By JAMES TABABA
Michael Castro, known as Mr. Chix on social media, owns a poultry breeder farm in Guagua, Pampanga. The farm offers a diverse selection of chicken, duck, and turkey breeds. With almost two years of experience in the industry, Castro has identified the most popular chicken breeds among his clients, backyard poultry farmers, and enthusiasts.
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Chickens have been domesticated to serve multiple purposes such as egg-laying, meat production, and ornamental or pet purposes. The different types of chickens are classified based on their purpose depending on their physical characteristics and overall productivity. One particular type of chicken that stands out is the dual-purpose breed. Dual-purpose chickens are versatile breeds suitable for meat and egg production. They are generally larger and have a stronger build than egg-laying breeds, making them more efficient in meat production. At the same time, they also lay a decent amount of eggs, making them a practical choice for small-scale farmers or backyard raisers. Here are Castro’s recommended dual-purpose breeds:
In the Philippines, the Black Australorp has gained popularity over the years, especially among backyard poultry farmers. They are considered to be one of the best dual-purpose chicken breeds in the country due to their ability to lay large eggs and produce quality meat. In addition to their productivity, the Black Australorp is also known for its docile and friendly temperament, making them a good choice for families with children.
The Black Australorp is the most popular breed sold at Castro’s farm among all the available breeds. It is a medium to large-sized chicken breed with a sleek, shiny black feathering that has a greenish-purple sheen when viewed in sunlight. Their eyes are a deep brown color, and their beaks are dark. The legs and feet of Black Australorps are black, and they have four toes on each foot.
One of the primary advantages of the Black Australorp is its egg-laying capacity. According to Castro, these chickens are known for laying large brown eggs, with some hens capable of laying up to 250 – 300 eggs per year. In addition to their egg-laying abilities, Black Australorps are also excellent for meat production.
Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Reds are also considered to be an excellent dual-purpose breed. Originally bred in Rhode Island, United States, the Rhode Island Red quickly gained popularity due to its hardiness, adaptability, and excellent egg-laying abilities. The breed was later exported to other countries, including the Philippines, where it has become one of the favorite breeds among poultry farmers. They are often used in crossbreeding programs to improve the productivity of local chicken breeds, and they are also a popular choice for those who want to raise chickens for both meat and eggs.
Rhode Island Reds have a rich, mahogany-red color with black tail feathers, a deep, broad breast, yellow legs and feet, and a long, sturdy body. They are known for laying large, brown eggs and can also lay up to 300 eggs per year. Moreover, Rhode Island Reds also have a good meat yield.
One of the main advantages of raising Rhode Island Reds is their hardiness and adaptability to different environments. They are able to thrive in a variety of climates and are resistant to many common chicken diseases.
The Plymouth Rock breed is not as common as other dual-purpose breeds, such as the Rhode Island Red and the Black Australorp here in the Philippines. However, enthusiasts still raise Plymouth Rocks for their excellent egg-laying and meat-producing abilities.
This breed is one of the oldest breeds developed in the United States, originating in New England. The Plymouth Rock chicken breed is a medium-sized bird with a distinctive black and white striped pattern, which gives it a striking appearance.
Plymouth Rocks are known for their excellent egg-laying abilities, with hens producing large brown eggs on a regular basis. They are also valued for their meat, which is flavorful and tender. Furthermore, these chickens are hardy and adaptable, able to thrive in a variety of climates and environments. These chickens can be raised in both backyard and commercial settings and are known to do well in the Philippine climate.
These dual-purpose chicken breeds – Rhode Island Red, Plymouth Rock, and Black Australorp – offer numerous advantages to those considering backyard farming or commercial production. They are hardy, adaptable, and can thrive in our local environment. While each breed has its unique features, all are renowned for their remarkable meat and egg production.
Photo courtesy of Mr. Chix Farm