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Why Backyard Chickens are Beneficial

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

I have always wanted chickens. I wanted chickens ever since I was little. We lived out at a country home when my family got chickens the only time. We went on vacation and when we came back, an animal had killed and eaten all our chickens. Wah Wah. Fast forward 25 years and I have a flock of my own providing us with their personalities, attitudes, bug control, eating scraps and you guessed it, EGGS.

I wanted chickens for the eggs but also to have some entertainment in the backyard. Trust me, we get the entertainment.

I have learned that backyard chickens, like any chicken, like to forage. Our chickens get to roam around and forage from the end of our annual garden season to the beginning of our gardening season. Our annual season is May to September/October depending on when the first snow hits. Our chickens have plenty of room to roam during the annual season and with our scraps and weed feedings, they stay happy. At one point we let them forage all around our lawn, but chickens scratch. We soon found out that our precious perennial plants (read about our favorite perennial plants here) in our flower beds wouldn't be able to handle their incessant scratching. That's why we got ducks; to keep the bugs and pests down in our yard and let the chickens provide us with eggs.

Chicken eggs are the biggest reason that make backyard chickens beneficial. You can do a lot of different things with eggs, that's why in 1976, the American Egg Board made up a marketing slogan that said "The Incredible, Edible Egg." Of course, like anything, balance is needed in any diet, but eggs are versatile.

If your set-up allows, letting your chickens forage to their heart's desire will not only keep your food costs down but keep them happy and healthy as well. Chickens are VERY low maintenance but the reward is grand. Fresh, healthy eggs that taste and look better than store-bought ones. If the eggs are clean, which usually they are, we keep them in a basket on the counter. It's a way to get some color into our white kitchen, but also to show off the fruits of our labor (more so the chicken's labor, but we have to clean, feed, and water them). Chickens are a great way for you to have a sustainable food source.

Not only do backyard chickens allow for a more sustainable food source, but you are also getting your eggs as local as you can get them right in your backyard! If you have enough eggs to share, your neighbors will love them as well. We sell all the extra eggs we don't eat. I sell my eggs for less than the average price. Even though I don't recoup all the costs that go into chickens, it takes the cost down a pretty penny.

With any animal comes poop but chicken poop is an amazing fertilizer. Be careful though, you will want to let it compost and break down for a bit because it will be too hot to put in the garden right away. This poop, some refer to as "black gold."

I hate wasting food, but with chickens, my table scraps and any other "expired" food can be fed to them. Those leftovers might be a day too old for me to eat but the chickens will love it. This cuts down on our garbage, gives the chickens food instead of pellets, cuts down on chicken feed costs, and gives the chickens a boredom buster. The winters here are snowy and cold. There isn't a lot of foraging going on, but when we give them our table scraps they are so happy. It's fun to see them run out of the coop and wait for us to get to their door to drop the scraps in. They get so excited!

Yes, eggs are the most beneficial aspect of having your flock but there are other reasons to get chickens as well. Having a flock is beneficial for me as I get to work with my hands, take care of my brood, and love on some animals that provide my family and me with yummy food.

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