Top 17 Best Meat Chickens (Breed list with images)

Meat chickens are one of the best breeds to raise in poultry coops. If you are searching for a few heavy meat hens and roosters for your backyard, then this list will help you choose. 

I have also provided an image for each large meat chicken breed in this list. You will know the average weight, egg-laying capacity, and growth period of these breeds.

Here is out another guide on best egg laying chicken breed.

Below you will get a complete list of meat chickens that will help you choose the best breed for your poultry farm and locality.

Top 17 Best Meat Chickens (Breed List With Images)

Here is the list of the top 17 best meat chickens for your backyard coop-

1. Cornish Cross Chicken

Cornish Cross Chicken
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Approximate weight: 12 pounds
Processing time: 6-8 weeks
Eggs: 160-200 eggs per year

I consider Cornish Cross chickens the most popular meat chickens you can raise, primarily because we breed them for marketable meat output.

They grow quickly, reaching about 12 pounds (5.44 kg) in just six weeks. They have great-tasting meat and have large thighs, legs, and breasts. These chickens also develop a great fat cap that provides for a beautiful roast.

Cornish Cross birds are generally known for having a ton of breast meat on their bodies. They don’t carry many muscles, either this is the chicken you are possibly eating when you purchase meat at the grocery store.

However, Cornish Cross birds have to eat a lot to keep up with their fast growth. They eat up to 50 pounds (22.68 kg) every few days in an average-sized flock.

Cornish Cross chickens also need to be killed precisely at the age of maturity. Otherwise, they will grow so large that they can suffer from health problems like broken legs or heart problems. 

We cannot hatch Cornish Cross chicks by using an incubator which means you have to purchase chicks every year.

2. Jersey Giant Chicken

Jersey Giant Chicken Black hen best for meat
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Estimated Weight: 13 lbs
Processing Time: 16-21 weeks
Eggs: 150-200 eggs per year

The Jersey Giant is the next popular commercial breed which is bred originally in the United States as an alternative to the turkey.

These chickens are purebred, which means you can successfully breed them on your farm, and while they grow at a slow rate, they produce quite a lot of meat.

Jersey Giant isn’t raised as frequently in the marketable world as the Cornish Crosses, mainly because they have a relatively slow meal conversion rate. However, these will grow more prominent; it will take them much more time to do so.

Also, Jersey Giant’s aren’t as prone to many fitness issues as the Cornish Cross chickens, and the best part is that they also lay eggs, which gives you the benefit to look forward to besides meat.

3. Freedom Ranger Chicken

Freedom Ranger Chicken
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Approximate Weight: 6 lbs
Processing Time: 9-11 weeks
Eggs: 100-150 eggs per year

The name is the coolest in all the chickens, Freedom Ranger. The best part is that this bird is ready for the butchery in as little as nine weeks.

Also Read:  Polish Chicken Breed Guide: Eggs, Variety, Size, Care, & Pictures

They also know these as the Red Ranger. They have yellow fat and skin and lay brown eggs if you are preparing to keep some of them around in the future.

Freedom Rangers are special for organic farmers, and these are bred particularly for the pesticide-free meat market and designed to be raised on the meadow.

They can forage low-protein meals, and then also they are relatively better at feeding themselves. They can effortlessly survive on bugs, grass, and they produce great-tasting meat.

4. Bresse Chicken

Bresse Chicken best chicken for meat
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Approximate Weight: 7 lbs
Processing Time: 16-20 weeks
Eggs: 250 eggs per year

Bresse chickens are beautiful white birds that are usually known for meat production. These birds have bright blue feet, and they run on the expensive side. 

However, because you can successfully hatch the eggs of this chicken species, you can rapidly regain those expenses made on them over the years. It has 250 eggs laying capacity. So, it is also a dual-purpose chicken.

Some chicken caretakers and culinary experts will differ that the Bresse meat bird is one of the most delightful chickens globally, providing superior texture and flavor.

These birds can be easily raised and offer a passive personality and an overall peaceful demeanor. We can find these chickens in various shades of white, gray, and black.

5. Orpington Chicken

Orpington Chicken one of the best meat chickens
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Approximate Weight: 10 lbs
Processing Time: 18-24 weeks
Eggs: 180-200 eggs per year

Orpington chickens are another wonderful chicken breed best for meat purposes. This is quite a heavy breed; males of this breed can grow as large as 10 pounds (4.54 kg). 

