Raising ‘backyard chickens’ is one of the fastest growing trends for those exploring sustainable living. For many, chickens are the first steps into livestock. These fowl not only make good starters for livestock, many also keep them for pets and find it very rewarding to raise them. Why would you want to? Take a look at this list of reasons:
#1. They are self-producing.
Everyone knows if you have female chickens (hens), you’ll get eggs and with eggs comes baby chicks. All you need to get started is to have a place to house them, provide sufficient food and water, and have a healthy hen and rooster and you’re all set.
#2. No crowing if you don’t want to hear it.
Don’t like the crowing? Want the eggs but don’t want baby chicks? Fine, just get hens, you’ll still benefit. If a hen is properly taken care of it will still lay eggs, no rooster required. However, if you do want baby chicks you will indeed need a rooster to fertilize the eggs. In some places, however, roosters are against the law to own – so check with your local area about the laws of raising chickens before getting them.
#3. They take little space and housing.
I’ve seen them in anything from alley ways to cages in a shed – not recommendable, but can be done with adequate ventilation. You do not need lots of space since they do not have to be free-ranged (although many claim greater benefits if they are free-ranged). A quick internet search will result into a plethora of ideas of things that can be converted into chicken coops.
#4. Pest control.
Chickens have yet another great purpose other than providing breakfast – they eat insects. One of the things I like about them the most, they will take care of a lot of pests like tics, fleas, and mosquitos. Chickens have been even known to kill snakes.
#5. Low maintenance.
There isn’t much maintenance involved with raising chickens. There is some upkeep, but not as much as other livestock and the benefits of having eggs and chicken meat is definitely worth any minor upkeep you have with them. Chickens are rather hardy animals and are pretty self-sustaining with little need for people intervention. The amount of maintenance required will of course be determined by how many you have and what your intent is for keeping them. As pets, or to just have a few eggs for your family the list for maintenance is a small one. However if you’re intending to use them for business purposes that list will grow.