best chickens for eggs and meat

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zackyb

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best chickens for eggs and meat
« on: November 17, 2010, 16:52 »
Hello All

I have just joined as am planning to keep chickens from early next  year for eggs and meat for our family. Can you please tell me what you think is best - having different types or one breed for both?

Thank you in advance and look forward to hearing from you soon!
Amanda

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CluckyChicken

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Re: best chickens for eggs and meat
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 19:13 »
for eggs, apparently the leghorn or Rhode Island red are the best, churning out more eggs than any other breeds.
for multi-purpuse (sorry, cant spell that!) , the typical breeds in the dual purpose category are New Hampshires, Plymouth Rocks, and Wyandottes
I'm not sure on the meat birds; someone else will come along and help more!

CC x
Lavender Araucanas, SS Hamburgs, White Wyandottes and Italian Quail

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zackyb

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Re: best chickens for eggs and meat
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 20:27 »
Thanks for your quick reply CC - been having a good old surf and found loads more info too.

Cant wait to get started next year!!

Cheers
AB
x

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GrannieAnnie

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Re: best chickens for eggs and meat
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 22:01 »
We think best birds for eggs re the hybrids, e.g. Ambelinks, Babcocks borwns, black rocks etc and for meat birds we rear  hubbard colouryeilds and JA757's

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TeaPots

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Re: best chickens for eggs and meat
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2010, 00:57 »
You cant go far wrong with a good quality sussex, they are really good utility birds, they lay well AND make decent amount of meat for the pot.  Talk to HF, he's good with this type of question

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Casey76

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Re: best chickens for eggs and meat
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2010, 08:55 »
Hi Amanda,

Before making a decision you have to think about a couple of things ;)

You can get purpose bred hybrids which are prolific layers (ISA browns/warrens will lay around 300 eggs a year for the first 18 months or so then production drops off rapidly; so you either cull, replace, or keep as retirees) but are no good for meat.

You can get pure bred hens which are quite good layers, but not as prolific as hybrids (leghorns lay large white eggs, but are known to be flighty; Rhode Island Reds (RIRs) are good layers of brown eggs etc) which may be good for meat.

You can get dual purpose chickens, in which traditionally boys have been reared for the table and the girls are kept to lay eggs, Sussex and Ixworth are traditional english dual purpose, Faverolles are a traditional French dual purpose which are becoming more common in the UK.

Then you get specifically bred meat hybrids; produced by large hatcheries, they are "designed" to lay down muscle much more quickly than either the parents or other breeds.  Generally they are divided into "fast growth" (Ross Cobbs, table weight in 8-10 weeks), and "slow growth" (many of the Hubbard/Sasso lines, table weight in 10-16 weeks).  Of course you can leave them to grow a but longer, but especially with  fast growers you are risking leg problems and heart problems as they get heavier.  With the medium, or slow growth birds this isn't so much of a problem - especially if you keep them on a lower protein diet.  This year I dispatched my last two at 19 weeks and they were as tender as the ones I dispatched at 12 weeks.

Now, one of the "problems" with dual purpose birds, is that they are slow growing, and the boys may not be table ready until 26 or more weeks, usually by which time they have been crowing for weeks; if this would be a problem for you or your neighbours, then meat hybrids would probably be the way to go, as they are usually ready for slaughter before first crow (or if it's more than 12 weekd for medium/slow growers, you can slaughter AT first crow).

Happy decisions :)

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Sassy

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Re: best chickens for eggs and meat
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010, 08:58 »
I've had success with dual-purpose Light Sussex for eggs and meat. No experience of other dual pupose breeds though. :)
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!



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