We can use Orpingtons for dual-purpose, which means it can raise them for meat and eggs. While they grow at a slower rate, they are great layers (which produce eggs), producing up to 180- 200 eggs per year.

Orpingtons are docile meat birds and can be found in various shades like black, white, blue, or buff. Many people enjoy raising Orpingtons out of tradition alone.

These birds also do relatively well when allowed to explore, and they don’t need to be fed high-protein meals.

6. Buckeye Chicken

Buckeye Chicken
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Source – Pinterest

Approximate Weight: 9 lbs
Processing Time: 16-21 weeks
Eggs: 200 eggs per year

Buckeye chickens have a design for cold weather and can survive about any swing in temperature. It protects them from diseases, and that’s why they are ideal for people who live in northern climates.

They have a consistent breeding pattern, and while they can be reasonably arrogant toward other animals, they are a great dual-purpose chicken breed. These birds lie around 200 eggs per year and are ready for slaughter at about 16 weeks of age.

Buckeye chickens show a beautiful mahogany body of feathers, and this breed is one you’ve got to consider If you’re in the market for an efficient dual-purpose chicken that produces lots of delicious meat.

7. Brown Leghorn Chicken

Brown Leghorn Chicken Good Meat chicken
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Approximate Weight: 6 lbs
Processing Time: 16-21 weeks
Eggs: 250 eggs per year

The Brown Leghorn is a variety of the White Leghorn, one of the limited egg-laying chickens you may have heard about. This breed can lie up to 250 eggs per year, and its eggs will be white and medium-sized. It also makes a reasonable meat bird.

These are bred particularly for growing in tropical climates; the Brown Leghorn likes to free-range and rarely shows aggressive behavior.

Also Read:  Brahma Chicken Breed Guide: Size, Eggs, Temperament, Recognized Varieties & Pictures

While it will not grow too enormous sizes, it can produce both meat and eggs. Surviving in harsh conditions makes Brown Leghorn a superb choice for a backyard meat bird flock.

8. Egyptian Fayoumi Chicken

Egyptian Fayoumi Chicken
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Approximate Weight: 5 lbs
Processing Time: 14-18 weeks
Eggs: 150 eggs per year

The ones who are looking for a more exotic breed of meat chicken, then you must consider raising the Egyptian Fayoumi. These are dual-purpose chickens that lay about 150 eggs per year and are also a quickly grown meat bird.

However, it is on the minor side of things; with roosters attaining only about 5 pounds (2.27 kg), the bird matures quickly in laying. You’ll perhaps have eggs by the time your chickens are ready for slaughter!

The eggs and meat of this silver-colored chicken are delightful, but it can be flighty. Egyptian Fayoumis are rarely aggressive and are also safe from most diseases.

9. Turken (Naked Neck Chicken)

Turken (Naked Neck Chicken) a Good Meat Chicken Breed
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Approximate weight: 6.5-8.5 lbs
Processing time: 10-12 weeks
Eggs: 150-200 per year

We won’t whitewash things here–we can indeed say that the Turken is not the most attractive chicken you can raise. There’s a common misunderstanding that Turkens are half chicken and half turkey. 

While this is not the issue, Turkens undoubtedly looks like the outcome of a failed experiment in breeding the two species.

These birds are also called Naked Neck Chickens, so as you might doubt, these birds have no feathers around their necks. They are considered backyard chickens and can be found in various colors like blue, white, black, gray, and buff.

This breed blends well in both cold and hot climates. You can raise them no matter where you dwell, as they are adaptable to changes.

10. Chantecler Chicken

Chantecler Chicken
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Source –

Approximate Weight: 9 lbs
Processing Time: 11-16 weeks
Eggs: 200 eggs per year

The Chantecler chicken breed is next in the best meat list that does well in cold climates. These birds are great dual-purpose birds.

This chicken lays eggs prematurely and also matures for butchering age rapidly. These birds are adequate free-ranging referring to forage to consume a high-protein feed supplement.

These chickens lay up to 200 eggs per year. Because they are a pure breed and are less expensive to raise in the long run. You can quickly breed many productions of this breed without detecting a loss in heritage.

11. Delaware Chicken

Delaware Chicken
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Approximate Weight: 8.5 lbs
Processing Time: 12 weeks
Eggs:200 per year

Delaware chickens are giant dual-purpose chicken breeds, which are raised mainly for producing a respectable amount of meat while also laying up to 200 eggs each year

Its eggs will be small to medium-sized and are a light brown color.

