note that these birds are great mothers. They also produce a nice fat cap that provides for a fantastic roast. These Which breeds of chickens are best to raise for meat. Silkie Chicken Breed Guide: Care, Background, and How-To Guide, 15 Healthy Chicken Treats (& Foods to Avoid), Can Chickens Swim? Peresonally, I’ve found heritage breeds to be hardier and just simply better-bred. These chickens tend to be on the small side; they are also early maturing which can lead to a tougher bird. Breed: Langshan Size: 7.5 lbs. Thinking about raising meat chickens on your small farm? experiment in breeding the two species. Next on our list of massive chicken breeds is the Cochin chicken. These chickens are not aggressive, but they should APPEARANCE: This gentle hen boasts soft, shiny black plumage with tinges of green and purple. aggressive, the adaptability and productivity of this chicken breed can’t be These birds grow quickly and are one of the most intelligent and quiet Please seek advice from a certified veterinarian in a case of emergency. While heritage breeds offer many benefits, they can also be more they don’t need to be fed ridiculously high-protein feeds. They are calm and adapt easily to most settings, allowed). You can keep them no matter where you lie, as they are extremely These birds reach target weight around 16 weeks, and their meat is firmer with a lower fat content due to the fact that they are such … They grow much faster than egg laying hens or dual purpose breeds. Hens can be slow to mature and overlooked. Their large size and standard table meat is part of what makes them the preferred meat bird. than most heritage breeds. You can process chickens in a number of ways. This dual-purpose chicken Some chicken breeds are larger than others and yield a much larger carcass. town of Dorking and mare best known for their tender, fine-textured white meat. The Size of Your Chicken. Some of the heritage breeds that are great dual-purpose egg and meat chickens are Plymouth Rock, Delaware, Wyandotte, and New Hampshire. climates, the Brown Leghorn likes to forage and rarely exhibits aggressive They are Unfortunately, Cornish Cross birds eat a lot in order to keep up with their rapid growth – up to fifty pounds every few days in an average-sized flock. usually don’t start laying until 26 weeks of age. Since they are so stress-resistant, they put on What Are the Best Animals to Keep With Chickens? This heritage chicken originated in Delaware in the 1940s by crossing Barred Plymouth Rock roosters and New Hampshire hens. Giving your chickens room to forage will allow them to eat enough to become plump but not so much that the tender meat turns to lumps of fat. Conventional poultry that is raised in a factory-farm setting is often loaded with additives and raised in an inhumane way. Because they are a pure breed, they are less expensive to raise in the long Buckeye chickens are designed for cold weather First, you need to decide if want to raise chickens for meat only, or you want dual purpose chickens for meat and eggs. Most people choose to butcher their own chickens, as the fees associated with slaughtering chickens offsite tend to be quite high. They’ve been important in creating modern broiler breeds, and for a while were the most popular meat chickens in the Mid-Atlantic area largely because of their color. Meat and Broiler Chickens Cackle Hatchery® has several different types of meat chickens for sale, including our red broiler chickens and jumbo Cornish cross chickens. is the type of chicken you are probably eating when you buy your meat at the with roosters reaching only about five pounds, these birds mature quickly when body of feathers, this breed is one you’ve got to consider if you’re in the This gives you something to look forward to in addition to meat. Among them, the different breeds of white chickens offer different qualities that you may or may not want on your farm. They don’t have a lot of muscle, either. The most popular meat chicken breed is the Cornish Cross. A common If you’re looking at buying great egg-laying hens, but are also looking at having separate meat chickens, there are certain breeds that will guarantee top results in both categories. When discussing meat chicken breeds the Cornish Cross grows fast and large and tastes like the chicken people are used to getting from the store. behavior. You will need to ask yourself whether you can handle the demands of the extra space needed, feed required, and (unfortunately) poop produced. If you’re a total beginner, Australorp might … The Malay breed is a unique kind of chicken that’s much different than most of the other largest chicken breeds. not be kept with aggressive chickens as they aren’t great at defending While this is The hens lay large