The Benefits of Backyard Chickens

The Benefits of Backyard Chickens

Raising backyard chickens offers a variety of benefits, including everything from more nutritious food to the companionship of animals. Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect from raising chickens:

  • Nutritious and flavorful eggs: Research confirms that home-grown eggs are more nutritious than the typical factory-farmed eggs you can pick up at the grocery store. Home-grown eggs are generally higher in omega-3 fatty acids (the good fat found in many types of fish) and lower in cholesterol. Additionally, people comment on the delicious flavor of home-grown eggs. The yolks are richer and yellower, and the flavor is fuller. And you should get a lot of these eggs. Most breeds of chickens will begin laying eggs when they are about six months old, and there are even breeds that can begin producing eggs as early as seventeen weeks. Healthy hens should lay almost every day in spring, summer, and fall. (Laying eggs depends on daylight hours, so as days grow shorter, hens will lay fewer eggs.)

  • Compost and fertilizer: Chickens produce a lot of poop - not necessarily a good thing - but the upside is that their poop can be added directly to your compost pile and then used to fertilize your yard. You can put the "waste" to work.

  • Bug reduction: Chickens can help control the bug population in your yard. Part of a chicken's diet will come from digging and foraging, and this food includes eating bugs. You might be able to cut down on your use of pesticides as chickens get rid of bugs.

  • Enjoyment: Many chicken owners talk about how much they simply enjoy having chickens. The animals have individual personalities, and it's entertaining to watch them wander around and interact with each other and their environment. Also, raising chickens can be a good way to teach children about responsibly caring for animals.

  • Relatively low maintenance: Chickens definitely need care, but they require relatively little attention. Chickens need fresh food and water and a clean shelter, but they don't have the same emotional needs that pets like a dog have. Chickens are happy and productive whether you're around or not. You'll enjoy spending time with them and watching them, but you won't have to worry about rushing home from work like you would to take the dog out for a walk.

These are just a few of the benefits of raising backyard chickens! All of these benefits contribute to the sense of accomplishment you will take in successfully caring for animals and raising your own food. Most of our food comes from the supermarket, and your chickens will make you proud that you've raised some of the food that you're eating.

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