Garden Topics: Birds & Pets
6 Reasons why Chickens Belong in your Back Yard
1. Chickens, ‘home raised’, there is a lot to like.
The local food movement is flourishing, and by keeping backyard chickens you can take pride in being a food producer and not just a consumer. We all know that fresh foods simply taste better and eggs are no exception. Combine raising chickens with a vegetable garden and you’ll never look at store bought eggs & produce the same way.
2. Chicken Keeping is Educational
Keeping urban chickens is one way for young people to not only learn about but also actively participate in food production, while at the same time providing their growing bodies with fresh food. Raising chickens can help kids to appreciate food and make healthier choices while also teaching responsibility, animal husbandry and compassion. Also, kids are naturally interested in animals (more so than carrots), so it is a great way to spark their interest in learning about food.
3. Chickens are bargain-basement backyard workers.
The most economic and politically compelling reason to keep hens is to recycle food and yard waste, therefore keeping it out of landfills as it composts into an invaluable organic soil builder for your garden. You feed chickens kitchen scraps, they poop out a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, which can be composed with leaves and other yard waste. A single chicken can bio-recycle about seven pounds of food residuals in a month. If just 2,000 households raise three hens, it could divert 252 tons of waste from landfills annually.
4. Chickens are a backyard exterminating service.
Chickens love insects, including ticks, beetles and grubs, so they can serve as the organic pest-cleanup crew in your garden. They also eat many weeds, and serve as post-harvest garden bed gleaners, potentially making your work as a gardener easier. Chickens will even eat mice!
5. Chickens as soil savers.
Chickens can turn parts of our boring old yards into fertile garden patches. Their natural scratching and digging tendencies serve them well and can help you create top-notch garden beds. They also act as gasoline-free, noise-free tillers, mixing the top layers of soil with compost or other mulches. (OK, they're not completely noise-free, but hens sure do make cute clucking sounds).
6. Chickens are entertaining and allow for the creating of new friendships.
While raising chickens may sound like a chore to some, many of us view egg collection and putting out feed as a relaxing morning ritual. Also, just like cats and dogs, chickens have personalities and can be great companions. An unintended consequence of having backyard chickens is meeting new people while getting a little more back to nature.
7. Chickens in your future?
Stop by and see us; we are now carrying a line of coops, feeders, supplies, feeds and supplements. Chicks and ducks are also now available here at the farm.