Raising chickens provides more benefits than you think. Lets go over the 10 excellent benefits of raising backyard chickens.
Are you on the fence when it comes to raising backyard chickens? Well let me tell you the benefits of keeping chickens. They can be a great addition to your backyard especially if you are a gardener or someone who is looking to improve their overall health!
1. Fresh Eggs
This is one of the most obvious benefits to raising chickens, but not to be overlooked. Why are fresh eggs so beneficial? First you can produce your own organic eggs. You get to control the egg quality that you receive from your chickens.
A lot of times the eggs at the grocery store claim to be cage free or free range, but that just means the chickens are packed together outside in large quantities. This still creates a stressed chicken. Chickens in this environment will often times peck at each other and they may as well be in a cage alone and safe.
That situation doesn’t provide you with healthy eggs. Your backyard chickens will have access to better feed and more space. They will even have a chance at eating a bug or two which is great for egg production.
Something to remember about fresh chicken eggs is that they aren’t in high production all year round. During the winter months, you may not receive that many eggs. This is something to consider as you will still need to feed them during this time.
A lot of chicken owners will preserve the extra eggs they get during the spring and summer months. They will use these during the winter months when eggs are in shorter supply.
2. Healthier Meat
Chicken meat is a staple ingredient in most homes. But buying preservative free chicken meat can break the bank. Raising your own food by raising up your own meat chickens in your backyard will be more affordable and much more rewarding.
Be mindful that if you aren’t going to process the chickens yourself, that there will be a processing fee associated with that. From what I have seen, it is about 3-4 dollars per chicken to pay for someone else to process the entire bird. You was just need to find someone in your area that processes chickens.
3. Great Compost for your Garden
Composted chicken manure is a staple in many homesteaders’ vegetable gardens and can be in yours too. How do you collect this wonderful, natural fertilizer? When you are cleaning out your chicken coop, don’t throw out the chicken poop.
Dump it into your compost pile and let it sit until it is fully composted. It is a good idea to create a new compost heap for every 6 months to a year. This way you aren’t adding fresh things into your “almost done” compost pile.
Adding compost is important for the health of your garden and the value of good compost is high. It is hard to buy as good of compost as what you can make in your own backyard. Another benefit that chickens can be for your garden is that they can help in garden clean up.
After your growing season is over, let your chickens out into the garden. They can peck at and clean up the garden leaving their poop to be composted over the winter. They will naturally till up the soil by scratching up and breaking down the growth.
They won’t completely clean out the garden, but it will give you a head start as well as cut down on your chicken feed costs.
4. Less Preservatives
Now a days there are more things at the grocery store with preservatives than without. Our struggle with how to handle all those preservatives. A great way for you to have food with less preservatives in your diet is by raising your own chickens.
Your meat and eggs will be preservative free. You will then be able to make your own homemade meals and use your own chicken products to add to those meals.
With how EASY modern conveniences have made our lives, people are finding it hard to get enough exercise. I’m not talking about running a marathon or anything, but the human body needs to move around and get the heart rate up a few times a day.
Owning chickens requires daily checking on the chickens all year long. Now some may see this as a downside, but that’s the problem! We are getting too used to things being easy and requiring less work.
Our bodies aren’t getting that rewarding feeling that we get when we accomplish physical tasks. When we move our bodies and complete tasks, natural hormones are released into our brain creating positive emotions which then lead to greater mental health.
There isn’t too much physical activity required on a daily basis, just enough to give your body a boost. There are times when the coop needs cleaning, or a chicken gets out that may require a few intense minutes of movement. But again, our bodies are in need of this movement!
6. Backyard Chickens help you get outside
Getting outside in nature is another way to boost your mental health. Having a backyard flock of chickens creates an excuse for you to get out, breathe some fresh air, and nurture a living creature. This is my favorite benefit for kids as well.
Sometimes it is hard to get the kids to get outside. Having chicken chores is one way to get them out, but chickens are fun loving creatures that can be little companions for your young children. Which leads to the next benefit of raising backyard chickens.
7. Chickens can be your Companions
Chickens are great pets for some. There are specific breeds that are more friendly than others so if you are looking to make friends with your chickens, be sure to select MORE FRIENDLY BREEDS. Chickens are great low maintenance creatures that can also bring you joy.
There have been many who go on to say that they use their chickens as therapy chickens. This makes sense because you are getting outside to be with them. Nurturing a creature brings happiness and the chickens learn to love you because you take care of them.
