dual-purpose chicken breeds

Dual-Purpose Chicken Breeds

All-in-one solution: Raising chickens for both meat and eggs

Raising chickens has become popular as more people become interested in sustainable living practices and producing their own food. Generally, most people opt for chickens that are either egg layers or meat birds. However, dual-purpose birds are the way to go if you want a breed that can provide both meat and eggs.

So, what makes a chicken good for both egg laying and meat? To understand that, it is important to know what makes a meat chicken and an egg chicken. Meat chickens, or broilers, are bred specifically for their meat. They have a large, meaty frame, with broad breasts and plump thighs. On the other hand, egg chickens, also known as layers, are bred for their ability to lay eggs. They tend to have lighter frames and smaller combs, which helps reduce the amount of feed they require.

As the name suggests, dual-purpose birds are breeds capable of laying eggs and producing meat. These breeds are generally larger and heavier than typical egg-laying breeds but not as large or fast-growing as meat breeds. The advantage of choosing a dual-purpose breed is getting the best of both worlds. You can have a steady supply of fresh eggs while also having the option to raise some birds for meat.

Breeding dual-purpose birds can also be more sustainable than raising separate flocks for meat and eggs. With a dual-purpose breed, you can keep one flock and get all the benefits without maintaining multiple flocks. This can save space, feed, and other resources, making it a more efficient way to raise chickens.

Here are some popular dual-purpose chicken breeds:


The Australorp is an Australian breed known for its egg-laying abilities, size, and meat quality. A good layer of large, brown eggs, the Australorp is a calm, docile bird, easy to handle.


The Brahma breed is large and comes in various colors, including black, white, and buff. It is a docile breed and good for both meat and egg production.

Jersey Giant

You guessed it! The Jersey Giant is one of the largest chicken breeds. This docile bird is good for meat and egg production.


A popular dual-purpose breed, the Orpington is popular for its large size and meat quality. It is also a good layer of large, brown eggs. In addition, it is friendly and makes a good pet.

Plymouth Rock

Another versatile breed, the Plymouth Rock, is great for eggs and meat. It is calm and docile, making it easy to handle. This chicken is another layer of large brown eggs, and an excellent free-range choice.

Rhode Island Red

The Rhode Island Red is a classic dual-purpose breed for meat and egg production. It is hardy, easy to care for, and a layer of large brown eggs. It is also a good choice for free-range environments.


The Sussex has a good temperament and is a good meat bird due to its size and meat quality. It is also a good layer of large, brown eggs.


A hardy breed that can withstand cold temperatures, the Wyandotte lays around 200 brown eggs annually and has a plump body well-suited for meat production.