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Top 10 Reasons to keep Backyard Chickens

Once you start raising backyard chickens, you'll find it seems everybody is doing it. Raising non-commercial poultry is a growing trend. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, it might be time to consider what you are missing out on. Maybe one of these Top 10 Reasons to keep Backyard Chickens will give you more encouragement to take the leap and have Chickens as your new Pets.

1. Slow down the pace of life and Bring the Country to your Backyard

Many people dream about living in the country. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go the way we want. Perhaps you don’t have the time or energy to maintain a plot of land. Maybe the long commute to work is just unrealistic. Few people can realistically swap their lifestyles to live at a countryside retreat.

If you can’t move to the country, you can bring the country to your home. One of the benefits of living in the country is that you have direct access to nature. Some experts say that people who live in the country have more exposure to vitamin G. The “G” stands for “green space.” The idea behind this theory is that living close to nature can positively impact your health. You don’t need a lot of land to take advantage of nature.

Adding country elements into your own yard encourages you to go outside. When you have chickens, you spend time caring for them. In a world where we live at a hectic pace, Chickens can allow you the opportunity to slow down. Sit outside, read a book, feed the flock, and just find yourself. You might find that interacting with Chickens allows you time to destress and with the animals gives you the opportunity to commune with nature in a way that you never expected.

2. Chickens Are Some of the Cheapest Farm Animals to Keep

With all of this talk about living off the land, you might be inspired to start an urban farm. Unless you have acreage, it may be impractical to build a barn in your backyard. However almost everyone has room for a chicken coop. Animals such as goats, pigs as well as cows need a significant amount of land. Chickens don’t.

You don’t want to cramp your chickens, though. A chicken house should contain at least 3 square feet per bird. Even if you can make your coop bigger, you don’t necessarily want to. Adequately sized housing allows the chickens to produce their own heat and stay warm in cooler weather.

You can build a chicken house on a limited budget. You can also invest more money and buy an elaborate setup if that’s what you want.

Feeding chickens is inexpensive if you choose the right kinds of food. Sometimes, chicken feed goes to waste as the hens rake it into the ground with their feet. It may also get wet in the rain. Dine-A-Chook chicken feeder and drinker sets reduce waste by keeping food in the feeder. They also have rain covers and gutter systems to prevent moisture build-up.

Chickens are ideal for individuals, couples or families. Children can tend to the animals and learn about farm chores without the exorbitant costs of running a full-fledged homestead. Many backyard Chicken Keepers have embraced the opportunity of getting the kids involved. And if you have ever visited a carnival with a Pet Zoo you can see the instant attraction Children have with Chickens. Put away the iPad and PlayStation and watch the Children enjoy egg hunting.

3. Save Money on Eggs

Chickens give back to you by laying eggs. A steady stream of eggs can provide you with a nutrient-dense food that you don’t have to drive to the grocery store to obtain. You might even be able to start a small side business by selling the extra eggs that your family can’t eat.

If consuming organic eggs is important to you, you can save even more money by producing eggs at home. You’re in complete control of what you feed your chicken. When organic material goes in, organic eggs come out. If you’re selling your eggs, you earn more money from organic ones compared to conventional eggs.

4. Support Sustainable Farming Practices

Raising chickens for their eggs also supports more sustainable food production practices.

Many commercial egg producers raise chickens in subpar conditions. According to Dr. Mercola, overcrowding and appalling living conditions lead to contamination, which can spread disease up the food chain. In a world where Farming practices are becoming Unsustainable, Backyard Chicken Keeping is Smart, Sensible and Eco-Friendly.

5. Backyard Eggs Are More Nutritious

The nutritional value of the eggs from many commercial facilities is inferior to that of pasture-raised chickens. Mother Earth News conducted a study to test the nutrients. Their study compared the nutritional value in commercial-quality eggs to eggs from grazing hens. The researchers found that pastured eggs had less cholesterol as well as less saturated fat. They also contained more vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E as well as beta carotene than commercial eggs.

Fresh eggs from the nest box also have a different texture than supermarket eggs. The yolks stand up, and the whites hold together better. Older eggs have runnier whites and flatter yolks. Old eggs are usually easier to peel when they’re hard-boiled, though.

