What is the best Dual purpose bird??

davony's chicks

Songster
10 Years
May 30, 2009
807
20
138
Missouri
I really want to everyones opinions for the best dual purpose bird.

I of course want my eggs to eat but I would also like to hatch some eggs to raise to eat.

When I started with chickens a few years ago, I thought Black Australorps were the best choice. I am not so sure now. I had two 6-7 month old roos butchered yesterday and I am so disapointed in their size. There is no meat on them at all!

What are your experiences and thoughts please.
 

punky rooster

Awesome
9 Years
Jul 21, 2010
3,788
9
181
I like buckeyes best but here is my list of breeds:
buckeye
dorkings
plymouth rocks
I like them best
other:
Dominique
chantecler
RIR
orpingtons
Delaware
Astrolorp
punky
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Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
597
448
South Georgia
I wonder if you were expecting them to "meat out" like a Cornish cross.

Might have to do with your feed, to some extent --- there is a lot of info in this forum about best way to feed various breeds for meat.

I bought a bunch of dual purpose and raised them for meat and eggs. We butchered most of the roos around 14-18 weeks. They did not have the meat of a large grocery store bird, but they made a great meal. I was lazy and fed them all like layers.

Orpingtons are noted for their leg size. I don't know which one does best for breasts -- around here we have trouble finding takers for the white meat.

I won't buy Barred Rock for this purpose again, because they were a pain to pluck. New Hampshire Reds might be my second choice after Orps.
 

Cowgirl71

Songster
9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
3,176
81
221
Missouri Ozarks
If you are comparing your Australorp roos to the chicken at the store, then don't. They're two totally different things. No dual-purpose bird will look like that, regardless of how they're raised and what breed they are. If you want birds that are as meaty as the store's chickens, then you'd want to get some Cornish X broiler chicks (which cannot reproduce naturally).

But if you want a good dual-purpose breed, the best one's for meat are New Hampshire Reds, Delawares, and Orpingtons, in that order. With these three breeds the hens are still good layers, but probably not as good as your Australorps. Hope this helps!
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davony's chicks

Songster
10 Years
May 30, 2009
807
20
138
Missouri
Quote:
I wish I would have taken pictures. I didn't really expect them to be like the ones in the store but there just is not very much meat on them at all.
I guess it would have helped more if I had take pictures. Oh well, I guess they will still taste much better!

Thank you all for your posts. I think I will still keep my black australorps.

Since I already have a few orphingtons and new hampshire reds I think I will set up a seperate place to breed them to raise for meat.

Thanks again
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AussieAcres

In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
89
2
39
Honestly, there will be a hundred different people with a hundred different answers to questions like this. There are a lot of variables that will get you different results. Climate, feed, genetics, etc. It is probably best to just try different breeds until you find one you are satisfied with. This upcoming year I am giving Wyndottes a try.
 

Keara

Songster
10 Years
Sep 24, 2009
708
3
121
Vermont
I am trying Black Copper Marans so far I have just been culling my smaller roos, so as to breed only my largest animals. They were not too big, 5lbs at 15wks. But I feel they will make a very good duel breed, especially once I breed up the size in my flock.
I am also going to try wyndottes, maybe next year.
 

Cowgirl71

Songster
9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
3,176
81
221
Missouri Ozarks
Davony's Chicks: Did you give your cockerels free-choice high-protein feed (like 14%+)?

Keara and AussieAcres: If you want Wyandottes for a good dual-purpose breed, I'd steer clear from Golden Laced Wyandottes. I got three roos and five hens from Cackle last year, and though the pullets grew out well (and currently hold 1st place for the beauty contest in my flock
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), the roos didn't grow out near as well as the Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, and Rhode Island Red roos. They took an extra month to get to the same size. I later researched it and found that GLWs are known for having roos that take longer to get to their mature size than other breeds. But Silver Laced Wyandottes, Columbian Wyandottes, and White Wyandottes are all good dual-purpose breeds.
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davony's chicks

Songster
10 Years
May 30, 2009
807
20
138
Missouri
Quote:
I have always fed my chicks 22% game bird up until they are about 5-6 weeks. I still will sometimes mix a little in with the layer crumbles and the cracked corn.

I feed layer crumbles and cracked corn everyday. I have never tried any of the scratch grains. I also feed stuff out of the garden and sometimes I boil some of my duck eggs and crush them up shells and all. Sometimes when I am home and have time to keep an eye out I will let them all out and free range for part of the day but that does not happen often.
 

MANNA-PRO

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