Full disclosure, this post is hatched (see what I did there?) from a purely selfish place. I’m guilty of daydreaming about having my own backyard brood of chickens, so I’m a bit biased on this subject. I’m not usually a bird person but after spending some time chicken-sitting in years passed I am fully obsessed. There is something about them that brings out the kid in me. Sadly, my other half is anti-backyard chickens. For this reason, more for my benefit than yours, here are my most convincing arguments for raising chickens:
The Obvious Benefit: Healthier, Tastier Eggs
Industry-sourced eggs come from sad chickens. Okay, I don’t really know if they are sad but they certainly aren’t being raised naturally, so how happy can they be, right? Industry-sourced chickens have one job- lay eggs, lots of eggs. They are raised in conditions that don’t necessarily produce the healthiest eggs rather conditions to produce the largest quantity of eggs. Backyard chickens are free to eat a natural, well-balanced diet (which includes more than purely vitamin-enriched foods) and, as a result, their eggs contain less cholesterol and twice as much omega-3 fatty acids! Plus, the eggs are fresh and the chickens are happy!
Speaking of Diet…
Chickens are nature’s little exterminators. Free-range chickens eat all kinds of pesky bugs including ticks, grasshoppers, cockroaches and scorpions! No chemical bug sprays needed! Chickens will also eat weeds, taking care of those garden-pests for you too!
Chickens will eat almost all your kitchen scraps, even meat! This will reduce your household waste and keep the chickens happy! According to Patrician Foreman, author of City Chicks: Keeping Micro-flocks of Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Makers, Bio-recyclers, and Local Food Producers, a single hen can reduce your food trash by about seven pounds each month- that’s a lot of waste reduction!
Even Their Droppings are Beneficial
Chicken poo is high in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus and is a fiscally and environmentally friendly way to enrich your soil.
Tending to your chickens gets you and your family outside in the fresh air. They are an absolute riot (don’t believe me, toss them some pizza and watch them go!) and can instantly perk up your day. Try and tell me you don’t have the making of a great backyard pet! Now I just need to get the hubby on board!