Comparing Broiler Chickens

Heritage Chickens

Before you order a flock of chicks from the hatchery, study this handy chart comparing white and colored hybrids with heritage chickens. As you can see, the bottom line is a choice between fast growth and lower cost with hybrids or better flavor with heritage breeds. Note that these figures are averages.

  White Hybrids Colored Hybrids Heritage Breeds
Time to maturity  6 to7 weeks 11 weeks 16 weeks
Feed per pound gained 2 pounds 3 pounds 4 pounds
Percentage of edible meat 75% 70% 65%
Heat tolerance Low Moderate Good
Best management technique Indoor Free range Free range
Flavor Mild or bland Rich Richer

Read more: For information on raising your own meat chickens see Raising Broiler Chickens.

Photo By Stuart Sutton: Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte chickens are dual-purpose egg and meat birds.