Keeping backyard chickens has become increasingly popular, and for good reason! While chickens do take a lot of work, they also have quite a lot to offer to anyone who is ready to take on the challenge. Here are five of the top reasons why you should consider keeping backyard chickens.
They Provide Produce.
Raising your own chickens means you have your own supply of eggs, poultry, or both! While commercial manufacturers are typically reliable, raising your own flock means that you know exactly where your food is coming from, and you know how the flock was handled and cared for. Whether you raise chickens for eggs, poultry, or dual-purpose will depend on the breed. Here are some recommendations:
- For eggs, consider the Easter Egger, Golden Comet, or Orpington! They are all quiet docile, and are well sought-after.
- For dual-purpose, consider the Rhode Island Red or the Wyandotte! Both are recommended for beginners.
There is a Breed Fit for Everyone.
There are over 100 chicken breeds available, each with different qualities. Some are docile, and some are flighty. Some are great egg producers, while some are better for poultry. Some would turn heads at an exhibition, while some are just great companions. No matter what your needs or desires are, there is sure to be a breed of chicken that suits you well, if not perfectly. For a comprehensive list of chicken breeds, and to find your perfect match, visit chickensandmore.com/chicken-breeds.
They Provide Companionship.
Backyard chickens can be wonderful and loving pets. If you choose to raise chickens as pets, they will cherish quality time with you just as much as a dog or cat. Consider these two breeds:
- Cochins. Cochins are extremely friendly birds. They are great with kids, and they love to be held in your lap.
- Silkies. Silkies are one of the most loved chicken breeds of all time. They’re quiet, cuddly, and feel furry to the touch. Like cochins, they are child-friendly.
They Provide a Learning Opportunity.
Taking care of chickens is not always easy, but the challenges are part of what makes it a valuable experience. Caring for chickens teaches responsibility because you must regularly attend to their food, water, lighting and security needs. They teach commitment because they need care every day of the week, even if you are on vacation, and you must be willing to keep them for months before they give you any eggs or meat in return. Some backyard chicken breeds can even be used for 4-H projects for your kids.
They’re one of the Easiest Livestock Animals to Care For.
As mentioned before, caring for chickens will take work, but they are much easier to handle than other livestock animals. For one thing, backyard chickens don’t need a whole lot of space. Even if they are free range, they still have much smaller requirements than bigger livestock animals like cattle or pigs. Caring for bigger livestock is best to do on a farm, but backyard chickens can do just as well in your backyard, which is extremely convenient.
If you’ve been on the fence about raising backyard chickens, or just haven’t considered the benefits before, I hope that these five reasons will give you the encouragement you need to get started with your very own chickens!