20 Meat Chicken Breeds for Food

Meat Chicken Breeds
Photo by Jordan Whitt

There are plenty of different meat chicken breeds, each with qualities and characteristics. Some chickens are known to lay more eggs, while others are particularly well-suited to meat production.

There are even breeds known to be disease-resistant and frugal when it comes to feeding consumption. 

However, all these birds have in common is their ability to provide you with nutrient-rich meat, which is as healthy as it is tasty. 

Therefore, this guide will discuss the most common meat chicken breeds available today.

Meat Chicken Breeds

Buckeye 

The Buckeye chicken is an American breed that was developed in the late 1800s in Ohio. It gets its name from the state bird of Ohio, the Buckeye. The Buckeye is a dual-purpose chicken that can be used for both eggs and meat.

Nevertheless, it is a large bird, with roosters weighing up to 9 pounds and hens around 6 pounds. The Buckeye is a hardy breed and does well in cold weather.

However, it is also known for being a good forager. The Buckeye lays brown eggs and has red and white feathers.

New Hampshire Red 

The New Hampshire Red is a chicken breed that was developed in the early 1900s in New Hampshire, USA. The breed was created by crossing Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks.

The New Hampshire Red is a popular choice for meat production due to its high growth rate and good carcass quality. The average live weight of a New Hampshire Red is 4-5 kg (9-11 lb).

American Breese 

The American Breese is a chicken breed that was developed in the United States. It is a dual-purpose chicken, meaning it can be used for egg and meat production.

The American Breese is a large bird, with hens weighing in at around 8 pounds and roosters at 10 pounds. However, the breed has white feathers and yellow skin.

The American Breese is known for being a good layer of brown eggs, with hens laying around 200eggs per year. The breed is also known for its good meat quality, with the birds having a lot of breast meat.

Chantecler 

The Chantecler is a chicken breed that was developed in Canada. It is a dual-purpose breed, meaning it can be used for both egg and meat production. The Chantecler is a hardy bird that can withstand cold weather and is known for being a good forager. 

Therefore, this breed is not as common as some of the other meat chicken breeds. But it can make an excellent addition to your flock.

Dorkings 

Dorkings are a British breed of chicken that was once used for meat and eggs. However, they are now primarily raised for meat.

Dorkings have white plumage and five toes on each foot, which is unusual for chickens. They are also known for being calm and docile, making them good backyard chickens. 

Nevertheless, when it comes to meat production, Dorkings are relatively slow-growing. But they make up for it by producing high-quality meat.

If you’re looking for meat chicken breeds that provide delicious, healthy beef, then Dorkings are a great choice.

Buff Orpington 

The Buff Orpington is a chicken breed that was developed in England in the late 1800s. The breed was created by crossing several different chickens, including the Black Orpington, Brahma, and Plymouth Rock.

The Buff Orpington is a giant chicken, with roosters weighing up to 9 pounds and hens up to 7 pounds. 

Moreso, the breed is known for its docile nature and friendly personality. Buff Orpingtons are good egg-layers, producing up to 200 brown eggs per year. The breed is also a meat chicken, with birds reaching butcher weight in about 16 weeks.

Delaware 

Delaware is a chicken breed that was developed in the United States in the 1940s. It is a dual-purpose chicken, meaning it can be used for both egg and meat production. Delaware is a white chicken with red markings on its head, neck, and legs. 

However, it is an excellent layer of brown eggs and a good meat bird. Delaware is a calm chicken that gets along well with other chickens.

It is not known to be broody, so it is not the best choice for raising chicks. However, Delaware makes an excellent pet chicken and is also suitable for showing.

Brahma 

Brahma chickens are a large breed of chicken weighing up to 18 pounds. They’re dual-purpose birds, meaning they can be used for meat and egg production.

Brahmas are known for being docile and easy to handle, making them a good choice for first-time chicken owners.

Therefore, when it comes to meat production, Brahmas grow relatively slowly but produce a high-quality carcass. If you’re looking for meat chicken breeds that can provide you with meat and eggs. Brahma is a good option.

Jersey Giant 

The Jersey Giant is a chicken breed that was developed in the United States in the late 19th century. The goal was to create a chicken that could be used for meat and egg production.

The Jersey Giant is a large bird, with roosters weighing in at around 13 pounds and hens around 11 pounds. 

Therefore, they are good foragers and do well in free-range systems. The breed is known for its calm disposition and can be friendly toward humans. Jersey Giants are slow to mature, taking around 16 weeks to reach butcher weight. 

But, they make up for it by having a high yield of meat. When choosing a meat chicken breed, the Jersey Giant is a good option if you are looking for a large bird with a good meat yield.

Cornish Cross 

The Cornish Cross is a hybrid chicken breed that was specifically bred for meat production. They are fast-growing, have large breast muscles, and are relatively disease-resistant. Cornish Crosses typically reach slaughter weight at about six weeks of age. 

While they are not the best egg layers, they more than make up for it in meat production. If you’re looking to raise chickens for meat, the Cornish Cross is a great option.