Thus they follow you around and want to be near you. They will give back what you put in to them.
How to get chickens to like you:
- Feed them treats from your hands daily without trying to grab them
- Spend time with them daily
- Walk around leaving a trail of food behind or near you
- Make a certain noise every time you come out to them so they recognize you
- Feed them good quality food
8. Extra Cash
Another benefit from raising backyard chickens is that you can earn a little extra cash from them. There are a few ways that you can do this. One is to sell the eggs that you have. I would suggest having chickens that lay a variety of colors of eggs to make your egg carton pretty and attractive.
Some go as far as to put a stamp on their eggs to make them look more appealing. Another way is to sell the chicks that you can hatch out (you need a rooster to do this). You can also sell your organic meat chicken as another option to earn extra cash.
9. Sustainable Living
If living a more sustainable life is part of your plan, then backyard chickens is a great way to do that. Living a more sustainable life can bring satisfaction and confidence to your life.
There are up front costs for getting chickens and providing housing, but after that you are providing your own eggs and or meat for your family by having them as a part of your life.
10. Chickens can cut down on Kitchen Waste
The last benefit of backyard chickens is that you can feed your chickens most of your food scraps. There are two benefits that come from this.
One is that there is less waste that you are putting out into the world, and two, you are feeding your chickens nutrient rich foods that will, in turn, cut down on your chicken feed bill. Add your kitchen scraps into a bin or bowl. You can add to it throughout the day.
When it is time to tend to the chickens, bring out your bin and toss it out to the chickens. Be mindful of the foods that chickens can’t eat.
Don’t feed your chickens
- Avocados, especially not the peel or the pit
- Dried beans
- Green potato skins
- Junk food
- Moldy or rotten food
- Chocolate or candy
- Super salty foods
Basic requirements for a chicken
- Food and water. For best chicken feed try organic feed. This is more pricey and isn’t a must have, but will help you avoid preservatives. Chickens need access to fresh water every day.
- Shelter. There are many types of chicken coops out there. Inside the coop you should plan for 3-4 square feet per chicken and more space for the run. This will provide a better quality of life for the chicken and make it so that your coop doesn’t get overrun with poop. Make space in the run for food, water, and dust baths. Some people like to add activities for their chickens such as chicken swings or tires. Inside the coop you will want to put in chicken litter or pine shavings. You will need to clean the coop every week unless you are choosing to use the DEEP LITTER METHOD and then you will only need to clean it about 2-3 times per year.
- Daily care. You will need to check on your chickens every day to make sure they have access to food and fresh water.
Not everyone can have Backyard Chickens
Sadly in the US there are city ordinances and local laws that may prevent you from being able to have your own flock of chickens. Make sure you check your city laws before buying chickens. IMPORTANT! Your city may ordain backyard chickens, but your neighborhood might not.
You will need check with your Home Owners Association (HOA) or neighborhood for backyard chicken rules. Most HOA’s do NOT allow chickens. This is a sad and frustrating rule as chickens are often times more quiet and clean than the average dog.
That being said, you don’t need to live in rural areas to own chickens. Often times there are pockets of places in your city that will allow chickens. Do your research!
You don’t need a farm to raise chickens
Even a small yard can be a great environment for chickens. As I mentioned before, chickens only need 3-4 square feet per chicken in their coop and a little more than in the run that for them to have enough room to thrive.
You don’t need to have 50 chickens either. A simple, small flock of chickens is totally fine too! You need at least two chickens, but I would suggest having at least three in case one dies so the other doesn’t get lonely.
How to pick which breed is best for you
Picking a CHICKEN BREED can feel overwhelming. Most chickens that you can pick up at your local feed store are great birds with great personalities. Some things to consider when selecting a chicken breed are:
- Their hardiness (Can they tolerate the weather where you live?)
- What color of eggs they lay. If you are wanting BROWN CHICKEN EGGS, then you need to choose chickens that LAY BROWN EGGS
- Temperament. You can learn CHICKEN TEMPERAMENTS and choose the one that is best for what you want.
Most of the time you will buy baby chicks and raise them in a chicken brooder until they are old enough to live outside. Then they won’t lay eggs until they are 4-6 moths of age.
Chickens really are wonderful creatures. LEARN MORE ABOUT CHICKENS. Thank you for joining me for 10 excellent benefits of raising backyard chickens!