There are so many reasons to start a backyard flock! Most people get into keeping chickens for the fresh eggs, but chickens can bring so much more to your life!
Fresh, healthy eggs for you and your family
The eggs you collect from your coop will of course be much fresher than store bought eggs. But did you know that fresh eggs from pasture grazed chickens are healthier than factory eggs? Pasture grazed chickens produce eggs that have more of vitamins D, A & E, more beta carotene, less cholesterol, less saturated fat and more omega 3 fatty acid.
It makes sense – you put better things into the chicken, you get better things out! There will be more nutrients packed in each egg, but there will also be things missing from your fresh eggs. Arsenic is often added to factory farm hen’s feed to promote growth, and can be passed on in the eggs. Factory hens are kept in such close quarters they need to be given antibiotics – and you guessed it, they are passed on in the eggs. Factory farm eggs also have nearly 8 times greater odds of harboring salmonella bacteria than eggs from non-caged hens. When you have your own chickens you know exactly what has been going into them – can you say that of any commercial eggs? Click here to read more about getting the tastiest eggs possible!
You won’t be supporting the horrible living conditions of factory egg farms
The majority of egg laying hens are kept in battery cages where up to a dozen hens could be crammed into a single cage. Each hen is only given space about the size of a piece of paper. They can’t stretch their wings, they can’t seek out privacy to lay their eggs, they don’t get to run through the grass, scratch in the dirt or take dust baths. That is no way for a chicken to live!
Free Compost & Reduce Waste
Did you know chickens can perform magic? You give them scraps from your kitchen (bread heels, cooked pasta, the ends of lettuce – and so many other things) and they turn it into not only tasty eggs but valuable compost! Ok, so it’s not magic, but it is pretty cool! Not only are you keeping all that waste out of landfills, you can use the compost to fertilize your garden or lawn organically. Chicken poop is rich in nitrogen and is an invaluable organic soil builder. Click here to learn more about composting
Your chicken flock will be more than happy to seek out all sorts of harmful pests in your yard. They love grubs, ticks, pill bugs, grasshoppers, crickets – anything they can catch they will happily eat up for you! Click here to read more about chickens & ticks
Chickens are hilarious!
I completely underestimated this point when I considered chickens, but they are so entertaining! I could sit outside and watch them for hours. They all have their own little personalities, and watching them peck and scratch around the yard is oddly relaxing and fascinating. They are really friendly and sociable creatures. We have a sunroom off the back of our house where you can easily see the chicken coop. If I stand by the window, they line up in the run to stare back and bawk at me. Yes, they are probably saying “Hi treat giver, come give us some treats!” but I like to pretend they are just saying “Hi! We love you!”.
Teach Responsibility to your children
Chickens are a great pet for children to help with! There are lots of little chores they can help with from collecting eggs, raking the run, or filling the water & food dishes. Chickens are a much easier pet than a dog or cat so they can be a perfect family pet.