Some Meat and some Egg-laying chickens or all Dual-purpose chickens?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Brendan, Jan 5, 2010.

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  1. Brendan

    Brendan New Egg

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    Jan 5, 2010
    Please let me know which would be better? Buying all Dual-purpose chickens or half top meat breed and half top egg-laying breed? I am trying to think of it in terms of the most eggs and meat with the least amount of old hens (soup meat).

    Another thing, which are the best Meat, Egg-laying, and Dual purpose breeds anyhow?[​IMG]

    Thanks.
     
  2. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Well, I won't buy dual-purpose chickens for meat. We butchered a dozen BR cockerels last spring at 18 weeks old, and they dressed out between 3 and 4 pounds, if I remember correctly. Not too bad, and they can free range here, which is nice. The meat was good, but not what we were used to. We got the cockerels as "extra males for warmth" in an order of bantam cochins from Ideal, so we didn't pay for them initially. But feeding them for 18 weeks, and then listening to them crow for weeks, and trying not to get too attached to them wasn't my ideal for birds that I'm planning to eat, especially when they don't end up all that meaty for the time invested.

    So we ordered some cornish X rocks from Ideal, and loved them. We butchered between 7 and 8 weeks old, and got 4 to 5 pound carcasses. They ate a lot, and I figure the cost per chicken by butchering time was around $10, including purchase price and feed. But it is great meat, and I know what they ate and that they lived as normal a life as they could. They free ranged some of the time, but mostly were fed 28% protein turkey mash. The carcasses look like those you buy at a grocery store, except ours are bigger, leaner and have lighter dark meat. Don't know why the dark meat's so light, but I love it.

    As far as not having old hens running around, there are always people who would be willing to take in older hens when they're past their prime laying age. Craigslist would be a great resource for that.

    If you're looking for the best feed to egg conversion ratio, you can't go wrong with a leghorn. I've had a lot of people say they hate leghorns because they're crazy and flighty, but all of mine have come from McMurray hatchery, and they're some of my friendliest birds. They're the first to come to me at treat time, and they follow me all around the yard. I love them. If you want brown eggs, go with a production red or a sex link
     
  3. TimG

    TimG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Maine
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

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