I keep chickens because I like having them around, they are pretty to look at and fun to have.
Below: My chickens scratching around in the grass.
Chickens also provide me with eggs and a source of income from selling eggs and birds. For me keeping chickens makes environmental sense.
Why do we keep chickens?
- Eggs. Backyard chickens lay much nicer eggs than you buy in the store.
- Sustainable living. Backyard eggs do zero food miles.
- Pest control. Chickens will eat bugs and pests from the garden.
- Fertiliser. Chickens poop is excellent for the garden and lawn.
- Easy to keep. Chickens are low maintenance.
- Amusement. Chickens are funny to watch and have distinct personalities.
- Education. Your family gets to know where their food comes from.
- Heritage breed conservation. Many rare breeds of chicken are endangered and backyard keepers can help preserve them.
- Pets. You can have a pet that produces food.
- Social community. There are millions of keepers all over the world to be found in forums and groups.
- Reduce waste. You can feed your hens your food scraps to supplement their feed.
What are the benefits of owning chickens?
There is an increasing demand for a self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle as it has been correlated with better mental health, physical fitness, and a cleaner environment.
People are becoming aware that they need to eat food from their garden instead of relying on food companies and stores.
Keeping chickens at home can help reduce the things we buy when we go grocery shopping. Even though it is just eggs we are taking off the grocery list, there is a feeling of satisfaction from having a product that you have produced yourself.
In addition, a home-grown natural eggs may be more nutritious than those raised in industrial farms.
Below: Who doesn't like fresh eggs produced in the backyard.
Chicken muck is some of the best fertilisers you can get for your garden. It is rich in nitrogen and other nutrients that will improve the soil and stimulate plant growth.
All you need to do is let your chickens free range over the garden for several days. Then, after they return to the coop, collect the chicken manure and compost it to use on your garden.
Apart from the preparation of their arrival, when they are chicks, and their food, chickens are one of the easiest animals to look after. They are so well-mannered that you don't need to worry about the health of your backyard garden, as they love to eat bugs and other pests.
Below: Chickens are social animals who love to be around people.
They can be very entertaining as they have playful personalities.
They also have a lot of characters and interact well with children. Although, it is recommended by the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) for some people and very young children to avoid them.
If you need another source of income in your household, chickens are a good investment. Depending on the climate and type, a hen can produce between 180 and 300 eggs yearly and your flock can be made to pay for itself.
If you manage to keep a flock, your income from chicken eggs can be substantial.
With the high demand for fresh and organic chickens, you can also sell your home-raised chickens at a reasonable profit.