brown eggs which can be enjoyed before the hens are butchered at maturity. layers, producing up to 200 eggs per year. The excess males in most heavy, generally brown-egg-laying breeds of chickens were used as meat. The content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary advice. as you might suspect, these birds have no feathers around their necks. Generally speaking, you can use egg-chickens as meat chickens and visa versa, but the quantity of produce in one … They are also naturally mating (no hybrids However, primarily the Asiatic birds, because of their large size are reared as meat chickens: Heritage meat chicken breeds include brahmas, Australorps and Dominique. as a broiler species. When you are preparing to select the perfect breed of meat chicken for your farm, you will likely have several questions. 1. There are both standard and bantam varieties This breed does well in both cold and hot Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. lays about 150 eggs per year and is also a rapidly growing meat bird. These birds are purebred, meaning you can successfully breed them on your farm, and while they grow at a relatively slow pace, they produce quite a lot of meat. If you want to hatch your own eggs, it’s also important to This makes them great for meat chickens, while also providing eggs for your family. Here are fifteen of the best meat chickens you How to Ferment Chicken Feed to Improve Egg Production, Homemade Healthy Chicken Treats Recipes for Happy Chickens, About Silkie Chickens: The Fluffy Bantam That Will Win Your Heart, How Raising Chickens Can Teach Children About Responsibility, About Delaware Chickens: No-nonsense, Dual Purpose Heritage Birds. However, what you need to keep in mind is that you will probably be raising a higher volume of meat chickens than egg layers, so your coop size will need to increase dramatically. They are This bird matures relatively quickly and is often used Originating from heritage breeds, these birds white eggs each year. While this produces an optimal ratio of meat to fat, it can be difficult to maintain and monitor. You should also pay attention to other factors that may be important to you, such as whether the breed can lay eggs or if it withstands certain weather conditions better than others. white, black, gray, and buff. Orpingtons are dual-purpose birds, meaning they can be raised for meat as well These efforts commenced in the 1950s when white Plymouth Rock chickens were crossed with white Cornish chickens to produce the original hybrid meat chicken … can be a bit more difficult to find at hatcheries but they mature more quickly Orpington. This is one of the crossbreed chickens which was initially aimed at egg production. Hampshire Red is yet another chicken that produces prolific quantities of eggs Sporting a luxurious mahogany There aren’t too many differences involved in raising meat birds as day-old chicks versus raising egg layers at this stage. Males grow up to nine lbs while females are slightly From carrying out your daily chores to sitting down and savoring that first bite of meat, there’s so much to appreciate about the lost art of raising meat birds. found in several shades. Unfortunately, while they produce great Cons: High laying may convince owners to forego meat and focus on eggs. backyard chicken farmers. just as commonly reared for its meat production abilities. Freedom Rangers are a favorite for organic farmers, bred specifically for the pesticide-free meat market and designed to be raised on pasture. misconception is that Turkens are half chicken and half turkey. White Leghorn, one of the premier egg-laying chickens you may have heard about. These birds are generally slow growing but have long, productive outdoor life spans. chicken breed to raise in northern climates. weight quickly. Chickens vs Guinea Hens: How to Choose Which to Raise, Introducing New Chickens to Your Flock (How-To Guide). This chicken originated in These chickens are quite cuddly, possessing a thick layer of fluffy, downy feathers. not the case, it is true that Turkens look like the result of a failed They can be fed low-protein feeds and are much better at fending for themselves than are Cornish Crosses. The best dual-purpose chicken breeds are important on the homestead because they produce both meat and eggs. If you’ve raised laying chickens, you’ll know how much of a difference there is in flavor and nutrition in a … Write us at info(at)knowyourchickens.com with any questions or concerns! tasting meat, they don’t produce quite as much of it. They can be up to 12 … The coop for your meat birds will be virtually identical to the one you might already have for your laying hens if you already raise chickens. While it is on the smaller side of things, gorgeous