If you are looking for the best dual purpose chicken breeds, look no further! Chickens can be used just for eggs or just for meat. However, there are several dual purpose chickens that can be used for eggs AND meat.
Want to know about more than just dual purpose chicken breeds? Check out this guide to chicken breeds.
What is a dual purpose chicken?
A dual purpose chicken is a chicken breed that is used for both egg production and as a meat source. Generally, this means they will lay between 150 to 200 eggs per year (give or take) and will be heavier than your average chicken. Some breeds are naturally good layers and large while many other dual purpose chicken breeds are specifically bred to emphasize one or both of those features.
Why Should you start raising dual purpose chicken breeds in your flock?
Keeping a dual purpose breed of chicken or two can allow you to raise them through their most productive egg laying years and then cull them for meat birds when their egg production begins to decrease. Having your own meat chickens a very effective way to cut your personal grocery bill and know exactly from where your food has been sourced.
You can also ensure that the meat you are eating is coming from chickens that were humanely raised and culled.
We have you covered if you are just looking for the best breeds for your backyard flock too!
So, what are the best dual purpose chicken breeds?
These are one of the best dual purpose breeds of chicken. Black Australorp's are fantastic egg layers.
They actually hold the record for laying the most eggs in a year.
They are also a heavy breed, meaning that they will provide plenty of meat.
If you want a little more variety, you can also find White and Blue Australorp.
2. Speckled Sussex & Wyandottes
Speckled Sussex & Wyandottes are tied on this list of dual purpose breeds. Sussex and Wyandottes are similar breeds in size and egg laying ability.
They both are decent layers ( 3 - 4 eggs a week) of large eggs.
Wyandottes, similar to Orpingtons (below) come in a wide variety of really fun colors, such as black, blue, buff, Columbian, golden laced, partridge, silver laced (pictured above), and silver pencilled.
This dual purpose chicken breed is the heaviest of all on the list. These birds get huge.
They are also good egg layers of medium large eggs. As a bonus, they come in so many fun and exciting colors.
Orpingtons are our the ones we think are the best dual purpose chicken on this list. This is because of their size, egg laying ability, colors and calm personalities.
Orpingtons, like the Wyandottes mentioned above, come in several different colors. The officially recognized colors are Buff, Blue, White, and Black. However, many breeders have experimented and come up with many other colors and feather patterns. For example, the hen pictured above is a Jubilee Orpington
A list of dual purpose breeds would not be complete without mentioning Rhode Island Reds.
They are also great egg layers that lay large brown eggs. These are probably one of the larger, more prolific egg layers on this list.
Rhode Island Reds are also decent foragers, so their feed to production ratio is better than some of the other dual purpose chickens on this list. This means that you feed them less for them to produce more (meat and/or eggs).
This unique breed is originally from France. They lay on average around 160 eggs per year, but can range all the way up to 200 eggs per year.
In addition to being good layers of Large white eggs, they are also a hefty breed that is well known for their meat. They typically weigh in from 8 - 10 lbs. With the smaller end being hens and the larger end being roosters.
They are most well known for the significant amount of gamey flavored meat that they produce when butchered.
As you can see, each of these 5 dual purpose chicken breeds will provide plenty of eggs and also plenty of meat.
Which one (or ones) of these dual purpose chicken breeds are best for your flock?
They all have wonderful personalities as well as all of these breeds tend to be friendly.
Which is your favorite on this list of dual purpose chicken breeds? Still not sure what kind of chickens you want? Check out How to Get Started Raising Chickens for help!
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