Best Chicken Breeds For Maximum Meat – A Detailed Guide

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Around the globe, hens are bred for a variety of uses, including eggs, meat, and decoration. Around the globe, there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of distinct breeds of chicken. They may all lay eggs, but their quality may vary and they may not always be fit for commercial production. Similar to this, certain birds have flesh that tastes better than others, which is why many farmers who wish to sell chicken meat often start with these hens. Certain hens are bigger than others, and some are especially adept at putting on weight rapidly.

Rapidly gaining weight makes them ideal for the meat trade, and at 16 to 20 weeks old, they’re ready to be harvested. Remember that several breeds you may often utilize for eggs can also produce quality meat; however, the more mature the breed, the less nutrients the meat will have.

Certain chicken breeds have developed to put on weight so rapidly that they are more likely to get ill and die or to suffer from several health issues on a daily basis if you don’t harvest them soon enough. In light of this, some breeds are superior than others.

All the chicken breeds looked decent enough, but how can you know which ones are ideal for producing meat? How can one distinguish between birds raised for meat production and those raised for eggs? It might be difficult to distinguish between hundreds of distinct breeds.

Fortunately, we were able to gather a trustworthy list of the top meat chicken breeds by doing our own study and drawing on our prior knowledge. Without further ado, find out which breeds are ideal if you wish to harvest the meat by reading our comprehensive advice and inspiring list.

Considerations for Selecting Meat-Chicken Breeds

Many people believe that selecting a breed of chicken for your meat farm would be simple, but there are many factors to consider. We’ll talk about a few of these items below.

Cross-Purpose Chickens vs. Broilers

When beginning a chicken meat farm, one of the most important concerns that poultry farmers have is whether to start with broilers or dual-purpose hens. As a consequence of cross-breeding to produce a breed ideal for producing meat, broilers are regarded as hybrid chickens.

However, as their name implies, dual-purpose chickens are able to provide excellent, flavorful meat in addition to laying 150–200 eggs annually. The genetics behind a broiler breed are often kept under wraps and constitute a trade secret.

The main advantage of broilers is their easy weight growth—they will gain one pound for every two to three pounds of feed that they eat. This implies that they will mature quickly and be ready for harvesting, and you won’t have to spend a lot of money on their nourishment.

However, broilers are more suited for industrial hatcheries, where mass harvesting is done daily and large quantities of meat are produced, than dual-purpose chickens, who may survive on any kind of farm. Broilers are difficult to breed since they acquire weight fast and often do not live to reach reproductive age.

Purebred and huge in stature, dual-purpose chickens are utilized for both meat and eggs. Their flesh is mostly utilized for household reasons, generally for boiling and soups, rather than grilling and roasting, since it is clean and lean.

The younger purebred dual-purpose hens are raised for their eggs and will be turned into meat when they retire. On the other hand, roosters are harvested while they are still young.

Color of Skin

It may surprise you to learn that some hens will have different colored skin after the feathers and down are removed, but that’s acceptable. The flavor of your chickens won’t normally be impacted by their skin tone, however some individuals prefer certain skin tones.

The majority of Orpington and Bresse hens will have pristine white skin if you’re seeking for that color. Conversely, those who appreciate yellow and pink skin tones would probably eat Cornish Cross, Cornish, Catalana, and so on.


The breed, kind, and amount of food given to the chicken determine how much weight it will have. For instance, slower-growing birds will also use more food; this is also true of dual-purpose chickens, who are capable of producing both excellent meat and eggs.

Conversely, broiler birds will develop more quickly and need less food. Broiler hens typically weigh between five and six pounds when they are ready to be harvested, but you may want to wait a little longer and give them an extra few pounds.

Some dual-purpose chickens have the potential to grow up to 15 pounds in rooster form and 12 pounds in hen form. The flavor and harvested flesh are well worth the wait if you’re prepared to be patient and shell out some cash for high-quality feed.

Time Spent Processing

It may take a different amount of time to prepare broiler chickens or dual-purpose hens, depending on your preferences. At 16 weeks old, the majority of hens will be ready for harvesting. Some breeds, on the other hand, will be prepared later, at 17 or 18 weeks of age.

It may take up to 21 or 24 weeks for certain breeds of chickens to reach the required weight and processing readiness. It will be too late to harvest certain breeds at 20 weeks old; they will be ripe at 15 or 16 weeks. You may have to wait a little longer for certain others, but they will most certainly be worthwhile.

