Meat Kings VS Dual-Purpose Chickens

Inside: Raising chickens has long been a part of homesteading. Meat kings vs dual-purpose chickens, which might be best for your family?

Raising chickens has long been a part of homesteading. Dual-purpose chickens are a hybrid of the meat and egg-laying chicken, quickly becoming a popular option for backyard chicken enthusiasts. Let's see have meat kings vs dual-purpose chickens stack up, and what might be best for your family.

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Meat Kings VS Dual-Purpose Chickens

When it comes to deciding which type of chicken is best for your homestead, it really depends on what your purpose is. Do you want a chicken that will provide you with both eggs and meat or are you looking to specialize? Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each to help you make your decision.

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The Case for Meat Kings

Meat kings are bred just for meat. They are a fast-growing chicken, so fast that they are ready to be butchered within 6 weeks, sometimes people will let them go another week or two if they appear in good health.

This is a low-time investment, lower feed cost investment as you are only feeding them for 6-8 weeks.

The Case for Dual-Purpose Chickens

With dual-purpose chickens, you get the best of both worlds. You have a source of eggs and meat. In most cases, you will raise a chicken like this primarily for eggs during its more productive laying years and then cull it for meat once they slow down in laying eggs because you don't want to continue to feed those birds when they are not laying.

Due to their age, they will be a little tougher than meat kings but there are ways to cook them to deal with that.

You can also choose to butcher dual-purpose chickens at 18 weeks. This is roughly when they are full grown. If you let them lay first they can still be butchered for meat, but you shouldn't expect typical grocery store meat from an older bird. Roosters get tougher than hens.

bantam brahma hens

The Pros and Cons of Meat Kings

There are many benefits to raising meat chickens. They are a great source of protein and can be very affordable. 

Meat chickens can also be very easy to care for. They don’t require a lot of space and can be raised in almost any type of climate. Let's start with the pros and cons of raising Meat Kings.



eggs in carton on white wood background

The Pros and Cons of Dual-Purpose Chickens

Dual-purpose chickens are a longer time commitment than meat kings. They start laying between 16 and 20 weeks, so you have to wait 3+ months for eggs and to breed them.

It's recommended to wait about that long to butcher roosters as well to get the most meat out of them that you can, but not have the meat be tough.


  • breed naturally
  • can be free-ranged
  • will forge
  • won't eat themselves to death
  • eggs


  • slower growth
  • can be tougher meat
  • roosters can be mean
  • a lot of down feathers to pluck

Which chicken is best for your homestead is going to be best for what you are looking for. Meat kings aren't going to live to reproduce on your homestead so you are going to have to buy them somewhere. But you could easily raise and butcher dual-purpose chickens without outside help.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Dual-Purpose Chickens

    Best dual-purpose chickens for meat? Rhode Island Red, Plymouth Rock, Sussex, and Orpingtons are considered the best breeds for dual-purpose chickens.

    When to butcher dual-purpose chickens? 18 weeks is the recommended age for optimal meat.

    Want More?

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