Meat Chicken Breeds: 12 Best Meat Chickens for Your Homestead

Here are 12 of the best meat chicken breeds for raising on your homestead. A great list for beginners who are looking to raise broilers. Both cross-bred & heritage breeds are compared here.

Here are twelve of the best meat chicken breeds for raising on your homestead. A great list for beginners who are looking to raise broilers. Both cross-bred & heritage breeds are compared here. 

We are on our second year of raising our own meat birds and the results so far have been amazing! We really love having our own meat chickens. We chose the Cornish Cross and they have been great.

If you need to build a chicken tractor still, check out my chicken tractor designs here.

Read about the 10 best egg laying chickens here.

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12 Meat Chicken Breeds

Here are 12 of the best meat chicken breeds for raising on your homestead. A great list for beginners who are looking to raise broilers. Both cross-bred & heritage breeds are compared here.Our Cornish Cross meat chickens.

What meat chicken breeds are best for you?

Here are the 12 best meat breeds chart to help you compare and pick the best for you! Download Your Own Copy Now!

Psst! Just so you know you are also signing up for my email list. You can unsubscribe at any time.

1. Cornish Cross

When discussing meat chicken breeds the Cornish Cross grows fast and large and tastes like the chicken people are used to getting from the store. Their large size and standard table meat is part of what makes them the preferred meat bird. 

Weight: 8-12 lbs

Time until Harvest: 4-12 weeks

Notes About Breed: 

  • Fast growers
  • Lots of breast meat
  • Tastes like store-bought chicken
  • Eat lots of food

2. Freedom Rangers

The freedom rangers tend to be the middle route for those who want the larger meat birds but don’t want the giant modern crosses. This being said, they still grow much slower when compared to the Cornish Cross. Here is an interesting article by Reformation Acres where she kept some of these chickens longer and wrote about her experiences. 

Weight: 5-6 lbs

Time until Harvest: 9-11 weeks

Notes About Breed: 

  • Excellent fro free-ranging
  • Easy to keep
  • Smaller birds at harvest
  • More feed needed because they take longer (than the Cornish Cross)

Dual Purpose Breeds

3. Jersey Giants

Weight: 10-13 lbs.

Time until Harvest: 16-21 weeks

Notes About Breed: 

  • Large birds
  • Slower growth (which means more feed until harvest)
  • Docile 
  • Cold hardy

4. Bresse

Weight: 5-7 lbs.

Time until Harvest: 16-20 weeks

Eggs Per Year: Up to 250 

Notes About Breed: 

  • A Docile
  • Famous for being really yummy
  • Not real meaty
Here are 12 of the best meat chicken breeds for raising on your homestead. A great list for beginners who are looking to raise broilers. Both cross-bred & heritage breeds are compared here.Australorp--a meat and egg breed.

5. Australorp

Weight: 7-8 lbs.

Time until Harvest: 18-24 weeks

Eggs Per Year: 200-280

Notes About Breed: 

  • Smaller and slower growth
  • Docile, family friendly birds
  • Slower growth (which means more feed until harvest)
  • Amazing egg layers
Here are 12 of the best meat chicken breeds for raising on your homestead. A great list for beginners who are looking to raise broilers. Both cross-bred & heritage breeds are compared here.Buff Orpington--great for meat, eggs & broodiness.

What meat chicken breeds are best for you?

Here are the 12 best meat breeds chart to help you compare and pick the best for you! Download Your Own Copy Now!

Psst! Just so you know you are also signing up for my email list. You can unsubscribe at any time.

6. Orpington

Weight: 8-10 lbs.

Time until Harvest: 18-24 weeks

Eggs Per Year: 200-280

Notes About Breed: 

  • Great egg layers
  • Docile, family friendly birds
  • Slower growth (which means more feed until harvest)

7. Plymouth Rock

Weight: 6-8 lbs.

Time until Harvest: — 

Eggs Per Year: about 200

Notes About Breed: 

  • Cold and heat hardy
  • Larger than Rhode Island Reds
  • Great layers of large brown eggs
  • Docile and great with kids
Here are 12 of the best meat chicken breeds for raising on your homestead. A great list for beginners who are looking to raise broilers. Both cross-bred & heritage breeds are compared here.The white chicken is a Delaware.

8. Delaware

Weight: 5-7 lbs.

Time until Harvest:

Eggs Per Year: 200-280

Notes About Breed: 

  • Gentle and kid friendly 
  • Great egg layers
  • Fast growers (for heritage breeds) 

9. Buckeye

Weight: 6.5-9 lbs.

Time until Harvest: 16-21 weeks

Eggs Per Year: 200

Notes About Breed: 

  • Thrive in cold climates
  • Good for both eggs and meat 
  • Docile
Here are 12 of the best meat chicken breeds for raising on your homestead. A great list for beginners who are looking to raise broilers. Both cross-bred & heritage breeds are compared here.Rhode Island red--a meat & egg chicken breed.

10. Rhode Island Red

Weight: 5-7 lbs.

Time until Harvest:

Eggs Per Year: 200-280

Notes About Breed: 

  • Good free rangers
  • Calm and great with kids
  • Good for both their eggs and meat
Here are 12 of the best meat chicken breeds for raising on your homestead. A great list for beginners who are looking to raise broilers. Both cross-bred & heritage breeds are compared here.

11. Chantecler

Weight: 7-9 lbs.

Time until Harvest: 11-16 weeks

Eggs Per Year: 200

Notes About Breed: 

  • Thrive in the cold
  • Great foragers
  • Good egg layers

12. Egyptian Fayoumi 

Weight: 4-5 lbs.

Time until Harvest: 14-18 weeks

Eggs per Year: 150

Notes About Breed: 

  • Wild and not fond of people
  • Love the hot weather 
  • Disease resistant

Get Your Free Best Meat Chickens Chart!

What meat chicken breeds are best for you?

Here are the 12 best meat breeds chart to help you compare and pick the best for you! Download Your Own Copy Now!

Psst! Just so you know you are also signing up for my email list. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Have fun picking out your meat chicken breeds, and don't forget to build them a chicken tractor so you can rotate them on pasture! :-) 

Soli Deo Gloria!  (Glory Be to God Alone!)

~ Julia

Hi! I'm Julia. I live in Arizona on 2.5 acres, with HOT summers, lots of cacti and amazing sunsets! A sinner saved by grace first and foremost, I'm also a homeschool graduate living with my family at home and serving the King, Jesus Christ, above all. Read more -->


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