THE all purpose chicken

DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
So, I am looking for THE all purpose chicken, and I am open to suggestions. I will post exactly what I am looking for, and if you guys could, if you could post each category on a scale of 1/10 of where your bird rates, that would be awesome, so I can find the all purpose bird for me!

I live in Washington so...
_/10 1.Cold Resistant
_/10 2.Egg Production
_/10 3.Meat Bird
_/10 4.Forging Skills
_/10 5.Disease Resistant
_/10 6.Broodiness
_/10 7.Temperate
_/10 8.Color variety
_/10 9. Predator Resistance
_/10 10. Reproduction

I think those are basically it. So if you guys could provide those details. I have been looking through the reviews for breed, but I really feel it'd be nice to have them rated in each category, so I can find what categories are most important for us and use those.

Also, we are thinking about getting ducks, so if you guys have experience and would like to do the same thing with different duck breeds that would be much appreciated. Although I think we've already decided on Muscovies for those, but we are more than open to opinions. Also, turkeys. But those are still just in the consideration process on if we are going to get them or not.

Thank you all in advance!
 
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subhanalah

Crowing
5 Years
I would say muscovy ducks, but they do need additional pritection/shelter if your temperatures get much below freezing for any significant amount of time.

Great meat, they go broody, are decent layers (not as good as mallard derived super layers though) and can fly away from predators.
 
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DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
Thank you, I should have said the all purpose chicken, so I edited that, but yes, I have done some research on muscovies and we've decided to go ahead and get those when we are ready for ducks, although they don't sell them around here, so we're going to have to drive a way to get them or have them shipped. But it's worth it to me.

All the birds will have a coop at night, and we'll be able to provide heat for them, I just don't want anything that is going to freeze in cold temperatures. It doesn't get super cold here, but cold enough to consider the temperatures and how it will affect the birds.
 

subhanalah

Crowing
5 Years
Australorps are pretty* (editted: VERY) good layers, make a pretty good size carcass. They don't fly though.

There are also Jersey Giants (many predators don't mess with them due to their size. That said, they don't fly so are still vulnerable.

I think you're probably going to have to sacrifice something. The birds that are good at evading predators are typically small enough to fly well and don't make a good size carcass when all is said and done.
This also goes for larger size carcass for egg laying abilities, save the australorp. They are big and lay eggs with the best of them if you get a good line.
 
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DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
I heard orpingtons were a good multi-purpose bird? Would you agree, the predator resistance isn't the MOST important thing parse, because we are going to take quite a few precautions to get rid of predators, first of all we also have other larger livestock, we have goats, pigs, cows, and horses. We also have 2 dogs. We are planning on giving the chickens about 1 acre to free range on (we are thinking 9 hens, 1 roo) and we are going to wrap this in 2 strands of hot wire, one close to the ground for anybody trying to dig under, and one a little higher for anybody trying to climb over. Our coop is going to be off the ground ect. Basically our biggest predator will be either those that are VERY determined, which we've already accepted we're going to lose some, and then also high predators, which is why nothing super small would work. I'm hoping if we have a little larger birds it'll scare off some. Of course, we can also do things to get rid of those as well. Scare crow or whatever we need.

I guess I should rearrange the list to priorities, instead of what popped into my head at what time haha. I'll go do that now.
 

subhanalah

Crowing
5 Years
Orrington are great birds but not the best for what you want I think. They don't seem to be as redactor savvy as you would need.
They also don't lay well for the amount of feed they consume.

I really think australorps are your best choice. They are great birds, full of personality. They will also brood for you. They don't just come in black, but the other varieties are hard to come by.

There are also heritage Rhode Island reds, which I'm also very partial to, even though I don't have any.

You would be hard pressed to find a predator that will chose to go after a large Jersey roo. If they do, any other breed of chicken also wouldn't stand a chance unless they were small enough to fly away.
 
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DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
Hmm, my parents had australorps and they were the most mean birds of the flock, never wanted to get near you, the australorps and the California Whites were the only ones that wouldn't run up to greet you in the mornings. The Rhode Island reds were always nice though. The brama's and cochins were by far the nicest, but not exactly what I'm looking for.
 

DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
Ok, they may have just been unfriendly because my dad got them when they were already about 20 weeks old, they may not have been very socialized as chicks. Thank you!
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,899
581
Southern Oregon
Between the traits of high egg production, broodiness and good meat carcass.....you can't have all three. You'll need to decide which is the least important to you, that will help narrow your search.

That's why some of us keep more than one breed, to cover all the traits we want in our flock. I have layers that are Leghorn/EE/barred rock mix....they're high production birds, not huge carcasses on the guys but enough to make a meal....no brooding. So, I have bantam cochins for broodies. This year I've ordered a few dark Cornish hens to phase out my aging bantam cochins....the Cornish are supposed to be broody as anything, and good meat birds, but very unspectacular layers.
 
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