Spring has finally arrived! That means it’s also time to start thinking about hatching out eggs and making plans for next years farm agenda. I am sure I can’t be the only homesteader that has a hard time deciding what new chicken breeds to add to the farm! I wanted to make a list of my personal favorites as well as some well known must-have breeds. Dual-purpose means that these breeds are decent egg layers, but also can be dressed for the table. Lets jump into the list!
These are by far my favorite chicken breed. They are known to be docile, cold tolerant and excellent winter layers. Orpingtons lay a large brown egg. Their larger built and white skin makes them a great choice for the table. Almost all of the orpingtons I have raised, they have all been amazing setters! The hen I have now has been sitting on all my other hens eggs too!
Buckeye is a fairly new breed to our homestead! By chance I found them at our local feed store. We currently have two hens in our flock, they are very calm and docile. When we feed each day they actually hunch down just waiting for some attention! They lay medium size brown eggs, and they are known to be good setters. They are a meaty bird which makes them a good table bird as well. They originated in Ohio, so finding stock can be tough but they are worth the extra research to find them!
This family of birds are all great dual purpose breed. The most familiar is the barred rock, they are available at nearly every feed store this time of year! There is also white, plymouth, partridge,buff, blue, columbian and silver penciled rocks. They all lay large brown eggs, cold tolerant and larger in size. They feather out quicker then many other breeds. They are some strains that are good setters, but with how popular they have become most of the setting instinct has been bred out of this breed.
The Australorp is a very common breed, nearly every feed store will have these chicks at some point during the hatching season. They are excellent layers of large brown eggs. Also, they are a heavy breed which makes them a good choice for a table bird. In my experience they have been a very docile and calm bird, which makes them a great addition to the flock when you have young children as well!
Sussex is a great dual purpose breed. I also enjoy having them in the flock because they are a heritage breed! They are also very docile and calm birds. Sussex are known to be the U.K oldest chicken breed, they come in speckled, red and light. The red is rarest of them all!
These are personally my top picks when I think of dual purpose breeds! Do you have any of your own favorites, let us know!!