I started rearing chickens as a hobby rather than for commercial reasons. Little did I know that some months later these lovely birds would bring more benefits to my family. Now I can smile all the way to the bank, enjoy fresh eggs and supplement my diet with chicken meat. My passion for raising chickens is paying off and have no regrets taking this path in life. That brings us to the importance of chickens in your backyard.
What are the reasons why raising chickens is worth it? Besides eggs and meat, chickens bring more benefits to you than what you spend on them. These poultry animals are a source of organic manure, can control pests, entertain and make great pets.
In recent years a number of households have turned to raise chickens for many reasons. No wonder you may come across fancy coops and nicely fenced yards designed for these birds. Many neighborhoods are now earning a living from their flock of chickens day in day out.
The love for these birds seems to conquer all myths surrounding their origin, existence, and behavior. At least, many people can find a way to relate with them by simply taking good care of their needs. In return, these lovely birds will pay back in kind, much to the delight of their owner.
You too can become part of the growing number of poultry farmers to reap great benefits from these birds. Below are 10 reasons why raising chickens is worth it and why you should give it a second thought.
Why Raising Chickens is Worth It
A Great Source of Fresh Eggs
- Often times you come across cartons of eggs in stores with all kinds of labels. It should not surprise you to see words such as “all-natural, free-range, cage-free or even antibiotic-free”. This information is misleading but enticing to unsuspecting egg consumer
- It turns out that nearly all eggs sold in grocery stores come from farms where conditions are at their worst. So raising your own flock of chickens will provide you with a great source of fresh eggs for your family.
- These eggs are not only healthier but delicious as well. Most importantly they are lower in cholesterol and higher in vitamin E, beta carotene and omega-3 fatty acids.
Chickens Control Pests
- Besides providing eggs and meat for you, chickens can help in pest control. Since they are omnivores, these birds eat almost anything they come across while free-ranging. Don’t be surprised when you spot them eating spiders, earwigs, grasshoppers, flies, snails, worms, weevils, slugs and even more creepy crawlies around your home.
- For chickens, anything tiny that moves is their snack In this regard, you should consider unleashing them on a free-range to eliminate potential pests. To some extent they can eat frogs, mice, and snakes just in case they get a hold of them. If you are looking to have a pest-free yard, flocks of chickens are the best solution for you.
Chickens are Quiet and Gentle
- Compared to other domestic animals, chickens are quiet and gentle. And this is one of the 10 reasons why raising chickens is worth it. These lovely birds are not as loud as your dog or other animals on your farm.
- In fact, most of them spend their day scratching and pecking the ground while making soft clicking sounds among themselves. When you approach them they will also acknowledge your presence using those soft sounds.
- Some hens will get a bit louder especially after laying eggs but this happens occasionally. In the evening, they all get into their coop and stay quiet across the night. This gives you peace of mind as you enjoy your sleep during the night.
For Educational Value
- Much to your surprise, chickens have extended memory that allows them to differentiate between human or animal faces. Just like other animals, chickens like to play, relax, feel pain and get stressed among other things. All these are common traits found in higher animals, including humans.
- Chickens make excellent mothers and that’s why you always find them with her chicks in what seems to be a conversation. This strange phenomenon starts when they are hatching until their little chicks become mature enough to be on their own.
- Also, chickens establish a pecking order, a term used to describe a social structure among chickens. With all this information at the back of your mind, your chickens can become a perfect learning tool.
A Source of Free Fertilizer
- Chicken manure is something to be proud of. It can turn your garden into a lush green set up within a matter of days. This is because it contains high levels of essential nutrients for the growth and development of your crops.
- As such, you may utilize this type of manure as part of a sustainable source of organic agriculture. Five or ten chickens can produce enough organic manure to cater to your vegetable garden a year.
Save on Food Waste
- Instead of throwing away food scraps, you can feed them to your birds. According to statistics, almost 17 percent or 29 million tons of food scraps are taken to landfills. About 33 million tons of yard waste ends up in the same place as well. Your flock can help you here by feeding on food waste rather than disposing of it.
- As a matter of fact, you can use the kitchen scraps as a supplement for your chickens’ diet. Vegetable and fruit peelings, cooked rice, cooked beans, pasta or oatmeal can serve as an alternative to the chicken feed. In the end, you will save more money while keeping your birds healthy and well-fed.
Chickens Can Control Weeds
- If you are a gardener and chicken keeper, you can control weeds by unleashing your flock to feed on them. Besides being a rich source of manure, your birds can eliminate weeds in a matter of days.
- They accomplish this task by feeding on those invasive weeds or by scratching and clawing the ground to uproot them. But ensure that your chickens don’t destroy your valuable garden crops in the process of controlling weeds.
It is Affordable
- One thing that will make you want to start raising chickens straight away is their affordability. Although, there is the cost of setting up their coops and purchasing poultry equipment, keeping chickens is a cheaper investment.
- Once everything is set up, you will find it easier and cheaper to maintain your flock compared to other domestic animals. Most significantly, your birds will help you cut down on your household waste.
Save Heritage Breeds
- Today’s chickens look different from their wild ancestors. This is attributed to the fact that breeders come up with chickens for a specific purpose. There are a few that are kept for meat and eggs while others for just eggs.
- Most of the chickens raised today do not look anything similar to their ancestors and that is a worrying trend. Therefore, you may help to preserve heritage breeds by keeping them in your backyard.
- Since different breeds have different characteristics, you should choose which breed suits your needs based on their adaptability and available space. So, you may turn your chicken keeping hobby into a conservancy for rare heritage breeds. This will help future generations understand the origin of the existing breeds of chickens.
- There’s a feeling of satisfaction knowing that you can make, raise, grow or provide for something on your own. It’s fulfilling to realize that you can actually make something look better than what you have been buying from stores.
- This is the same case with raising chickens at home. Since eggs are a common delicacy for may people, keeping chickens will help you provide your family with food. This is quite an achievement considering that you will benefit yourself in the future.
- Also, this hobby can help you educate your young ones about the importance of being self-sufficient and self-reliant. You can teach them to be responsible and caring individuals by introducing them to chicken keeping at their tender age.
What are the possible challenges you can face when raising chickens? Everything comes with their benefits and setbacks, so does keeping chickens. However, the challenges you are likely to face may include spending more money with fewer returns, complying with the local laws, conflicts with your neighbors, chicken poop, diseases, and predators. But you can overcome all these challenges only if you have a better strategy and a good start.
What do you need to factor before you start raising chickens? The most important thing to factor is the cost of feeding your birds, caring and watching them throughout.
There you have it, the top 10 reasons why raising chickens is worth it. Even though you will start as a hobby, raising chickens will bring you many benefits. Chickens will provide you with eggs and meat, organic manure and entertainment among other benefits. All you need is the willpower to get started and everything else will fall in place.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!