You don’t have to live on a farm to raise chickens. In fact, you don’t even need that much land. Backyard chicken ownership is on the rise as people are spending more time at home than ever, substituting their backyards for the outside world, and cooking all their meals for themselves.
All you need is a little space for a coop, some hay, some feed, and a little extra time each day to devote to your new feathered friends. Let’s go through four of the brightest benefits of raising your own chickens.
Quality Meat and Eggs
You can raise a chicken in three different ways: to be an egg-bearing bird, as a harvest for meat, or to be a show chicken. Yes, there is a wide, dazzling world of chicken pageantry, formally referred to as “Poultry Exhibition.” Most urban and suburban owners of backyard chickens are probably going to avoid the pageant circuit, so you’ll want to focus on options 1 and 2.
If properly cared for and kept on a nutritious diet, the average egg-bearing female can produce up to 300 eggs per year. That’s an egg breakfast for every weekday! No supermarket visit required. Chickens can of course be slaughtered, cleaned, and rendered as delicious, lean meat. Keeping your own birds for meat means many nutritious family meals, with a very short and sustainable journey from field to plate. But if you choose to go down that route, try not to get too emotionally attached.
Dalton Poultry offers an affordable array of essentials for starting up your first flock. From feeding systems to farming hardware, Dalton’s highly specialized line of poultry products has you covered from the beginner’s stage to the most advanced forms of chicken ownership.
Compost and Sustainability
Chickens are amazing little helpers to have around the yard. If you’re able to let your chickens roam cage-free, even if for a few hours a day, you will find that they are amazing tillers of soil, as they scratch the earth looking for bugs to munch on.
In that way they can also be used as a form of pest control — they do for bugs what cats do for mice. Last, their waste naturally fertilizes the ground that they till, making way for fresh flowers.
Education for Your Family
If you’re a parent or guardian to young kids, chicken ownership can be even more educational than dog or cat ownership. Little ones will learn about the duty of responsibility to other living beings by participating in feeding and cleaning up after the flock. It’s also a great way to get off of screens and connect with nature.
The Joys of Owning a Quirky Pet
The last benefit of chicken ownership is the hardest to quantify but comes in the greatest supply. Over time, you’ll realize that each chicken has their own personality. Lots of owners eventually name their birds.
Most chickens have a two to three-year cycle of fertility. Many chicken owners plan to pass their flock on once the fertility cycle has run dry and the eggs stop appearing, but some choose to keep them on as family pets instead.
Chickens are subdued, relaxed animals that live to graze, roam, and rest. Their soft clucking rarely rises above the pitch of a whisper and can become quite soothing to the acclimated listener.
Whatever the reason you’re considering backyard chicken ownership, weigh the pros and cons against each other. However, they’re fairly cheap to keep and give back much more than their cost.