Dual Purpose Chickens

Some chickens, like the Cornish Cross, are reared as ‘broilers’ for their meat. Some chickens, like the Leghorn, will lay high-quality eggs. However, some chickens are reared for their ability to lay eggs and provide meat- hence serving dual purposes as a chicken.

Dual-purpose chickens are extremely popular among breeders as they can do much of everything without excessive effort. They are ubiquitous among homesteaders who want to be self-sufficient and acquire their eggs and meat.

Dual Purpose Chickens

List of the Best Dual Purpose Chickens

Here are some of the best dual-purpose chickens ranked by the highest number of eggs they lay yearly on average.

Chicken BreedNumber of Eggs Produced (Annually)Weight (in lbs)Climate Tolerance
Australorp250-3005-7Resistance to heat and cold
Rhode Island Red200-3006-9Resistance to heat and cold
Dominique200-3004-7Resistance to heat and cold
Buff Orpington200-2806-10Resistance to heat and cold
Marsh Daisy200-2505-7Great for cold and wet conditions
Wyandotte200-2506-9Resistant to cold but struggles with heat
Holland200-2406-9Resistance to heat and cold
Buckeye175-2406-9Cold resistant; mild resistance to heat
Sussex180-2207-9Cold resistant; mild resistance to heat
Plymouth Rock180-2007-8Resistance to heat and cold
Jersey Giant150-20010-13Resistant to cold but struggles with heat
Brahma 150-20010-12Resistant to cold but struggles with heat
Delaware150-2006-9Heat resistant; mild cold resistance
Transylvanian Naked Neck150-2006-9
Heat resistant but may struggle in the cold due to lack of plumage around the neck region
Marans150-2005-9Cold resistant; mild resistance to heat
Ixworth150 -18013-20Resistant to cold but struggles with heat
Cochin150-1808-11Great in cold conditions but struggle in hot conditions due to their extra feathers

What are the Pros and Cons of Raising Dual Purpose Chickens

Advantages:

  • Flexibility is the greatest advantage when it comes to a dual-purpose breed. The potential to provide both meat and eggs makes these birds extremely popular.
  • There will be no need for separate flocks of chickens.

Disadvantages:

  • The physical traits of meat-producing and egg-laying chickens are significantly different. Meat-laying chickens accumulate a lot of mass over time, while egg layers tend to be leaner. If the chicken isn’t reared correctly, it may be incapable of serving either purpose.
  • One may form an emotional attachment to a chicken used mainly as an egg layer and find it difficult to butcher later in life.

FAQs

1. Which dual-purpose chickens lay white eggs?

Holland Chickens are known for laying white eggs.

2. What is the best age to butcher dual-purpose chickens?

Generally, it is best to butcher a dual-purpose chicken at around 16-18 weeks, as it should develop enough meat by then.

3. What is used to feed dual-purpose chickens?

Dual-purpose chickens must be fed a mix of calcium and proteins, with the intakes adjusted as desired. 

4. Which dual-purpose chickens grow the fastest?

While dual-purpose breeds tend to grow slowly, the Delaware chicken matures quickly.

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