Newbie question for getting Eggs and Meat?


9 Years
May 29, 2011
I'm considering my options for buying some chicks for the purpose of egg laying and secondarily for meat.

What we'd like is chickens that will lay eggs with some regularity to supply us with eggs and a little surplus for friends etc. We'd like brown eggs, but that's not critical.

My thought though is that, if it's possible, I'd like to get chickens that can lay eggs for a while and when they get to whatever point it's appropriate (I assume as they get older and / or egg production wanes?) we coudl use them for meat and get new chicks.

I tried the breed adviser tool but it didn't give me any that would be good for both, but I may have been overly specific or something.

I figured there's got to be folks in the same boat, so I thought I'd post, say 'Hi!' and see what wisdom I could glean from the folks who've been at this for a while...

Thanks for any input!

Welcome to the forum!
Glad you joined us!

Any of the dual purpose breeds will give you what you want. That's what the dual purpose means, both meat and eggs. They don't give you meat like the broilers and they don't normally lay like the leghorns, but they will give you a lot of eggs and, eventually, pretty good meat.

You can look through the Henderson Breed Chart for Dual Purpose breeds, then go to Feathersite to see what they look like.

Henderson’s Breed Chart


I'm sure I'll forget a few, but the ones I'd consider are any of the Rocks, any of the Wyandottes, New Hampshire, Delaware, Black Australorp, Orpington, Sussex, Dorking, Favorelle, Chantecler, and Buckeye. Maybe even the Brahma's or Jersey Giants, but these tend to be slow to mature.
I have Rhode Island Reds, they lay a nice brown egg, and I had a few roosters grow out of them, and they made real good eating, like chicken should taste. Also any sexlink is a dual purpose bird and they lay nice large brown eggs, and are much more gentle and calm in temperment compared to the RIR's. Good luck in your search, I am sure others here will have more information.
Here is a link that will give descriptions for each breed and includes a "Purpose" which will say Dual, Egg-Laying, Ornamental, or Meat. There is a picture of most breeds too. There are a lot of dual purpose birds so you might also want to look at the average adult size since they vary.

As mentioned in an earlier post, a Rhode Island Red is a very good layer as well as a good sized bird.
I have Light Brahmas and Delawares. I am just starting so I can't say anything about egg production as of yet or meat quality but I know that out of the 5 breeds I have my Brahmas and Dellys are by far growing faster than the other three breeds and seem to have a heavier (meatier) body versus the others. I also have Buff Orpingtons, Easter Egger, Gold Comets and Cochins but none are growing at the same rate as the first two. I can't wait to see what kind of meat bird them make come next spring.

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