you can only choose 3

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kelidei, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. kelidei

    kelidei ~*Dances with chickens*~

    Mar 18, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    I am rethinking my chicken plan... now that I know a bit more and have a little experience under my belt. I really would like good dual purpose birds... perhaps one that is a little better layer and one that is a little better meat bird. I am intrigued by the Buckeyes... they are a threatened breed and supposedly a good dual purpose--- does very well free ranging, friendly, non-aggressive... similar to RIR's which I love... but they can be aggressive---especially roos... So I thought I'd ask BYCers if you could only have 3 breeds which ones would you absoilutely have to have... and why... THANKS![​IMG]

    PS--- if the powers that be feel this is not the right place to post this --- by all means put it where it belongs![​IMG]
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    1. Buff Orpingtons because they are sweet, my hubby likes them, and they lay well.
    2. Silkies because they are fluffy and cute. Oh they lay some eggs- that is nice.
    3. Easter Eggers because they make the egg basket beautiful.

    Honorable mention goes to cochins because they are so sweet.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Any dual purpose breed will probably suit you. You can check Henderson's Breed Chart on personality to help get tendencies for the breed, like the RIR's possible aggressiveness, but you will find people on here that have non-aggressive RIR's. I'll add Feathersite so you can see what they look like.

    Henderson’s Breed Chart


    Realizing it is pure personal preference, I would probably consider New Hampshire and Delaware for the meat breeds. It is not that they are such great meat birds. How good they are as far as meat production purely depends on how good the original stock is and hatchery stock is not going to be that different for any of the dual purpose breeds. These birds with their lighter feathers will give you a prettier carcass if you pluck instead of skin. Buff Rocks, White Rocks, Buff Orpingtons will work as well, but I personally prefer the Delaware and New Hampshire. If you skin instead of pluck, it does not really matter. You mentioned friendly so I am leaving off the Wyandottes. Some people have friendkly Wyandottes but as a breed they are often a little more skittish.

    As far as egg laying, Leghorns are the best, but they are not especially friendly as a breed, like the Wyandottes. Some of that may depend on how much you handle them when young. I'd consider the sex links at the top for egg laying, not so much that they are any better at egg laying than any other good egg laying chicken, but so you can sex them at hatch. If you cross any two good egg laying breeds you will probably get a good egg laying chicken, whether they are sex links or not.

    If you have to have a breed, I would personally pick Australorps. They have a reputation for being a good winter layer. Mine have laid well year round. Again, any of the other dual purpose breeds would probably do as well.

    Thinking about it, maybe your best choice would be red sex links for both eggs and meat. The hens lay well and the roosters are mostly white and would produce a good carcass. I haven't checked but I'd guess you could get male red sex links pretty cheaply at a hatchery and they should grow out as well as any other dual purpose rooster.

    As I said, pure personal preference. I think it is hard to go wrong with any of them. If you like the Buckeyes, then go for it.
  4. kla37

    kla37 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC USA
    I love our Buff Orpington, she's friendly, big, and lays well.

    Our Black Australorps are very sweet and friendly too, not as large, and excellent layers.

    Gotta love the Cochins for their huggableness. They are just big fluffy balls of love, though not the best layers, but I wouldn't want to be without them!
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    For dual purpose, I would choose the buff orp, barred rock, and wyandottes are a nice choice too. They all lay fairly well, have pleasant personalities, and they're heavy enough to be a nice meat bird. And they're pretty! [​IMG]
  6. Chickenpoor

    Chickenpoor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 3, 2011
    Westminster, SC
    My first choice would be Barred Rocks, my second would be white leghorn, and my third would be black australorp. I would choose the barred rock or white leghorn because they lay big eggs and are reliable layers. Also because they would make a good dual purpose because you could also get meat. I chose the black australorp because it is a good size bird and would provide more meat and because it is also dual purpose because it lays good size eggs.

    But my personal favorite of the 3 is the Barred rock because the one I have is a prolific and reliable layer of large eggs.
  7. phasian

    phasian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2009
    For dual purpose breeds I would choose:

    MARANS- (weather hardy; mine have been great layers here in Oregon; and their meat won taste tests at the Slow Food Conference; they are also friendly)

    CREVECOEURS- (hardy; another breed that is purported to be tasty; mine are good layers of large eggs; rare heritage breed; good foragers; are purported to be standoffish, but if hand-raised, I have not found this to be the case)

    BUCKEYES- (hardy, heritage breed; love that a woman developed these; attractive, curious, & friendly; great foragers)

    If I had to go with 3 breeds that are dual purpose these would be it. I have not had problems with aggression with any of these breeds; but very rarely have aggression problems with any members of my flock and I have personally raised over 60 breeds of chickens. Orpingtons, Australorps, RIR are great breeds, but one of my main goals is breed conservation. Wouldn't mind having some rare colours of Orpingtons though.....
  8. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    I would choose:

    White leghorns- I like them and they produce a good number of eggs

    Easter eggers- I like the colorful eggs

    Polish- I like their feather crest.
  9. EMAW

    EMAW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2010
    SW Michigan
    I am in the process of narrowing my choices down so I can start my flock....these are my top 3 top choices, I also like the thought of Delawares.

    Something Red--Buckeye or RIR - when I think of chickens I think red.

    Cuckoo Maran - chocolate egg

    Black Amerucana - something blue

    With this I should be able to make olive eggers, and black sex links, so now I can turn a flock of 3 breeds into 5 different types

    I also will take any inputs or critiques.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  10. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    French Marans (not cuckoo) - gorgeous eggs, good dual purpose bird, hardy and valuable

    Ameraucanas (not EE's, sorry)- gorgeous eggs, amazing temperament, beautiful bird

    Polish - gorgeous birds, very unique, white eggs, very beautiful rare colors like Crele, Tolbunt, etc.

    Araucanas are right up there though, as they're also a very good dual purpose breed with blue eggs, very unique looks, and are rare as well.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011

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