When you have your own chickens, you’ll get more nutrition from every egg.

6. Teaching Opportunities

Raising backyard chickens provides continual learning. Children who grow up with chickens learn to respect animals as well as the environment. They get to see the importance of creating an appropriate environment, keeping the animals fed and making seasonal adaptations to keep the chickens safe and comfortable.

You might argue that taking care of a dog or cat also teaches responsibility. While that’s true, having pet chickens requires a little more commitment. They need the right feed, clean water every day, warmth, shelter and even treats. You have to go out and care for them rain or shine. Dogs and Cats are far less dependant.

This type of commitment teaches respect for nature. Kids learn that every living being should be treated with respect. This is a lesson that some adults need to learn too. When you bring chickens into your yard, you’re bound to ask yourself if they’re happy in the environment that you create for them. This helps solidify the importance of looking out for others, offering your assistance when you can and not expecting too much in return.

Raising chickens can also teach children about the circle of life. Pet chickens can live as long as a dog or a cat, especially when they are given high-quality food. If you raise chickens for food, they might only live for several months. You might also have to deal with the loss of some flock members to predators. While this can be devastating, it helps children understand this existential fact.

You may even learn a little bit about being an entrepreneur if you attempt to sell the eggs. You can involve the whole family in marketing and reinvesting the profits.

7. Connect with Your Food Source

If you ask kids where their food comes from, they might reply, “the grocery store.” Most people are disconnected with their food sources. They have a general idea of the fact that food comes from farms, but they probably don’t fully understand the importance of agricultural resources.

With so many packaged items available at grocery stores, many children and adults are out of touch with real food. Health problems that stem from obesity and inflammation are on the rise. You would be amazed at what happens to a child’s desire to eat junk food when you explain that it’s made from chemicals. On the flip side, watch a child’s eyes light up as he or she retrieves eggs from a pet chicken. It is this connection that made this one of our Top 10 Reasons to keep Backyard Chickens.

8. Chickens Help With Landscaping

If you love gardening, adding chickens to your property is a huge advantage. Chickens act like winged landscapers. A mobile chicken coop can be moved around the yard, encouraging the birds to graze in different areas. If you rotate a mobile coop frequently enough, you might be able to cut down on tedious lawn-mowing time.

As chickens peck at the grass, they also remove insects and aerate your lawn. One of the best parts of raising chickens is that you’ll have plenty of natural fertilizer. To really maximize your self-sustaining lifestyle, you can use the fertilizer to create an abundant vegetable garden.

9. Save Heritage Breeds

Modern chickens have been bred to produce juicy meat and a profusion of eggs. Therefore, many heritage breeds have become endangered. You can help save some of the breeds that your great-grandparents raised by adopting them to raise in your own backyard.

According to Organic Gardener, heritage breeds are adaptable. They may also lay eggs for more years than their modern counterparts, which have been bred to grow quickly and put out hundreds of eggs for a shorter period of time.

Different breeds have different requirements, however. It’s important to research the breeds that you’re interested in to make sure that you can provide an adequate environment for them.

10. Chickens Make Great Pets

Have you ever sat and watched a chicken for a while? The animals are bound to bring a smile to your face. They’re feisty and funny, and they make great companions.

Many people are surprised to hear that chickens can communicate with you and one another. Call them to roost at night, and they’ll respond to the sound of your voice. They can be trained to follow simple commands.

Many families describe their chickens as beloved pets. The kids carry the birds around as though they’re kittens. The animals are more than willing to share your yard with you, and they’re usually quite calm even when kids are running around outdoors.

Even if you’re not interested in egg production or landscape management, you might prefer a spirited chicken to a snooty cat or a rambunctious dog.

Whether you want to connect with nature, teach your children responsibility and compassion, save money on groceries or simply build a better backyard, you should consider raising backyard poultry. Make sure that you have the space and time to care for them, and you’ll soon find that the birds will help you open your heart.

These were our Reasons to keep Backyard Chickens. We are sure you may have other reasons for becoming a Backyard Chicken Keeper. If so we would love to hear about them. Also, if you have a story how Chickens have made a difference in your Children's lives send us an email. If the story is positive and fun we might ask your permission to share it on our Facebook page.

Thanks for Reading.

Ryan at Dine A Chook