It’s late summer or early fall. The days are getting shorter and the heat is finally starting to fade into the pleasant breezes of fall.
One morning, you go out to gather the eggs and notice that it looks like somebody ripped open a down comforter in the chicken coop – feathers are everywhere! Then you take a closer look at your chickens and they’re looking a bit worse for wear.
So what’s going on? Should you panic? Probably not. As long as your chickens are healthy inside and out, they’re probably going through the molting process.
Unlike chickens and some other animals, I was raised that there are milk cows and there are meat cows. We had Jerseys to milk and red and black Angus for meat. Where I came from, there really weren’t many cows in that area that were good for both meat and milk.
Now that I’m out of the little town that I was raised in, I realize that there is a whole wide world of cows out there that are great for using for both milk and meat.
Since we’re the kings and queens of multi-purpose living, and most of us don’t have a ton of space to have several of each type of cow, we need to cull the herd a bit. See what I did there?
My goal over the next few paragraphs is to lay out some options for you so that you can have the best of both worlds.
Unless you live in the far Northern United States (and sometimes even then), summer can be absolutely sweltering.
When temperatures soar to the high eighties or above, nobody really wants to do anything that doesn’t involve a pool or river, a grill, and a cold drink. So it’s no surprise your chickens may not lay as many eggs, either.
Let’s take a minute to think about what summer means. Family time, fun-in-the-sun time, picnics, and grilling. That means deviled eggs, macaroni and potato salads, cupcakes, ice cream, and custard pies.
Well, you’re gonna need eggs, so maybe we should talk about what it’s going to take to keep your feathery ladies laying.
You may think that a chicken is a chicken. Well, if you actually start raising chickens, your thinking will change when you end up collecting eggs from your banty (or Bantam) chickens. They’re about half the size of a regular egg. They’re good for small roasting chickens, though.
Since we’re in the habit of using items that are multi-purpose, the same rule should apply to our farm animals. There are chickens that are perfectly good for both eating and eggs, but it depends on what you’re looking for in a chicken. Let’s talk about a few different breeds so that you’ll have a better idea of what may be a good choice for you.