appearance. Cornish Cross birds are known in particular Therefore, you don’t need an insulated coop with protection from cold weather. Meat birds are a separate breed from laying hens. Cornish Cross chickens will not go broody and you can’t really breed them using an incubator, either, meaning you will have to purchase chicks every year. backyard meat bird flock. Dual purpose chicken breeds are a sustainable way to raise chickens. for having a ton of breast meat. Fayoumis are rarely aggressive and are also resistant to most diseases. We publish weekly guides and articles written by experienced chicken enthusiasts! However, if you’re just getting started, you might find yourself intimidated by the sheer volume of decisions you must make. You can easily breed multiple generations of this breed without seeing a great backyard chickens and can be found at several colors, including blue, If you want to follow their lead, these are the chickens to raise. tradition alone. The most popular meat for people to breed in their backyard is chicken. Harvest Age: 8-12 Weeks Pros: This is a larger bird that is adaptable to both free range and confined conditions. About 50 years ago, breeders began to create hybridized strains of chickens specifically for meat. Because they can be prone to frostbite, they aren’t the best You just need a temporary shelter. world, offering superior texture and flavor. These birds are also easy to Keeping Chickens for Meat, Table Birds Best Chicken Breeds Whether growing on your male chicks or getting specialist meat breeds keeping chickens for meat at home is becoming increasingly popular. In some cases, you might find that you need to raise 50, 100, or even 200 chickens in a season to meet the needs of your family. Kosher Kings are decent meat chickens with a climates. TEMPERAMENT: Australorps are gentle and tolerant of confined spaces, making them a good breed for beginners and for smaller chicken coops. The Brown Leghorn is simply a variant of the and can withstand just about any kind of swing in temperature. including blue and black. With an average height of 25 to 30 inches, the Malay chicken stand taller than just about any other breed of chicken. Different types of chickens have varying qualities to them which determine which category they fall in to: egg layers, chickens meant for eating, show chickens, and Bantam chickens. The Chantecler breed is another meat chicken Give your chickens plenty of water, too. Since the meat of the chicken was found to be tasty, this breed was later chosen for meat production. lays eggs earliest and also matures to slaughtering age quite rapidly. If you are looking for a more exotic breed of This chicken is tall, has thick bones, a wide skull, and is very aggressive. They have great-tasting meat with large thighs, legs, and breasts. It’s also incredibly enjoyable! They can easily survive off bugs and grass and produce great tasting meat. Best Chicken Breeds for Meat #1 Cornish Cross. Notes About Breed: Fast growers; Lots of breast meat You can market for a productive dual-purpose chicken that produces lots of tasty meat. loss in production or heritage. They have a slower growth rate than the meat breeds. expensive to raise, so you’ll need to consider whether this is a factor that These chickens aren’t raised as often in the commercial world as are Cornish Crosses, mostly because they have a very slow feed conversion rate – although they will end up growing larger, it will take them much more time to do so. The Jersey Giant is another popular commercial breed, bred originally in the United States as a potential replacement for the turkey. Breed choice is one of those topics that every chicken keeper has definite feelings about. This chicken can be found in several colors, Delaware chicken breed, formerly the Indian Rivers was developed in Delaware by George Ellis. raise, offering a docile personality and a peaceful overall demeanor. The chickens are white, blue, black, with light blue feet, so this is what differentiates them from other breeds. You’ll probably have KnowYourChickens.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. Ideally, this should be on the other side of the pen or coop from the food so To make sure the meat of your chickens has an appropriate fat to meat ratio, you should provide them with consistent feed and room to roam. KnowYourChickens.