Are backyard chickens right for you? Are they really worth the effort involved in getting them a home, feeding them, and cleaning out their pen or coop? If you have ever asked yourself these questions and wondered if raising chickens is the right move for your family then I am here to help.
I know that when I started raising backyard chickens that I had a lot of concerns and doubts that I was doing the right thing, but now I am sure that I did. If you want to know whether or not raising chickens in your yard is a good idea for you, then read on as I explain all of the benefits that you’ll enjoy when you raise these birds.
|Fresh Chicken Eggs||Free Yard Fertilizer||Chickens Are Great at Weeding||Backyard Chickens Improve Your Self Sufficiency|
|Fewer Backyard Pests||Chickens Eat Your Scraps||Chickens Break up Hard Soil||Backyard Chickens: What Next?|
Table of Contents
Fresh Chicken Eggs
Having your own supply of eggs is usually why people decide to give raising backyard chickens a try. If you have ever had an egg that is fresh from a chicken then you know that there isn’t any comparison between these eggs and the ones that you can buy in a store. Rather than spending all of your money on pale eggs that don’t have a lot of nutritional value, when you raise backyardchickens, then you will have access to your own supply of fresh eggs.
This also means that you know how healthy they are, as you can choose to feed your birds quality feed that is free of corn, antibiotics, soy, or even is organic. You have complete control over what your chickens eat and how healthy their eggs are going to be.
Fewer Backyard Pests
I have found that when I allow my chickens to roam free in my backyard, I have a lot fewer pests. Chickens love to eat most any bugs that they are able to find, and are great at reducing the harmful insects that are in your garden and your backyard. Not only will they get rid of flies, ticks, spiders, centipedes, and grasshoppers, but I have seen my chickens eat small snakes on occasion.
If you are able to allow your chickens time out in your backyard every single day, then you will notice a huge decrease in the number of pests that you have.
Free Yard Fertilizer
No matter if you free range your birds and rely on your backyard chickens to fertilize your lawn for you or clean out their pen and coop and use their waste for fertilizer in your garden, your birds are an excellent supply of clean fertilizer. Instead of overpaying at the store, when you rely on your birds for fertilizer you can rest easy knowing that it will be high in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. When composted correctly, you will have incredible fertilizer that will give your garden a great boost during the summer.
Chickens Eat Your Scraps
Even though I try really hard not to throw away a lot of food waste, it’s impossible to keep all food scraps and waste out of the trash. However, backyard chickens are great for getting rid of food waste as they love to eat any of your scraps. This is a win-win for everyone, as your birds will enjoy the bits of fresh fruit, vegetables, and homemade bread that you throw them, and you can cut down on how much you have to spend on food.
Chickens Are Great at Weeding
Many people don’t realize how much chickens love to eat weeds, but if you turn them loose in your yard or garden you will quickly find that they can locate and eat all of the weeds that you have. This is much easier and more fun than spending long hours in the garden trying to pull weeds on your own. When you let your chickens do the work for you, you will quickly be ready with a clean garden bed that is ready for you to plant.
Chickens Break up Hard Soil
Not only do chickens fertilize and weed for you, but they also till in the garden, as well. I learned that I can spread soil amendments or compost on top of my soil and my birds will quickly scratch it and turn it over for me. Additionally, these birds are able to break up hard soil that you have that may be prevented you from planting.
Backyard Chickens Improve Your Self Sufficiency
If you want to make sure that you are as self-sufficient as possible, then you will want to add backyard chickens to your home or homestead. These birds are great at providing meat and eggs, have feathers that can be used in pillows, or even to tie flies. As you become more self-sufficient and have your own garden, collect rainwater for outdoor jobs, and are interested in canning and fermenting your own food, then chickens are the obvious next step.
Chickens are what I consider a “starter animal” for anyone who is interested in animal husbandry and how they can rely less on other people for things that they can produce themselves. These birds are a great choice because they are not nearly as difficult as other animals, such as pigs or cows, but provide you with entertainment, food, pest control, and fertilizer, making them a welcome addition to any yard.
Backyard Chickens: What Next?
As you can see, any family can benefit from raising chickens, even if you don’t have a very big backyard for them to roam around in. They make a great addition to any home and are a wonderful source of meat and eggs. Rather than giving up on your dreams, you can make them a reality. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions that I can answer for you. Otherwise, you can start raising your own backyard chickens by:
- Building or buying a chicken coop
- Getting your backyard chickens
- Providing chickens with clean water and food
- Protecting chickens from predators