It used to be that keeping a flock of chickens in your backyard was as natural as, well, fresh eggs and milk. As more and more urban areas developed, chickens became something you would see only on poultry farms. These days, people are seeing the wisdom and benefit of going back to their roots. Raising chickens is becoming increasingly popular. You can find chickens in rural and urban areas, in backyards and atop skyscrapers. So why raise chicks?
- A small flock of chickens, three or so hens, are inexpensive and relatively maintenance free pets that contribute to the household by laying fresh, organic eggs which can be consumed by your family, shared with others or sold for profit. These naturally fresh eggs are cheaper, more nutritious and better tasting than the store-bought variety.
- Because chickens love to eat protein rich insects, they are a natural, chemical free alternative to control pests in your yard. They also enjoy eating a variety of weeds, and can help maintain your garden after you have harvested the veggies.
- Thinking about starting a garden? Place your coop in the intended garden area. Chickens love to scratch and dig, and all that scratching and digging will help to turn the soil, mix in natural fertilizer and get your bed ready for planting.
- Chickens help with composting too! They will eat a variety of table scraps and their um…poop can be used as nitrogen-rich fertilizer in your garden or plant beds.
- As mentioned above, chickens are low maintenance pets. That’s right, pets! Chickens have serious personality and enjoy your company. Plus, they only require a few minutes a day of care, although you’re likely to spend more time than that with them. And after all that bonding time, you’ll want to add to your flock…so make sure you build or buy a large coop when you get started.
If you are thinking about raising chickens, be sure to do your homework first. There are many different varieties of chickens and you’ll want to make sure that you get the variety that is best for you.