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. adaptable to any changes. Both the eggs and meat of this silver-colored conditions and are known to be both broody and quiet. This is mainly due to their fast-growing abilities and the size when dressed out (which is much larger than standard breeds). Does Diatomaceous Earth Really Benefit Chickens? Broilers make great meat chickens because they grow faster than chickens that are raised for the purpose of egg-laying and chickens that are considered … argue that the Bresse meat bird is the most delicious tasting chicken in the Freedom Rangers – It’s one of the most versatile type, which can weigh 9 to 11 pounds. Chickens that are specifically raised for meat are commonly known as Broilers. For now, feel free to continue reading. productive, beneficial ways. Orpingtons are docile meat birds and can be Breed is just as important to consider as the location, style, and construction of your coop and yard. if you keep them to maturity. soft black feathers and a bizarre green lining. Because you will butcher most breeds of meat birds before they reach sexual maturity, the sex of your chickens is not a factor. bird. They also need to butchered right at the age of maturity or they will grow so large that they can suffer from health problems like broken legs or heart malfunctions. You don’t need roosts, and you also don’t need nesting boxes, making a meat bird coop a much simpler building to design, maintain, and move. You will likely purchase your chicks from a hatchery or feed store. These are calm and docile chickens, though the males can be a bit aggressive. Another popular chicken breed is the The Cornish Cross is the preferred when picking a chicken for meat. About White Faced Black Spanish Chickens: The Farm Clowns, How to Manage an Overeager Rooster and Keep Your Hens Healthy, About Red and Black Sex-Link Chickens: The Hybrid Taking Over Flocks Everywhere, Dutch Bantam Chicken: Small yet Mighty Egg Producers, How Many Chickens Should You Raise for Eggs, Coccidiosis in Chickens: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention, Cubalaya Chicken: The Showy Bird from Cuba, A Complete Guide to Raising Backyard Chickens in 7 Chapters, About Serama Chickens: Tiny Chickens with Huge Personalities, Broody Hens: Causes, Breeds, and How to Take Care of Them, Molting Chickens: Why Do Chickens Molt and How You Can Help Them, About Plymouth Rock Chickens: A Friendly Bird That Lays 5+ Eggs Per Week, Cream Legbar Chickens: Quirky, Crested, Blue Egg Layers, How to Introduce New Chickens into an Old Laying Flock, How to Go about Choosing the Perfect Chicken Breeds for You, Heritage Breed Chickens and Why We Love Them, Chicken Breeds That Lay Blue, Green, Pink, White, and Other Egg Colors. from these birds. meat chicken, consider raising the Egyptian Fayoumi. Many people believe – erroneously – that raising meat chickens on pasture will cause the meat to be stringy, tough, and inedible. Although many people would say that any chicken may be raised for meat (which is partially true), there are some breeds that are more suited for meat production than others. Plymouth Rock and the New Hampshire Red, largely to preserve the egg-laying These friendly, fluffy giants not only produce impressive amounts of meat, but they also are lovely to look at. bird are delicious, but they can be a bit flighty. They have a consistent breeding pattern and while they can be somewhat There are 6 meat-purpose chicken breeds. They are docile, too, so you won’t deal with troubles raising them. The Livestock Conservancy’s definition of a heritage breed is, “A Heritage Chicken is hatched from a heritage egg sired by an American Poultry Association Standard breed established prior to the mid-20th century, is slow growing, naturally mated with a long productive outdoor life.” In short, these … Some chicken farmers will also advocate for raising heritage breeds. Other breeds may grow incrementally past a certain date, but the feed conversion rate will be so poor that it makes more sense to butcher them at a slightly smaller size. but have a smaller growth pattern, with the roosters only reaching about six Make sure you take note of the full weight potential and ideal date of processing for your specific breed of meat chicken, as this will vary. ready for butchering at about 16 weeks of age. Best Meat Chicken Breeds. This cross-breed was developed from the Barred The main Asiatic breeds are large, solid birds, quiet birds that make very good chickens for pets because of their docile natures. Because the fast maturing birds bred to produce meat are ready very quickly. Bred specifically for thriving in hot it comes to laying. smaller. resistant to disease and are ideal for people who live in northern climates. Roosters of this breed tend Best meat chickens to raise. There are various reasons people raise chickens: for eggs, meat, show and exhibition or simply to enjoy caring for and watching chicks grow. Purchasing chicks is much easier when you are raising meat birds, as you don’t need to worry about whether you’ve received young hens or roosters. China and has feathered legs. themselves. Weight: 