meat chickens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We are new to raising chickens and have a few questions. We have Isa Brown chickens that lay very well. Are these a laying breed or a dual purpose? Also are they a cross between a Rhode Island Red and another breed? Any info about them would be great. Also, do meat birds lay eggs? Can layers be used for meat?

Lastly, does anyone know of a waterer for chickens to attach to a metal cage? My son is showing his birds and we are sure how to provide water without it spilling all over the place.

Thanks in advance for your help!

-- susan banks (, November 23, 2001


Susan, I've heard of the Isa Brown chickens but know nothing about them. You might want to look at Feathersite, they have a lot of unusual breeds there. All chickens lay eggs, they just don't all lay a lot of them. A breed selected solely for meat production might only lay a hundred eggs a year, for example, while a laying breed might lay closer to three hundred. Dual-purpose breeds usually lay two hundred+ eggs per year. Layer breeds can be used for meat, but the carcass will be smaller and less meaty than a meat breed. The dual-purpose breeds won't give you a carcass that looks like a store- bought meat chicken, either -- those are cross-breeds raised specially for meat production. They grow extremely fast, to the point where many have serious leg problems, and some will keel over of heart attacks. They also outgrow their feather covering for a few weeks, making them unattractive to look at. You just have to decide what you want your birds for, and choose the breed best suited to your needs and conditions. (For instance, in my opinion rose-combed or small-combed breeds do better in extremely cold winters than birds with large single combs.)

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, November 23, 2001.

Hi, I have had Isa Browns for years now, and in answer to your question, They are not good to eat unless you want to pressure cook them for three days, and then they are still tough...They are a laying hen, and bred only for that purpose. A good dual purpose would be Brahma's, but they do not give as good as egg production, as Isa's. Trust me on eating Isa's, I have tried them.....

-- Barb (, November 23, 2001.

Click For Isa Browns

-- ~Rogo (, November 25, 2001.

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