It expanded this intercourse from the Barred Plymouth Rock and the New Hampshire Red, mainly to protect the egg-laying ability and improve the meat quality of the two particular breeds. The breed grows reasonably rapidly, reaching nearly nine pounds in just 12 weeks.

12. Croad Langshan Chicken

Croad Langshan Chicken
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Approximate Weight: 9 lbs
Processing Time: 14-18 weeks
Eggs: 150 eggs per year

This unusual, bizarre-looking bird has a soft and unique green lining on its body. Croad Langshan originated in China and possessed feathered legs.

Also, it can lie up to 150 eggs per year, and it is just as commonly raised for its meat production abilities.

We can find this chicken in various colors like blue and black. The males grow up to 9 lbs while females are slightly smaller. These chickens develop quickly and are considered one of the most intelligent and quiet chicken breeds one can raise.

Also Read:  Sussex Chicken: Breed Guide, Eggs, Color, Care, Pictures

13. Dorking Chicken

Dorking Chicken
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Approximate Weight: 9 lbs
Processing Time: 16 weeks
Eggs: 140 eggs per year

Dorking chickens are named after the English town of Dorking and are known for their tender, fine-textured white meat.

These birds are also often raised for eggs, producing up to 140 white eggs annually. They are supposed to be quiet and adapt quickly to most environments, preferring to forage to find their food.

We do not find these chickens aggressive, but we do not keep them with aggressive chickens as they aren’t great at protecting themselves.

You cannot raise them if you live in northern climates as they are prone to frostbite. Hens take more time to get mature and rarely start laying eggs until 26 weeks of age.

14. Kosher King Chicken

Kosher King Chicken Good Meat and Egg Chicken
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Source – smallfarmhusbandryumass

Approximate Weight: 5 lbs
Processing Time: 12 weeks
Eggs: 280 eggs per year

Kosher Kings are healthy meat chickens with a beautiful appearance. These birds have black-and-white striped plumage and are quite identical in appearance to the famous Barred Rock.

Roosters of this breed grow quicker than the females, but the females are good layers if you keep them to maturity. This breed can lie up to 280 eggs per year.

These originate from heritage breeds. Therefore these birds can be a bit more challenging to seek at hatcheries, but they mature more quickly than most heritage breeds.

15. New Hampshire Red

New Hampshire Red Meat Chicken
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Approximate Weight: 8.5 lbs
Processing Time: 8-10 weeks
Eggs: 200 eggs per year

This is a classic American dual-purpose breed, and the New Hampshire Red is another chicken that produces abundant quantities of eggs and tasty meat.

This bird matures quickly and is frequently used as a broiler species. New Hampshire has a decent egg layer of around 200 large light brown eggs per year.

There are both essential and bantam varieties of New Hampshire Red chickens, producing great products for backyard chicken farmers. These chickens can survive challenging weather and are known to be quiet.

The males of this breed can be aggressive, but the adaptability and productivity of this chicken breed can’t be ignored.

16. Silkie Chicken

Silkie Chicken
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Silkie Chicken with her blue chicks

Estimated weight: 3-4 pounds
Processing rate: 10-12 months
Eggs: 100 eggs per year

The Silkie chicken is small (a Bantam), and it’s a lovely chicken to raise for meat. We can also consider it a novelty meat chicken. These are small, tender, and have black color skin. 

This might be a great niche market to sell. They taste like gamers, and their growth rate is slow approximately 10-12 months.

Before they developed the broiler, the only chickens people had pleasure eating were the heritage breeds. These produce 100 eggs per year.

17. Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red
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Estimated weight: 6-8 pounds
Processing rate: 5 months
Eggs: 250 eggs per year

These are usually valued for their egg production capacities, that this large breed is also often neglecting a great meat chicken. The Rhode Island Red can lie up to 250 eggs per year and will weigh around 4 lbs.

The Rhode Island Red is an athletic breed that does well in either a free-range or a captive environment. I consider the roosters to be aggressive, but all are not aggressive.


There are over 17 best meat chickens, so I don’t think it’s the end of the list. We have just provided you with some of the best ones.

We hope it helped you a little on what things to keep in mind when you decide to choose best meat chicken for your backyard farm.

Top 17 Best Meat Chickens (Breed list with images)
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