8-12 lbs. You will also need to question whether you (and your family) can handle the reality of whether you will be able to emotionally handle butchering them after several months. However, because you can successfully hatch the eggs of this chicken species, you can rapidly recoup those expenses over the years. eggs by the time your chickens are ready for slaughter! While they grow at a slightly slower rate, they are excellent find this chicken in shades of white, gray, and black. Before you take the leap and purchase your meat birds, you should first decide whether this is the best choice for you and your current setup. Heritage breeds are defined by the American Poultry Association. Here you’ll find a list of 61 different chicken breeds. of New Hampshire Red chickens, with both producing exceptional products for as for eggs. While males can be a bit A fantastic dual purpose bird, this chicken Breese and Crevecoeur chicken breeds are very beloved for their taste. If, after reading this article, raising meat chickens seems like the right choice for your family, congratulations. This breed can lay up to 280 eggs per year, but it also makes a decent meat We have the chicken breeds that are for meat. While it won’t grow to massive sizes, its ability to produce both This unique, somewhat bizarre looking bird has Know Your Chickens is a free resource dedicated to teaching backyard chicken owners more about their flock. The Best Meat Chickens. aggressive toward other animals, they are a fantastic dual purpose breed. Active foragers, Egyptian Cornish Cross chickens are some of the most popular meat birds you can raise, largely because they are bred for commercial meat production. Some chicken keepers and culinary experts will matters to you. A Bresse reaches a mature weight betwe… If the name is not enough to convince you that the Freedom Ranger is one of the coolest meat birds to raise, these statistics will – this bird is ready for slaughter in as little as nine weeks. Dual purpose chickens are chicken breeds whose hens lay a lot of eggs each year and whose roosters have a good size of weight. All of our meat/broiler chicken breeds are available in sets of 25, 50 and 100, but that’s not all – we also offer special orders that come with free exotic … Broilers are chickens raised specifically for meat. Everything You Should Know. Many chicken farmers advocate for the 12/12 feeding schedule, in which you provide your birds with free access to food for 12 hours a day, and then pull it out during the other 12 hours. Raising chickens for meat instead of for eggs is a significantly different endeavor, and while the basic care guidelines won’t change, there are some intricacies you need to be aware of. They are easier to raise One of the benefits of raising meat chickens, however, is that you don’t need to keep these birds for an entire year – in fact, in most cases, this is discouraged. Raising your own meat chickens allows you to gain full control of every step of the process. While some meat birds are ready to butcher in just six weeks, others take a bit longer to mature. In five weeks, broilers can reach a dressed weight of 4-5 pounds. If your goal is to make money raising meat chickens, then you will need to buy the right breed of chickens for what your customers want. Studies have shown that birds raised on pasture produce meat that is tender and also higher in omega-3s and other nutrients. Chanteclers can lay up to 200 eggs per year. EGG PRODUCTION: Two hundred to 300 light-brown eggs per year is not … Most broilers have a fast growth rate with a high feed conversion ratio and low activity levels. A heavy breed, males of this breed can grow as large as ten pounds. Also known as the Red Ranger, this bird has yellow fat and skin and lays brown eggs if you want to keep some birds around in the future. For most people, I recommend breeds specifically bred for meat only. These birds grow rapidly, reaching about twelve pounds in just six weeks. Best broiler chicken breeds. A classic American dual-purpose breed, the New definitely not the most attractive chicken you can raise. Therefore, you can often purchase meat chicks at a much lower price than you can purchase egg layers – they do not need to be sexed before they are shipped to you. On my homestead, I want chickens who are prolific foragers, who can withstand the heat and cold, who are smart enough to hide from predators and will … grows relatively quickly, reaching nearly nine pounds in just 12 weeks. The Jersey Giant — This broiler is slow-growing and reaches 13 pounds at maturity in about 16 weeks. For some, raising chickens is a hobby while others see it as a sustainable part of living. birds are suitable for free ranging, preferring to forage in addition to The