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Keeping chickens can be very beneficial to keep in your backyard. That is if you live in an area that allows poultry to be kept. Chickens will not only give you wonderful fresh organic eggs for your table, but they also make exceptionally good pets. Or they can also be bred for their meat!
We have prepared a list of our top ten favorite dual-purpose chicken breeds that will lay a good amount of eggs and are good table birds.
Chicken Eggs and Meat
Most chickens start to lay eggs at around 5 months old and will lay very well up to their prime. Their prime is usually 2 to 3 years old. After that egg production will drop off.
If you are wanting chickens as a meat bird most modern breed will mature and grow quickly maturing at around 4 to 5 months old. Some can be butchered as early as 3 months old depending on the breed and weight of the bird. You do want it to have some meat on it before you slaughter it.
Most chicken breeds can be butchered up to about 8 to 9 months old. That is if you are wanting tender roasts. After that their meat usually starts to get a bit tough. A lot of the older heritage breeds were used for stewing meat birds when they got older.
Our Top 10 Best All Purpose Chickens
Not only will the Australorp give you around 4 to 5 Large Brown Eggs a week. But they make a wonderful table bird as well. They a good amount of soft tasty meat that is excellent for roasting.
The Australorp is also a very good brood hen and will take care of another hen’s chickens, they also have wonderful temperaments. Read More
The Wyandotte come in a beautiful array of wonderful feather colors and patterns. These gorgeous chickens are a popular homesteading chicken. They lay 4 to 5 Large Brown Eggs a week and make a very tasty table bird. These birds are another excellent brood hen, mother and foster mom. They have a very easy going and friendly nature although they can be a bit bossy in a flock.Read More
Rhode Island Reds have beautiful deep rich red plumage that is soft and glossy. These beautiful chickens are the official state bird of Rhode Island. It is no wonder too as they are not only gorgeous they are also very accomplished layers of Large to Extra-Large (mostly Extra-Large) Brown Eggs. They will produce up to 5 eggs per week and their tender skin make for a great table bird. They are not the best brood hens but are gentle, docile and easy to handle with their friendly nature.Read More
These chickens come in a wide array of different feather colors. They are quite a hardy breed that has been seen in backyard flocks and homesteads for generations. Plymouth Rock are delightful chickens with lovely temperaments, they love to free-range and are very adaptable birds.
They will lay about 4 Large Brown Eggs per week and they are a very tasty table bird that makes good Sunday Lunch Roasts.Read More
For years the Sussex chicken breed was the choice as a meat bird in England before they were replaced by the Cornish Crossbred breeds. Just because they do not grow as fast or reach maturity as fast of the modern-day breeds. These chickens have been known for the high-quality tasty meat for generations.
They are also very good layers of Large Brown Eggs of which you can expect up to 4 per week.Read More
This breed is a very hardy breed that was bred specifically for its eggs and high-quality meat. It was the first ever breed to have come from Canada and was designed to withstand the harsh winters. It has a very small comb and wattles to avoid frostbite. The Chanteceler will give you high-quality tasty meat and lay 4 to 5 Large Brown eggs a week even in harsh winter climates.
This chicken breed does not mind being confined, is quieter than most so will do well in a neighborhood environment. They have a very sweet nature but are quite inquisitive birds.Read More
Although the Delaware chicken breed handles the cold very well their combs and wattles are still quite susceptible to frostbite. If you are thinking of getting these really great chickens, you may want to look into protecting these from the harsh winter weather. Other than that, these are really great all-around breed that would complement any flock.
As they tend to take confinement well and can readily adapt to smaller gardens, have a very sweet friend nature and a quiet. They also make a very good first-time flock owner breed.
They are very good table bird with good quality tasty tend meat and will lay about 4 Large Brown Eggs per week.Read More
The Dominique is a very old breed of chicken and falls under a heritage breed. They are delightful birds with a calm friendly, confident nature. They are also very nurturing chickens that make excellent mothers and foster moms. This breed will make an excellent brood hen for your flock if you are breeding chickens and have a breed that is not broody.
They have been used for their excellent meat and egg laying ability for many years past where they were once a very popular backyard chicken breed.
They will lay from 9 to 4 Large Brown eggs a week.Read More
New Hampshire chicken breed can be a bit temperamental in their nature but are generally easy to handle. They will bare confinement well but prefer to free-range and forage.
They were developed from the Rhode Island Red breed to get a meatier chicken that matured faster.
They are not only tender and tasty but are good layers of Large Brown Eggs. They will lay about 3 eggs per week. Read More
Small farms, homesteads and backyard coops tend to go for the Orpington breed. They are smart, friendly, adaptive and have the most caring, calm and patient nature out of most of the breeds. These hens are excellent brood hens, make really nurturing mothers or stepmoms.
Not only do they have great soft quality meat but they will lay around 3 to 4 Large Brown eggs for the breakfast table per week.Read More