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The trendiness of backyard chicken keeping has been on the rise over the past few years and there are plenty of great reasons why.
Have you ever considered if raising backyard chickens is right for you?
There are many reasons to raise backyard chickens are here are my top 11 reasons why raising chickens could be for you.
Top Reasons To Raise Backyard Chickens
1. Fresh Eggs
This is the number one reason to get your own backyard chickens. After they begin laying you will have a steady supply of farm fresh eggs on hand.
2. Organic if you prefer
When you are the one raising them you control what they eat. If you prefer, you can avoid feeding them GMO and any other non-organic feed or supplements.
3. Free Fertilizer
A lot of times this is one that people don’t think about when considering raising backyard chickens.
Have you ever walked through the garden section of the home improvement store looking for the fertilizer for your flower beds or garden? Prices for the stuff at the store are astronomical and don’t even try and pronounce the ingredients on the label.
Chicken manure is one of the most desirable manures due to the high level of nutrients and to gardeners, it is an essential part of a healthy garden crop.
After the initial startup costs, it is relatively inexpensive to keep chickens. Especially when compared to other types of farm and livestock animals. In addition, you will be cutting down on household food waste, and be provided with free garden manure.
5. Natural Tillers
Backyard chickens make excellent garden tillers. They can turn over an entire garden area in a matter of hours. Their natural scratching and rooting for bugs eliminates weeds and tills the soil.
In the summer we have a fence around the garden to keep them out, but in the fall we use the fence to keep them in the garden area. They are the workhorse that tills our fall garden and gets the soil ready for the next years crops.
6. Pest Control
Chickens are carnivorous and therefore eat just about any bugs. This includes all types of beetles, slugs, grasshoppers and nasty ticks.
The last few years in my part of the country ticks have been especially bad. But I have noticed a significant drop in the number of ticks that I am pulling off myself, my kids, and my dogs when we let our chickens free range.
7. Lawn waste removal
Backyard chickens think that all sorts of lawn and garden waste are tasty treats. Leaves, grass clippings, and even nasty weeds are a great snack for these birds. They will easily dig through all your yard and garden waste and eat what they like and pulverize the rest. The weekly pile of grass clipping will be gone without a trace in just a few days.
8. Kitchen Waste Removal
Our backyard chickens are quick to fight over any kitchen scraps that we throw out to them. I keep an old ice cream bucket on the counter and all the leftovers and kitchen scraps get thrown in there for a great chicken snack.
They get everything from the kid’s soggy cereal to meat scraps and leftovers. There is something nice about our kitchen waste turning into fresh eggs.
9. Backyard Chicken TV
They are very entertaining to sit and watch. Each one has a quirky personality and it is fun to watch them chase bugs around. Each time we go outside when they are free ranging they all run up to us looking for a treat.
With all the different breeds out there, there are some really beautiful chickens available. Each breed also has their own distinct characteristics, with some being quite and skittish to those who are friendly and chatty.
10. Easy Maintenance
After the initial flock is established, the daily care required for backyard chicken upkeep is minimal. For my flock of 25 birds, they only require about 15 to 20 minutes a day.
Give kitchen scraps, fill feeders and give fresh water, then collect eggs.
We have a pretty large run so we only have rake out the coop every couple of weeks in the summer. We have a kiddy pool for our ducks which I try and dump and refill weekly.
11. Teaching kids about life and death
My children have learned so much because I have involved them in our chicken keeping journey from day one. We have lost a few when they just chicks and it was an excellent opportunity to teach my kids about life and death. It is nice for them to be able to learn how to deal with a loss even if just on a small scale.
Also, teaching them about how eggs can be both food and baby chicks. And when the time comes for them to be butchered we will be sad but thankful for the food that they provided us.
Backyard chickens are a small tool to teach big lessons.
So there you have 11 great reasons to that raising backyard chickens might be a great fit for your family.
Let me know your reasons for raising chickens in the comments below!