Many of the dual purpose breeds are and have been bred for both meat and eggs. This doesn’t mean they have to be used for both but can be used for one of the other purpose. They are in teh middle of the road as far as fast growth and lots of eggs generally. However they have their advantages in the city flock.
Most dual purpose breeds are heavier than the light egg machine chickens. This means they are less likely to fly over your fence. Most of the dual purpose breeds are far more friendly than the lighter more flighty birds as well. This means a happier chicken and a happier owner.
Most dual purpose birds are suited for our weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Some rain and a little cold isn’t going to hurt them. As with any other animals that stay outside they still need their shelter.
Sussex: There are several sussex breeds available. One of the most commonis the speckled sussex. The light sussex is reportedly a higher egg layer. These are alrge friendly chickens usually. The hens can lay up to 260 light brown/tan eggs a year. The hens reach about 7 pounds and the males slightly more.
Delawares: The Delawares are also a columbian pattern like the light sussex. The Delawares are slightly smaller then the sussex. They are good layers and are capable of laying large brown eggs comparable to the numbers of the sussex.
Australorp: The Australorp is a little smaller than Delawares at about 6.5 pounds average. They are black and were derived from the Orpington breed. An Australorp holds the record for laying 364 eggs in a 365 day period. Not been matched since. These are friendly birds and good layers of brown eggs.
New Hampshire Red: Good sized birds as well. Large brown eggs in fair numbers. Can tend to be a little aggressive in maintaining their flock pecking status. These were derived from the Rhode Island Reds.
Rhode Island Red: Very good layers of brown eggs. There are several varieties of these. The production red is a better egglayer but doesnt meet the standards for Rhode Island as well. These are also a little more aggressive in maintaining their floack status.
Orpington: The Buff Orpington is probably the most commn Orpington. Orpingtons lay about 160 eggs a year in light brown. They are a heavy bird and usually are friendly. There are otehr birdsd that lay more eggs than Orpingtons. Orpingtons are common city chickens as they are generally more decorative than the other breeds.
Welsummer: Originally from Welsum, Netherlands. This breed lays a terra cotta egg, and about 200 of them a year. They are a little noisy at times, and not a great winter layer. They are considered a dual purpose bird. Hens are about 5 pounds and roosters about 7 pounds.