Which is best for table meat as well as eggs??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MamaDragon, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    258
    2
    131
    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    Greetings All!

    I've been looking at three breeds for use as both meat and eggs..... New Hampshire Reds, the Buff Orps, and the Brahmas.

    all three breeds are listed as moderate layers = 3/wk.
    all three claim to be over 7 lbs grown weight.
    all three are cold-tolerant which is important as I cannot heat our coop, nor adequately insulate it at present. The ability to sucessfully survive nights in the single digits, and days that sometimes stay below freezing is important.

    Of the three choices, Brahmas supposedly have the gentlest temperment, and with small kids around, this is a consideration. I've got (i think anyway), a NHR roo, two NHR hens laying, and an adolescent NHR as well. [As those two are the only ones that lay brown eggs, we get an egg apiece 5 or more days aweek]

    I want to expand / replace the mixed flock we were given with all one breed, and be able to both harvest enough eggs for both home use and sale of excess, as well as butcher for table meat. A high fertility / viability rate for hatching is also an important consideration.

    Comments, suggestions, alternatives are all gratefully heard.

    Thanks,
    Kathy
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, if you are going for more economics than pets, go with NHR's from your list. The orps and brahams will probably like to sit on eggs and not give you as many net eggs.

    As for meat, none of the "dual" purpose types will be anything like what you buy in the store and extras should be butchered at 12-16 weeks or so regardless. Some breeds reach 12+ lbs as adults, but that can be 18 months old, not worth eating for meat by then as they will be rubbery shoes.


    I suggest you take a look and search the meat bird section, there are numerous threads and discussion about dual type birds.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    6,396
    10
    263
    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
  4. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    258
    2
    131
    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    I don't have the space or finances to allow us to keep two flocks. The landlord here has placed a limit of 25 - 30 birds total on us, so it's not going to be a big operation by any means....

    Therefore i'm trying to find a decent compromise... I'm not expecting huge birds, or every-day layers...(although both would be possible in a Perfect World). Ones that dress out at 3.5 lbs on up at 13 weeks or so would be good, if at all possible.

    Thanks
     
  5. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    2,121
    16
    211
    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:We have eaten plenty of older roo's and hens and never have they been "rubbery shoes" It's all in the ageing and cooking process

    Steve in NC
     
  6. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    2,121
    16
    211
    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    In our book you can't go wrong with buff orpington for a dual purpose bird. Ours lay a large to jumbo sized brown egg, year round. They are a "leggy" bird so if you like leg 1/4s or drumsticks they are huge. Also, the breasts are nice and full, great on the grill.

    They will go broody but if you collect the eggs every day that takes care of that, or if you let them sit and hatch they are great mothers and will keep you going with a steady supply of birds.

    Steve in NC
     
  7. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    i am "creating" so to speak, black sexlinks, which are dual prupose birds. to do this you need a RIR or NHR roo, and barred rock hens. the chicks'sex is identifiable when they hatch. the roos, or the ones we are going to eat, are raised separately, and fed as you would meat birds. The pullets are exceptional egg layers, and can be sold at livestock sales etc. Barred rocks on their own are good layers, with nice personalities.
     
  8. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    258
    2
    131
    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    If they go broody, all the better. I'd rather raise the next generation naturally than either hatch out eggs or have to buy day-old chicks.

    miss_thenorth - can you continue line-breeding with the daughters from the original hens, and does the sex-link continue on down?? How are they for layers, and do the culls make decent table meat? Note that I said decent, not top of the line. I realize that with trying to find a good Compromise bird that I'm not going to get the best of either layers or meat. I don't want too tough to eat, nor do I want only 2 eggs /wk from the hens.

    Thanks,

    Kathy
     
  9. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Quote:Well, so far, my BRs are not of laying age. We are just getting into this. They should be laying by October.

    The black sexlinks are said to be good production layers, and the BRs are also supposed to go broody.

    Only time will tell, but I will keep you posted.

    As far as line breeding, i don't really plan on getting into that. I plan on selling the pullets, and eating the cockerels. If all works well for a few years, I will definitely have to look into this, or replenish my laying stock.

    Edited b/c I can'type tonight.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I think the Buff Orpingtons are your best bet for the all around characteristics you desire. Moderately broody, good mothers, meaty birds, mild disposition, good in cold weather. Beautiful as well. They are a larger hen than my NHR, seem to have bigger thighs and breasts.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by