The Top 10 Breeds of Chickens in Demand

Each breed of chicken is unique. In light of this, some varieties of chicken are higher in nutrients and have a more complex, delicious taste. Read on to find out more about which one is superior; you won’t know unless you consult our list.

Cornish Cross

8–12 pounds in weight
16–20 weeks before harvesting is possible

The Cornish Cross appears in cartoons, motion pictures, and almost all commercially marketed chickens are packaged as Cornish Crosses. They are the offspring of hens crossed between White Rock and Cornish. For a variety of reasons, this breed is among the most often used for producing meat.

Its reputation for growing quickly and gaining weight is one of the reasons; thus, it should come as no surprise when it becomes plump and is ready to be harvested at 16 weeks. Waiting above 20 weeks of age should be avoided since it increases the risk of them being ill and becoming excessively thick.

When that occurs, taking care of them in the backyard may become quite challenging due to their slowness and inability to blend in with the flock. Furthermore, you may need to watch them closely since they could be left unguarded and vulnerable. Their huge thighs and breasts make them ideal for industrial meat production.


Weight: five to seven pounds
16–20 weeks before harvesting is possible

When compared to other chickens, the Bresse chicks are more challenging. Although their growth is not as thick as that of some other commercially harvested chickens, their flesh is well-known for being savory and delicious. This is because of a genetic tendency that gives them a particular manner to digest food, which enhances taste and promotes fat accumulation.

Their tiny bones give them a different meat-to-bone ratio than other chickens, which is noteworthy to notice. This means that even if they don’t weigh 10 pounds or more, you still receive more flesh from them. Raising them for meat may be quite beneficial for you, too, since they are more costly on the market.

The nicest thing about these hens is that they make excellent additions to huge commercial flocks because of their strong behavioral patterns, easygoing nature, and almost constant pleasant mood.

They took their name from the French area of Bresse. It’s also important to note that they’re regarded as a specialty and are quite tasty in France.


Weight: 7 to 9 lbs.
16 weeks till harvest is ready

The Delaware variety of chicken is ideal for producing both meat and eggs. That’s because Delaware hens have a yearly egg production range of 100 to 150. It may generate even more in some circumstances if it resides in a warm environment.

However, despite the fact that this hen is ideal for producing eggs, it should be noted that it develops quickly and puts on a lot of weight. Nevertheless, it may be ready for harvesting in as soon as 16 weeks. Should you be unable to harvest it at that time or a little later, you may use it for brooding and decoration or for her flawless eggs.

The amiable nature of Delaware hens will quickly become apparent to you, as they can readily blend into even the biggest flocks. But they may also burst with audacity and confidence, so don’t be surprised if they sometimes act pushy. Whichever option you choose, these cluckers are a fantastic addition to meat and egg production.

Giant from Jersey

Weight: 11–15 lbs.
16–24 weeks before harvesting is possible

Because Jersey Giants are huge and readily acquire weight, chicken producers frequently joke that they were designed to compete with turkeys. Their moniker comes from the fact that they are undoubtedly one of the biggest chicken breeds in the world. If you have the patience, they work well with meat, however.

It is important to remember that they are a dual-purpose breed, meaning they may be raised for both meat and eggs, much like Delaware hens. It may yield a tonne more eggs than Delaware, averaging between 250 and 270 a year—a boon to any farmer.

Depending on whether it’s a hen or a rooster, they may weigh anywhere from 9 to 15 pounds, but they digest information slowly. It might thus be ready to be harvested in 16 to 24 weeks. In most cases, they won’t be ready to harvest in a little over 16 weeks, but if you’re fortunate, they could be.

The gentle but amiable nature of Jersey Giants makes them quite simple to care for, which is another fantastic feature. They can eat a lot of food, however, so other hens in your coop can run out of food because of their size, which means they’ll require additional room.

Langshan Croad

Weight: 7-9 lbs.
16–18 weeks before harvesting is possible

Another kind of chicken with two purposes is the Croad Langshan. But even though it may lay between 150 and 170 eggs annually, many farmers continue to keep it for its meat. The majority of those not utilized to produce meat are bred to produce additional Croad Langshan chickens.

Their native home is China, where they have enjoyed centuries-long popularity because to their white meat—which, as you may have noticed, is noticeably whiter than that of other chicken varieties. It also has a more complex taste. They have a high meat content and can grow up to 10 pounds, but they can only digest meat for 16 to 18 weeks at a time.

