10 Best Chicken Breeds for Meat (and Dual-Purpose) to Raise in Your Backyard

The impact of what people eat is becoming increasingly widely recognized each year.

Hormones are inserted into market meats, which pique people’s interest in growing their own food. For those of us who were not born on a farm, growing your own food usually starts with fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, for protein, they discover that they will have to slaughter and feed their own creatures.

Broilers are chickens that have been carefully reared for meat. Since they grow quicker than egg-laying chickens and dual-purpose chickens, broilers make superb meat birds.

The birds that are often referred to as broilers may weigh up to 4.5 pounds in a time period of only five weeks, and by the age of 10 weeks, they may easily weigh up to 10 pounds, which is the perfect weight for a typical family.

For those who are looking to establish a self-sustaining livelihood, raising and breeding broilers in the backyard is the optimum choice.

Standard Meat Chickens

1. Cornish Cross

In only 6 to 8 weeks, they can reach a weight of 12 pounds. They are the most popular option among commercial meat producers and backyard breeders because of their fast growth rate.

In comparison to dual-purpose chicken breeds, the Cornish Cross grows faster and has a better flavor. In addition, it is often chosen over meats breeds. The Cornish Cross has a very low activity level due to its rapid rate of development.

These hens have plump breasts, fat thighs, and legs, and their golden skin has been enhanced for serving at the dinner table.

Weight (male) : 12 lbs

Weight (female) : 8 lbs

Harvest time : 4-6 weeks

Pros & cons : Fast growth Lots of white meat Eats a lot

Variants : White

2. Jersey Giant

The Jersey Giant chickens were created with the goal of replacing the traditional turkey, and they are native to the United States. Despite the fact that it did not happen, this has carved out a niche for itself in the poultry industry.

The Jersey Giants weigh roughly 11 to 13 pounds on average and are purebred.

These Giants, on the other hand, develop at a slower rate than comparable Broiler breeds. They also need a lot of time and food, which can be expensive if you don’t have your own feed. In the commercial meat industry, this makes them highly objectionable, but in backyard chicken coups, it is a very hot item.

While male Giants are portrayed to be a bit aggressive, these fowls are calm and passive by nature. Large brown eggs are also laid by the Jersey Giants. As a result, while you wait for them to reach their peak, you might utilize them as an egg hen.

Black, white, and blue are the colors of this breed.

Weight (male) : 13 lbs

Weight (female) : 10 lbs

Harvest time : 16-21 weeks

Pros & cons : Large Slow growth

Variants : Blue, black, white

3. Bresse

Bresse chickens are white birds that are fairly large in size.

They’re a costly and popular breed with brilliant blue feet. Don’t let the cost of these birds mislead you into keeping them at a safe distance. The only expense you will have after you have your breeding pairs is the food required to raise them.

The exceptional meatiness and tenderness of the Bresse chickens have made them famous throughout the world. White, black, grey, and blue eggs are available.

They are still very popular despite the fact that they are not approved by the American Poultry Association. Their only shortcoming in France is the expense, which is more popular than in the United States.

Weight (male) : 7 lbs

Weight (female) : 5 lbs

Harvest time : 16-20 weeks

Pros & cons : Docile Tastes great Not too meaty

4. Orpington

Another large chicken breed, the Orpington hen averages 7–8 pounds in weight.

Because of their rich flavor and tenderness, they are excellent layers, but they are mostly utilized as broilers. With a curvy form, a U-shaped underline, and a wide body, these birds have a short back.

Orpingtons are exceptional layers, even if they aren’t particularly big or fast growing. They may produce up to 200 eggs each year.

Weight (male) : 10 lbs

Weight (female) : 8 lbs

Harvest time : 18-24 weeks

Pros & cons : Great egg layer Docile Slow growth

Variants : Buff, black, blue, white

5. Freedom Rangers

They were specifically bred for the pesticide-free meat market. These chickens flourish on low-protein feeds and are better at food scouting than the Cornish Crosses. This makes them perfect chickens to roam around in a large pen.

It also makes them versatile eaters.

They may be perfectly healthy birds for consuming if they can live off of field insects and corn feed. These hens come in a variety of hues, including red, with a mix of barred or speckled black feathers. They may also be found in bronze and grey hues.

Yet, when compared to the Cornish Broilers, these chickens take a long time to reach slaughterable condition.

