Chickens are mostly bred for meat and eggs, in which the products are some of the best sources of protein.
Because of this, the demand for chickens is always high because many people opt for chicken meat.
And knowing this, poultry farmers are on the increase and the business is profitable.
While some chicken breeders may want to grow their chickens in the backyard, not all chicken breeds can be bred using the extensive method.
And for purpose, there are chicken breeds that are best for eggs while some are best for meat, some others are dual purpose chicken breeds, meaning that they lay large numbers of eggs and also grow big in size.
Let’s look into some of the best chicken breeds for meat production, their origins, weight, recognized varieties, lifespan and behaviors.
- Jersey Giant Chicken Breed
The jersey giant breed was developed in New Jersey, USA and some of the common recognized verities are black chicken, white and blue.
It is one of the largest locally owned chicken breed in US.
It is not only popular here as there are many jersey chicken breeders in South Africa India, Philippines, Australia and UK.
This chicken breed is chosen by many people who opt to do backyard breeding. This is because the growth rate of the chicken is less.
The cock for example will start crowing at just 5 months and can weigh up to 16 pounds when matured and fully fed.
The female can as well weigh up to 12 pounds under the same condition.
Raising jersey giant breed will definitely yield good income but many prefer rearing it for personal and family consumption or even as pet since they’re docile and friendly to some extent.
However, it’s still an ideal breed for those who are looking to feed their family.
Jersey giant chicken will grow very large in size and will be able to produce a large amount of meat.
To raise your own chicken, there are breeders who can sell fertile eggs to you or young ones near you.
Check some groups online where you can find breeders who offer jersey giant for sale near you.
- Cornish Cross
Cornish cross or Cornish Rocks is one another chicken breed.
It’s origin is also USA, where the Cornish strain was crossbred with Plymouth Rocks to produce a large chicken for meat production.
There are concerns whether the Cornish rock is genetically modified to produce large meat but the fact is that the genes are not altered.
Some of the recognized varieties of Cornish cross are mottled, red, black, buff, white laced red and spangled.
The demand for Cornish cross is high in South Africa recently with chicken breeders in Johannesburg, gauteng, KZN, Pretoria, pietermaritzburg, durban, howick, kokstad wanting to get young chicken of this breed.
However, you can locate some notable farms near you on the map and talk to them.
Cornish cross is one of the fastest growing chicken breeds in the world.
Since this breed will have large breasts, they are often chosen for meat production especially on a commercial scale.
This is because Cornish cross can grow big rapidly when given the proper feed.
The legs are also large and they have good thighs. This chicken will grow up to 5 pounds in a matter of 8 weeks.
Cornish rocks is usually sold out and butchered after 3 months when the weight would be around 10 pounds.
However, Cornish cross life expectancy is not like other chickens with 5 to 7 years.
This breed develops heart, lungs and limb problems quickly because their body growth outgrow their organs and may die under one year or become lame and sick.
As much as many groomers who love to breed their own Cornish cross, the fear of death rate and weather tolerance would not make them want to but you can still crossbred with other breed to have Cornish X.
Delaware chicken breed, formerly the Indian Rivers was developed in Delaware by George Ellis.
This is one of the crossbreed chickens which was initially aimed at egg production.
Since the meat of the chicken was found to be tasty, this breed was later chosen for meat production.
Today, they’re regarded as dual purpose chicken breed because it can be raised for both eggs and meat production and it’s an endangered specie in US as well.
Delaware chickens are known to be funny and calm but not really friendly while some breeders found Delaware to be friendly in most times.
Because of their funny and friendly characteristics, they can also be chosen as pets.
Delaware chickens usually produce about 25 eggs in a month and lifespan of between 6 to 8 years.
They grow very fast and also produce a good amount of meat.
Buckeye chicken breed was created in Ohio, US. This is again one of the dual purpose breed chickens.
One advantage of Buckeye breed is that it can tolerate both winter and summer and grow relatively fast.
A Buckeye will have an average weight of around 8 to 10 pounds when old and ready to be butchered.
This breed can also be raised using the free range method at your backyard.
Although it’s not much popular outside the United States, Canadian chicken breeders also raise Delaware for meat production.
There’s mixed reaction as regards the origin of Dorking chicken, whether it’s from Britain, Italy or Rome.
However, dorking can be raised for meat production and will also provide a good egg supply.
They are known to have fleshy breast, and their meat will be lean and tender.
Some of the recognized varieties of dorking breed are silver grey, White, Cuckoo and red.
Since these birds have good nature, they can be bred at home and will also mingle well with other pets.
You can see that their most productive months will be during the cold climate.
Before choosing the chicken breed, analyze the purpose and your surroundings for optimal production.
This chicken breed has its origin as the United States of America.
While it is known to produce good quantities of both eggs and meat, it is usually bred for meat.
They also adjust to all kinds of environment.
Due to its growth capacity, the weight of the male will go up to 8.5 lbs and the weight of the female can go up to 6.5 lbs, producing large quantity of meat.