Raising chickens has long been a part of homesteading. Dual-purpose chickens are a hybrid of the meat chicken and the egg-laying chicken, and they're 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.
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.
Due to their age, they will be a little tougher than meat kings but there are ways to cook them to deal with that.
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.
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
- slower growth
- can be tougher meat
- roosters can be mean
- lots 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.