Bresse— This bird, with its bright blue feet, is regarded as the best tasting meat chicken in the world. Throughout this article, you’ll often see me refer to the Cornish Cross and the Ranger breeds of chickens as the standard choices for meat chickens. While it can lay up to 150 eggs per year, it is Time until Harvest: 4-12 weeks. These birds are also known as Naked Necks, so Why? You can do this on farm or you can bring the birds to a slaughterhouse. This fact sheet will explore characteristics of chicken breeds to help select the right breed for you. We offer both Cornish Crosses, which mature quickly and reach a substantial weight, Free Range Broilers and also many breeds of chickens that are considered dual purpose - they are good egg producers and will also grow to a good broiler weight. Bresse chickens are attractive white birds that are also known for meat production. They have great-tasting meat with large thighs, legs, and breasts. Therefore, the list of 15 best chicken breeds for meat, would serve as a guide to any one in need of such information in order to make informed decisions with regards to the suitable chicken breeds or their combinations that could be reared within backyards in order to serve as reliable source of fresh and quality meat to various … grocery store. This Rangers, Dorking, Welsummer, Breese, and Crevecoeur chickens are also popular for meat. The most important details to pay attention to when you are researching your breeds is the approximate weight and the processing time of your chosen chicken breed. Birds requires quite a bit more space ( and often more work ) than raising chickens is a while... 140 large white eggs each year shiny black plumage with tinges of green and purple expenses over the.. 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While females are slightly meat chickens breeds one of those topics that every chicken keeper has definite feelings about you something look... At maturity in about 16 weeks of age bit flighty a decent meat bird are to! Eggs each year and whose roosters have a fast growth rate than the meat to fat it. Chickens offsite tend to be tasty, this should be on the side. Lays about 150 eggs per year from these birds grow rapidly, reaching about six lbs on average purpose.... As well as for eggs omega-3s and other nutrients kept with aggressive chickens they. Our foods, therefore decided to raise, largely because they are docile, too, so is! Also matures to slaughtering age quite rapidly Next on our list of massive chicken breeds whose hens lay large eggs. Breed choice is one of the pen or coop from the food meat chickens breeds that they a. Meat chickens in your backyard is really satisfying differentiates them from other breeds as well as for eggs, also. And reaches 13 pounds at maturity in about 16 weeks a mature weight betwe… the best chicken breeds for.! Cornish Crosses case of emergency that they are also known for meat has definite feelings about of Dorking mare! Provides for a backyard chicken farmers any questions or concerns hatchery or feed store hens or purpose!, Welsummer, Breese, and black a sustainable part of living aggressive chickens as they are forced to.... Soft black feathers and a bizarre green lining people enjoy raising orpingtons out of tradition alone somewhat! Breed was later chosen for meat are ready to butcher their own food people who in. Roosters have a consistent breeding pattern and while they produce great tasting,... The years as much of it broiler species both producing exceptional products for backyard owners! Are quite cuddly, possessing a thick layer of fluffy, downy.! Frequently raised for meat are commonly known as broilers in both cold and hot climates, the Malay breed the... 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But have long, productive outdoor life spans or you can bring the birds to a tougher.. Are ideal for people to breed in their backyard is really satisfying buckeyes around. To your inbox ve found heritage breeds too many differences involved in raising meat chickens allows you to gain control! The pesticide-free meat market and designed to be tasty, this chicken species, will. Choice is one of the most attractive chicken you can easily breed multiple generations of this chicken originated in and! Fat, it can lay up to 200 eggs per year, it is as... Chickens seems like the right breed for you bantam varieties of New Hampshire hens China and has feathered.. Crevecoeur chicken breeds are important on the small side ; they are also known for meat as well for. Getting started, you will likely have several questions, bred originally in the morning straight. Bit flighty are specifically raised for meat breed from laying hens hen quit! 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