ever to be someone will have to recreate them. And it will likely take a pretty fair size flock to do it I believe. That's a lot of expense up front for something that may well have a long delayed payoff.

    For what it's worth Decorah Hatchery claims to have a line of Barred Rocks that can lay 250 eggs average in their pullet year, but I haven't personally seen them yet. Nor do I have any idea of what their growout rate and size is. I hope to order some for next spring and check them out for myself.
  8. Lordofchickens 86

    Lordofchickens 86 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2011
    The Burg FL
    I know that my chickens don't have any problems in 90-100 degree heat. i still got a half dozen eggs . that was the temp almost every day this summer. the dad was about ten pounds i would guess that the orpington leghorn rhode island red is about 81/2 pound maybe 9.i also have a wyandotte/americana roo who is about the same wieght. i'm about to put some barred plymouth rock mutt roos in the freezer in 2 months they are 3 months old and as big as their moms. i don't want small size i want 8-9pound hens that lay at least 5 eggs a week. those are my goals.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  9. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Any of the crosses below would make a good table fowl but keep in mind the birds from a breeder will work better than birds from a hatchery. (hatchery birds are a lot smaller than they should be)

    • Light Sussex x White Wyandotte
    An excellent table chicken but care must be taken in selecting the breeders so the breast bone of the offspring is not too high. Care should also be taken in selecting the White Wyandotte hens, they must not have any black in the legs in order to get good white fleshed table bird. These are fast growing birds that are short legged, carrying lots of meat. Feathers are white with the odd black fleck. Almost all of these birds will be white fleshed.

    • White Wyandotte X Light Sussex
    Take care in selecting the White Wyandotte Cocks, they must not have any black in the legs in order to get good white fleshed table bird. Some chicks will have a yellow skin but other than this, the resulting birds are much the same as the Light Sussex X White Wyandotte cross mentioned above.

    • Indian Game (Cornish) X Rhode Island Red
    This produces a yellow skinned bird which can be greatly enhanced in color by feeding corn and allowing access to fresh green grass. The Rhode Island Red is a fast growing breed which dominates the slower growing Indian Game. Indian Game cocks should be at least a year old so that fertility is high. Since Rhode Island Reds are prolific layers, there is never any shortage of hatching eggs.

    • Indian Game X Light Sussex on Light Sussex
    This is a second cross that was once very popular to produce a very meaty white fleshed table bird. The first cross results in slow growth but the second results in very fast growth.

    In the Indian Game (Cornish) X Light Sussex on Light Sussex above, you will bred a Indian Game (Cornish) Rooster to a Light Sussex Hen then the offspring of this cross would be crossed back to a Light Sussex

    Note that the Indian Game (Cornish) is not the Cornish Cross but the actual Cornish breed.


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