Is dual purpose feasable?


11 Years
Oct 12, 2008
Rural Louisiana
DH and I are planning on starting w/ 11 chickens and a cock free range for eggs. Most likely we will end up w/ NHR RIR or Barred Rocks cause are plentiful locally, I plan on having my Grandfather help us pick them out.

Anyhow, I've been seeing a lot of dual purpose is pretty much pointless, but I'm wondering. Since we are going to have the chickens anyhow, if one or two go broody, go ahead and raise the chicks for meat, separate from the others in a lg run.
Except for every few years to raise younger ones for the laying coop.
Did that make any sense?


11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
To me it does. We just processed 14 heavy breed roosters tonight- no, they aren't profitable to raise...but that isn't what you are after. You want a good egg layer who is also a nice tasting bird-many dual purpose breeds will fit the bill. It is what they were originally used for- keep the hens, eat the extra cockerels. No way could you raise these birds for sale and expect to come out ahead, but you can cerainly raise them alongside your hens and when they are ready, send them to the frying pan or crock pot! Ours are no where near as meaty as our broilers, but at 18 weeks, all still were decently fleshed and I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much emat was on them. We did barred rocks, turkens, and wyandottes- the two turkens we had a week ago were fantastic!


12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
Parma Idaho
yep,if you can sell a few eggs or chicks it will all come out ok,of course free ranging is the key then you have free eggs and free chicken dinner even if you have to butcher two for the meal


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jan 26, 2007
BC, Washington Border
Why dual purpose doesn't work for so many breeds is that they have been bred more selectively for eggs than meat in the past few decades. Delawares, and Dorkings for the most part carry the dual purpose edge still.


11 Years
Aug 2, 2008
South Central KY
This chart is good for comparing various breeds.
You can see which ones mature early or late, what size and color eggs they lay, how well they lay, what size they grow to. They even show general temperament, and whether they tend to be good brooders or not. It's not the most accurate on some breeds, but it gives you at least a rough idea what breeds might work best for you. Then you can look up info for the individual breeds. They have links to sites with more detailed info in the first column beside each breed.

Dual purpose can work well for some of us, but you need to get a good breed for it. Some are much better than others. You can also keep your regular dual purpose flock, and if you need more in the freezer, now and then raise a batch of meat birds, like the red bros, or other color range breed or even Cornish X if you can stand them. No reason you had to go all one way or the other. It's possible to strike a balance.

at some point, you may want to buy some dual purpose birds from a breeder, rather than a hatchery, because the hatchery birds are usually smaller and less true to type than the breeder birds. They're usually what are called "production run", meaning (I think, anybody jump in and correct me if I'm mistaken) that they've been bred for reproducing quickly, at the expense of other, perhaps more desirable, traits. This often makes for pretty good layers, but that's not always the top consideration.


11 Years
Jan 29, 2008
southern tier,NY
Yes,it does make sense.I raise chickens for meat in batches.It wouldn't make sense for me to buy dual purpose day old chicks and raise them with the intention of filling my freezer.
For someone who already had roosters that wanted to process them off that's a great idea.You would be putting them to good use and feeding your family.
I think the reason"most" people don't promote "dual purpose" for meat is they believe you are compromising some meat for an egg trait when meat is your goal. Will


Everybody loves a Turkey
11 Years
Feb 10, 2008
Eastern NC
We think they are more than feasable. Of course they don't have the feed conversion the X's do but when you look at the "big picture" I think they are a better value in the long run.

1) they will self reproduce
2) You can sell hatching eggs, eating eggs, chicks, laying hens, eating roo's - every dollar they make you is a dollar off the feed bill.
3) different breeds have different body make up, for example if you like legs and thighs the Buff Orpington is the perfect bird. they have huge leg 1/4's.

Steve in NC

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