Keeping chickens in your back yard is a trend that has been rising steadily for quite a few years and you can easily see why. Fresh eggs are first on the list but chickens are actually more useful and interesting than that. Lets take a look learn more about these interesting creatures.
Self-sustainability to free therapy are just some of the reasons below to keep chickens in your own backyard:
Fresh eggs…perfect in the morning when you can’t be bothered changing and dragging yourself to the shop to buy eggs. A healthy and fresh breakfast straight out of your yard.
A diet of soy cottonseed meals and corn is fed to caged hens – three GMO crops we don’t want in our food. If “you are what you eat” means something to you, then you will be very wary of eating eggs coming from these types of hens. With your own chickens, you will know exactly what they are eating.
Eggs from a free range chicken in your backyard have much more nutritious than battery eggs.
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene (essential for good eyesight) levels are seven times higher and Vitamin E is almost double in free range eggs. Omega 3, an essential fatty acid (necessary for healthy cholesterol, heart and mental and behavioural health), free range comes out in front with a huge 292mg,compared to a miserable 0.033 mg in other eggs.
Nutritious and organic, you can be sure that your scrambled eggs are cruelty free. It is possible that you already believe that by buying free range, you are supporting a life free from cruelty for farmed chickens but the fact is the “free range eggs” that are commercially marketed are not as good as we think. The percentage of free range chickens in the US is less than 1%.
Chickens have an amazing memory and are able to tell the difference of over 100 animal or human faces? They feel pain and distress, they dream, and they love to play. They are fantastic mothers-while theirs chicks are in the egg, they talk to them. When we hear the saying “Pecking Order’ you should know it didn’t come about for no reason. Hens have a social structure which is based on hierarchy.
Save a Hen
Save an ex-battery hen from the slaughterhouse. There are hundreds of millions of chickens which are crammed into cages which are incredibly small. Give them a chance and you will have a fantastic companion as well as an endless supply of free range eggs.
Fertilizer for Free
If you’re proud of your garden, then free manure is something to celebrate. Chicken manure has high nutrient levels making it one of the best manures. It is also important in organic and sustainable agriculture.
It is said that keeping 5 – 10 chickens would give you the amount fertilizer that you need to look after your yard and vegetable garden for a year. It makes a perfect addition to your compost too.
How You Can Use Eggshells In Your Garden
The perfect buddy for every gardener. No need for pesticides or chemical bug killers once you get your backyard chickens! Chickens eat almost any bug, slugs, grasshoppers, beetles and ticks so no more chemical pest control is needed.
17% or 29 million tons of waste that finds it’s way to landfills is food scraps, waste from the yards is actually around 33 million tonnes. Chickens will be a great help here!
Chickens will eat almost any kitchen scraps in addition to chicken food. They will devour almost anything from bread, vegetable and fruit scraps and cooked rice just to name a few. Best to avoid animal by products and meat though.
Not all chickens are created equal and not all are any use as meat, some are bred to get the maximum eggs possible. This means chickens look much different from their forefathers.
If you take on a heritage breed be sure to get the right one for your based on your location, space and their temperament.
The perfect source of manure and pest control all at once, your garden will no longer have weeds taking over.
Recommended Reading: Garden Weeds: 8 Of The Most Effect Ways To Get Rid Of Them For Good
Chickens have been used as therapy to assist the elderly and people with autism. Children with autism feed and care for them which promotes independence. Dementia and psychiatric patients have been helped as chickens move, peck and socialize constantly, and they have a calming quality.
Where Does Food Come From
Fantastic for teaching kids about agriculture, nature and caring for not just these beautiful animals but for all animals.
Watching these lovely animals with such individual personalities can keep you occupied for hours.
Less Food Miles
Keeping your own chickens cuts this impact on the environment right down. No transporting from producer to consumer.
Keeping chickens ensures free eggs, keeping away pests and weed control and fertilizer.
With chickens in your yard you can add a little bit of country to your home.
Backyard Chicken Raiser Communities
There are loads of backyard chicken raisers out there in real life and on the internet. Chicken keeping is great for starting conversations too.
An Amazing Hobby
Low maintenance and rewarding as a hobby. Sunday afternoons spent with your chicks….perfect.
Don’t Build The Chicken Coop Yet
Chickens are dependent on you for everything. Ask yourself a few questions to be sure that you can adequately care for these lovely animals.
Can you protect them from predators? What about the elements?
Will you care from them in their old age?
What if it isn’t a hen but a rooster? Are you OK with a rooster crowing at the crack of dawn?
You will need to look at the cost of food, hen-sitting-if you go away or are ill.
All these things need to be taken into account before you decide to take on backyard chickens. They are beautiful creatures who need to be loved and cared for properly.
If you decide you want to keep chickens I thoroughly recommend “Chicken Keeping Answers”.