BackYard Chickens › Learning Center Articles › Why Raise Chickens In Your Backyard? The Many Reasons & Benefits

Why Raise Chickens In Your Backyard? The Many Reasons & Benefits

Are Chickens the new "dog"?

 

Having a small backyard flock of chickens is a growing trend in countries around the world. And it is not just country folks who enjoy raising chickens, more and more cities are relaxing their laws and ordinances and allowing chickens, so city dwellers can enjoy this pleasant hobby too. Many celebrities such a Jennifer Aniston, Barbra Streisand, Miley Cyrus, Chevy Chase, Reese Witherspoon and Martha Steward raise backyard chickens. So why are pet chickens so popular? Let's have a look at some of the benefits of raising backyard chickens.

 

Chickens are easy, inexpensive pets with benefits

 

- Starting with and keeping chickens is relatively inexpensive. See here for a breakdown of start up and ongoing costs.

- Meat birds (Cornish Cross) are usually processed around the age of 7 – 9 weeks.  So after feeding them for only 2 months, you can stock your freezer with your own wonderful, fresh, home-grown meat.

- When you raise your own chickens, you know what went into the meat and eggs.  It’s a safer and healthier alternative to factory farmed poultry and eggs.

- The meat of farm-raised chicken has significantly less fat (and fewer calories) than typical store-bought chicken. 

- Backyard and free ranged hens produce eggs that are very nutritious and great tasting. Not to mention they are always fresh! Free ranged and backyard hens' eggs are also much healthier than battery hens' eggs. Here is a comparison between the nutrient content of free range vs battery eggs:

 

Nutrient Content - Battery Eggs Nutrient Content - Free Range Eggs
Vitamin A - 0.97mg Vitamin A - 7.37mb
Vitamin E - 487IU Vitamin E - 763IU
Beta Carotene - 10mg Beta Carotene - 76.2mg
Folate - 47mcg Folate - 0.71g
Omega 3 - 0.033mg Omega 3 - 292mg
Cholesterol - 423mg Cholesterol - 231mg
Saturated Fat - 3.1

Saturated Fat - 2.31g 

 

- Chickens make great pets for children and great 4H projects.

- They are friendly, easy to manage, low maintenance and can be kept as house pets as well.

- Chickens are a food source. Hens will provide you with wonderful fresh eggs and cockerels (and retired hens) can be processed and eaten.

- Chickens are entertaining and keeping and spending time with your feathered friends, or just "watching chicken TV", can be rewarding and at times very funny, as this member discovered.

 

Free range chickens are excellent, hard working gardeners 

 

- Once you’ve harvested everything you want from your vegetable garden, your chickens will happily clear the beds, scratching out and eating unwanted weeds, slugs and seeds and fertilizing the soil while they're at it.

- Own an orchard or a few fruit trees? Chickens will devour the fallen fruit before it can attract insects. 

- Chicken manure contains high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

- Chicken manure is more economically valuable than synthetic fertilizers.

- Chicken manure can be used to make fertilizer tea.

- Chickens love digging and scratching around in compost heaps and composting with chickens can be very beneficial for your compost heaps too.

- Chickens will happily take care of crickets, grass hoppers, snails and other pests in the garden.

 

Want even more excellent reasons to add chickens to your life?

 

See what our members say herehttp://www.backyardchickens.com/t/614991/what-are-the-top-three-reasons-you-have-chickens

Comments (12)

SITTING and watching them brings your blood pressure WAY DOWN!!!
Agreed - Love my flock :) 
Hens are much lower maintenance than conventional pets and are great for people like me, who need to be ocassionly away from home for business.  
They make great pets---they are some of the least expensive (as long as you don't get carried away), and they are so funny and cute! Chickens are just....perfect for me... :) 
Agreed.  I never knew how much joy they could bring.  I even don't mind them digging in my garden, and I am a major control freak over how my yard looks.
Agreed. I don't regret one bit getting my hens, they're so much fun to watch
Love raising, hatching chickens. Love the fresh eggs. Love it when the chickens see the grandchildren coming and they run to them for snacks. Grandchildren love the chickens and you would be amazed of the creative writing and communication this helps in school. I have yet to meet someone who does not like fresh eggs. I am actually shocked at all the information that my grandchildren give out to others about their chickens and the how to do this and that etc. Wonderful egg/baby chicken  sellers also may I add. Raising chickens is educational!!
Chickens: If you click on my avatar you will see hay bales, dogs, and a real live deer to the far right, the chickens were to the left out of focus of camera but real close to the dog and the deer in the background is just looking at it all. Chickens are friendly they will eat with and out of the dog food bowl if allowed to. They will come to your door peck and knock to receive your attention and treats. They will fertilize your garden, eat your bugs, mosquitos, cluck and cheer you along your way all during the day. They will put themselves up at night and only ask for you to close and lock their house door.
Chickens are really great to show in the fair! I've had so much success with my birds, and tons of fun!
They are so friendly.
9 months into having 8 hens is great so far , this cold snap in Vermont is not what they wanted! They like to explore and they love their treats!
what is the source of the nutrition data in the post. I am not questioning the information. My daughter may need to reference the source for a school report. thanks
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