In fall of 2014 I decided I wanted to raise some dual-purpose chickens. The main focus was on incubating my own birds to raise as “panfrys”, traditional meat birds frequently used in pan frying. So how did 2015 go?
Overall I got what I expected. Layers producing at around 60% egg to chick ratio and broilers weighed 3lbs dressed; both good foragers. The main learning point of this experiment was the evaluation of breeds.
My Delaware chickens caused me much distress. It seemed they all ate eggs. Because of this, it was hard to judge egg production. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was equal, even though my gut tells me it was less. And the final straw was a psychotic rooster.
I am pleased with the Buff Orpington hens. To date, I’ve not found them to be egg eaters and they have a steady egg production at about 60%. The one drawback is that I’ve still not been completely successful in breaking my broody hen. That would be a bonus if I didn’t have an incubator, but since I do, it’s just a nuisance.
Overall, I see why Buff Orpington is a more popular homestead breed. I’ve seen several people praise the Delaware breed, which is why I tried them, but my experience wasn’t favorable. Of the two, I choose Buffs.