They like being with people and other chickens and are placid, submissive, and amiable. Their plumage is typically dark, almost black, and they may grow to be rather tall. They lay huge, dark brown eggs with a unique purple hue that attracts a lot of attention from potential buyers, so those who utilize them for egg production love employing them.


Weight: 6 to 9 lbs.

16–21 weeks until harvest is ready

American buckeye chickens are sturdy and suitable for farms in colder locations since they are an exceptionally resilient breed. They also tolerate several common chicken ailments better and more robustly because to their resilient down and feathers.

For this reason, they are an ideal addition to any farm that produces meat. They give a lot of meat to be gathered and will be ready for processing at 16 weeks old, despite their inability to grow as big as some other chicken breeds.

Not many people are aware of their ability to lay a significant number of eggs, which makes them perfect for egg farms. They are excellent moms who can raise offspring; they may deposit up to 200 eggs annually.

These hens can tolerate very low temperatures since they were developed especially to survive colder climes. They lay brown to dark brown eggs, and they are often Mahagony red. Their friendliness and composure are intriguing qualities as well.


Weight: 6 to 9 lbs.
16–21 weeks until harvest is ready

Dorking is a lovely, quiet, and rustic-looking chicken that would make a wonderful addition to your farm if you like running a cottage-style farm and raising chickens for harvest. They may take a while to digest, but if you have the patience, you can harvest them while they’re still pretty young.

But their meek disposition might come at a heavy price. They shouldn’t be kept with aggressive chickens since they are so calm and harmonious, particularly a rooster with another rooster, as their submissive dispositions may render them defenseless against them.

These hens aren’t robust enough to survive in cold areas, unlike Buckeye. Unlike some other hens, their down and feathers are not as resilient and are unable to control body temperature. They will produce well in warmer, more humid climes, which is what they enjoy.

They may not be your first choice for egg chickens, but they may lay between 140 and 150 eggs annually, which is ideal for tiny farms in case you miss the deadline for harvesting. When harvested, they may provide a large amount of flesh that is flavorful, soft, and tender.

To ensure that they grow up to be healthy, it’s also important to note that you will need to offer them a little additional attention while they are developing.

Broiler Ginger

Weight: 4-6 lbs.
16–20 weeks before harvesting is possible

Ginger Broiler is the ideal breed to start with if you’re searching for a reasonably low-maintenance flock bird to grow for meat. They have a strong natural immunity, and even in the coldest conditions, they are protected by their durable down and feathers.

They are rather independent and will get along just well getting on their own with other hens once they are old enough to leave the brooder and join the flock in the coop. They will get along quite nicely with humans and the rest of the flock because of their amiable dispositions.

Higher altitude farmers would want to bring Ginger Broilers to their fields since they are also known to have no leg issues. Despite the fact that they may make quite calm and amiable backyard pets, they are exclusively utilized for meat.

Their flesh may be utilized to prepare a variety of cuisines since it is flavorful, clean, and delicious. Every breed of broiler chicken is renowned for having excellent meat flavor.

King Kosher

Weight: 4-5 lbs.
16 weeks till harvest is ready

When it comes to raising and harvesting meat, not everyone thinks of Kosher King. They don’t really produce a lot of eggs, thus they are also unsuitable for setting up an egg farm. Nonetheless, a lot of individual farmers continue to decide to cultivate them since the meat they provide is delicious and of high quality.

You will struggle to keep this small bird back if you are not an experienced farmer since they are quite inquisitive and daring. Because they are so intelligent, they won’t give a damn about the hazardous predators that live outside and will constantly try to discover a method to escape their enclosure.

They also like a variety of foods, and they don’t mind looking for them. You won’t have any issues rearing them since they are energetic and, in spite of their spirit of adventure, get along well with other hens in the flock.


Weight: nine to ten pounds
Harvest-ready: 18 to 24 weeks

Even while Orpingtons are mostly raised for their clean, flavorful, and delicious meat, they are also dual-purpose chickens that may provide over 200 eggs a year. It’s interesting to note that they are raised on chicken farms alongside Delaware and Cornish hens, but they develop more slowly than those other birds, so they may be harvested later.

They are placid, amiable, and get along well with people and other chickens, so you may keep them for eggs, meat, or even as decorative garden chickens. They are wonderful companions and will never become hostile. Despite their sluggish growth, they don’t need a large diet; unlike other chicken breeds, they can thrive on little food. They also don’t require costly feed.

They may yield a sizable amount of meat for harvesting, and their flesh is delicious, clean, and appetizing.

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