There are a lot of individuals who prefer the taste of Freedom Rangers, even if they take longer to grow than other breeds. They’re allegedly the best for roasting in a rotisserie oven.

Weight (male) : 6 lbs

Weight (female) : 5 lbs

Harvest time : 9-11 weeks

Pros & cons : Great for free-range Easy to keep Smaller and slower growth rate

Variants : Red, tricolor, black

Dual-Purpose Chickens

Dual-purpose chicken breeds are always available for individuals who are constantly seeking the finest of both worlds. These chicken breeds may be utilized to produce both egg and meat birds in the future.

These breeds should be high on your list if you want to get the most eggs for your money and have birds that are good breeders. Ultimately, the best approach to replenish your meat chicken supply is through natural means.

1. White Leghorn (And Brown)

White Leghorn, a variant of Brown Leghorns chickens, is one of the best egg layers. Each year, they may lay up to 280 eggs. Nonetheless, be aware that the brown and white ones have no real distinctions (other than their feather colors, of course). They both laid white eggs, which they covered with brown spots.

Weight (male) : 6 lbs

Weight (female) : 5 lbs

Harvest time : 16-21 weeks

Egg production (annual) : 280

Pros & cons : Forager Great personality Good layer & decent meat

Variants : White, red, buff, brown, black Single comb, rose comb

2. Egyptian Fayoumi

The Fayoumi chickens are vigorous foragers, as Egyptians are. They have a wild heart and prefer hot climates. They’re fairly rarely hostile, but they’ve got a serious resistance to diseases.

They are also known to mature early in life, allowing them to lay a lot of eggs before it is time for them to land on the dinner table.

Weight (male) : 5 lbs

Weight (female) : 4 lbs

Harvest time : 14-18 weeks

Egg production (annual) : 150

Pros & cons : Fast growth Taste great (both the eggs and meat) Flighty

Variants : Silver

3. Turken (Naked Neck)

Because this bird enjoys both hot and cold weather, it can be kept as a backyard meat bird in any region of the country. These creatures are incredibly adaptable, making them less likely to suffer from anxiety and acquire weight quickly.

These birds are very active layers and can be great mothers.

Weight (male) : 6 lbs

Weight (female) : 4 lbs

Harvest time : 11-18 weeks

Egg production (annual) : 104

Pros & cons : Easy to keep Decent egg and meat production

Variants : Red, blue, cuckoo, buff, black, white

4. Buckeye

Cold climates suit Buckey Chickens. They’re robust, disease resistant, and comparatively calm. Little creatures and cats may irritate males, who can become moody.

They’re ideal for individuals who reside in the northern half of the United States since they like chilly areas.

The consistent breeding habits are a welcomed experience for individuals in colder climes who anticipate their population to diminish during the winter.

Weight (male) : 9 lbs

Weight (female) : 6.5 lbs

Harvest time : 16-21 weeks

Egg production (annual) : 200

Pros & cons : Excellent dual purpose Cold weather resistance

Variants : Mahogany red

5. Chantecler

The breed is extremely mellow and matures early in life. They start laying eggs early and reach slaughtering maturity at the same time, which means they are very productive. Because they enjoy foraging alongside their feed, this breed is ideal for free-range.

Weight (male) : 9 lbs

Weight (female) : 7 lbs

Egg production (annual) : 200

Pros & cons : Fast growth Great for free-range

Variants : Partridge, white

Eating healthy and living healthy should be the motto of everyone in this fast-paced world, no matter what breed of chicken you decide to raise in your backyard.

How to Fatten Your Meat Chickens the Right Way

Feeding the meat chickens on this list according to their nutritional requirements is critical in getting them in the freezer at the perfect time if you intend to raise any of them.

The dietary needs of all of the meat chickens in this article are similar.

Feed your hens on a 12/12 hour schedule in order to ensure that they produce the right amount of meat and fat. During the day, food should be accessible for 12 hours, and during the other 12 hours, it should be totally absent.

The water should be positioned next to the chicken’s feed on the other side of the cage. This ensures that instead of being fat, they burn calories through exercise. Chickens may be exceedingly lethargic if given the opportunity.

They also thrive on food and water.

They will not get the minimum amount of exercise required to develop the sleek muscle that gives you the finest flavor and texture on your dinner table because they do not have to work to get from food to water.



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