Egyptian Fayoumi 

The Fayoumi is an old breed of chicken that was developed in Egypt. These birds are well-suited to hot climates and do well on a free-range diet. They are known for their high egg production and excellent meat quality. 

However, Fayoumis are also good layers of brown eggs. If you’re looking for a heat-tolerant chicken that will provide you with eggs and meat. Fayoumi is a great choice!

Ginger Broiler 

The Ginger Broiler is a heritage chicken breed that was developed in the 1970s. This chicken is known for producing large, juicy, and flavorful meat. 

However, the Ginger Broiler is an excellent choice for homesteaders who want to raise their chickens for meat. This chicken breed is also known for being friendly and docile, making them a perfect choice for families with children.

Turkey 

The Turken is a rare chicken breed that is known for its lack of feathers on its neck and head. This makes it easy to process and clean.

Turkeys are also very docile, making them easy to handle. They are a hardy breed and can withstand cold weather well.

In addition, Turkeys increase and can reach up to 10 pounds in just eight weeks. Also, the average lifespan of a Turken is about five years. Because they are such a rare breed, Turkeys can be expensive.

However, they make excellent meat birds and are worth the investment if you are looking for high-quality chicken meat.

Kosher Kings 

The Kosher King is a large, white chicken weighing up to 12 pounds. They are very friendly and docile, making them extraordinary chickens to have around children.

They also have a very high meat yield, making them perfect for those looking to raise chickens for their meat. 

Kosher Kings are also known to be good layers of eggs so that you can get two products from one chicken! 

So, if you’re looking for a chicken that will provide you with meat and eggs. The Kosher King is a great option. They are a bit more expensive than other chicken breeds, but they are worth the investment.

Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock chickens are a great breed for first-time chicken keepers. They’re hardy, adaptable to different climates, and have good egg layers. Plymouth Rocks also make excellent meat birds. 

Also, they overgrow and have large breast muscles. If you’re looking for a chicken that can do it all, the Plymouth Rock is a great choice.

Dark Cornish 

The Dark Cornish is an old English breed, once the most popular meat chicken breed in Cornwall. They are dual-purpose birds, meaning they can be used for eggs and meat. The Dark Cornish is a large bird. 

And with roosters weighing in at 8 to 9 pounds and hens at 6 to 7 pounds. They are fast-growing birds, reaching slaughter weight at about eight weeks old. The Dark Cornish is a heritage breed that is now considered rare.

Therefore, If you are looking for a heritage breed chicken to add to your flock, the Dark Cornish is a great choice!

Leghorn 

The leghorn is a popular breed of chicken that is known for its egg-laying abilities.

However, leghorns can also make good meat for birds. They are fast-growing and have a high feed conversion ratio, meaning they convert feed into meat efficiently. Leghorns are also hardy birds that can withstand hot and cold weather extremes.

Freedom Rangers

If you’re looking for top meat chicken breeds to add to your homestead, the Freedom Ranger is a great choice. This heritage breed is known for its excellent flavor and juiciness.

And produces a higher yield than most other meat chicken breeds. Additionally, Freedom Rangers are hearty and adaptable, making them ideal for small-scale and large-scale operations.

Here are five reasons the Freedom Ranger is one of the best meat chicken breeds. 

  1. They have excellent flavor and juiciness. 
  2. They produce a higher yield than most other chicken breeds. 
  3. They are hearty and adaptable. 
  4. They are good foragers. 
  5. They have robust immune systems.

Croad Langshan 

The Croad Langshan is an excellent meat chicken breed for the homestead. They are a heritage breed that was once popular in England and Australia. The Croad Langshan is a large bird, with roosters weighing 9 pounds and hens at 7 pounds.

Fortunately, they are slowly mature, taking around 24 weeks to reach butchering weight. But they are worth the wait, as they are an excellent chicken for meat and eggs. The Croad Langshan is a dual-purpose bird used for meat and egg production. 

Therefore, if you are looking for a chicken that will provide you with delicious, healthy meat and eggs. Then the Croad Langshan is the perfect breed for you!

Wyandotte 

The Wyandotte is an American breed of chicken that was developed in the 1870s. The original birds were a cross between the Silver Laced Wyandotte and the White Leghorn. The Wyandotte is a dual-purpose chicken that can be used for both eggs and meat. 

It is a large bird, with roosters weighing up to 9 pounds and hens up to 7 pounds. The Wyandotte has a rosecomb, which is unusual for meat chicken breeds.

Also, this means that it is not well suited to hot weather. And as the rosecomb can make the chicken more susceptible to heat stroke. 

However, the Wyandotte is a hardy bird and can withstand cold weather better than some other breeds.

Conclusion 

There you have it, the top twenty meat chicken breeds for your homestead. Keep in mind that different chicken breeds are better suited for various purposes. 

Therefore, if you want chickens for egg production, then choose a breed that is known for its egg-laying abilities. If you want a chicken that provides both meat and eggs, choose a dual-purpose breed. 

And if you want a pet chicken, then any of these breeds would make a great choice. No matter which breed you choose, remember to have fun and enjoy your chickens!

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