It seems like keeping chickens in your backyard is a growing trend nowadays. Even city dwellers are getting into the chicken raising business with a small coop and trio of hens in their backyards.
Some of the most quoted reasons for keeping chickens are the fresh eggs, meat and fertilizer they provide. But, here are 5 reasons that show it’s just common sense to keep chickens.
1. If you talk to anyone who has chickens, they’ll be happy to tell you how fun it is. There is nothing better than getting up every morning and being greeted by a bunch of happy clucking chickens. It’s a great start to your day. You don’t have to walk them, clean their litter box or vacuum up their hair. You just need a little space in a corner of your yard and the ability to use a hammer to knock together a little coop and you’re set. You can get all the info you need to do this on YouTube or other online chicken sites. What other pet do you know of that pays you rent by giving you breakfast every day?
2. Raising chickens is much cheaper than keeping almost any other animal. You can buy a pre-built coop cheaper than a dog kennel. If you choose to make it yourself out of recycled materials, it can be practically free. You just have to make sure your chickens are safe and cozy. If you free range your chickens and give them kitchen scraps the cost of food for them will be much lower than you’d pay to keep a dog or cat. They don’t need toys and treats can amount to a handful of oatmeal.
3. The biggest benefit to keeping chickens is the regular supply of eggs and meat they provide. You get fresh eggs daily, and you know they come from humanely raised, healthy chickens. Eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat and one of the best sources of high quality protein. Home raised eggs are far superior to those you find in the grocery store. Chicken meat you raise yourself is also much better quality than store bought… if you can bring yourself to eating one of your cute little pets. You’re also helping with the carbon footprint by not having to go to the store so often.
4. If you have a garden, chickens will keep down pests like ticks, spiders, and other bugs. Chickens also eat a lot of weeds and weed seeds you don’t want in your yard. You need to watch them and control where they go so they don’t eat your prized flowers or garden produce though. A fence or watchful eye will do the trick. Think of the money you’ll save on all the herbacides and pesticides that are bad for our green earth anyhow.
5. As your chickens go about their chicken business of eating bugs and weeds, they leave you with yet another special benefit. After feasting, they supply you with a wealth of organic, high nitrogen fertilizer for your garden and flower beds. That will help you grow even more veggies to use as free food for your flock.
By now you are probably on your way to the nearest farm store to pick up supplys to build your own chicken coop. Raising chickens is definately worth considering. The rising trend of keeping chickens in both city and urban areas is proof that chickens are both fun and practical pets everyone can enjoy.
Just try it. But be careful you don’t become a “Chicken Junkie” too.