When I started my chicken journey, I didn't really tell a lot of people. No reason to I guess. Now that I have them, I have been getting a lot of criticism lately. First, I just shook it off. But now it's really starting to bother me. People think it's weird and a waste of time since "you can just buy it at the store". Has anyone else had this issue?
Yep...and I live in an extreme rural, farming community. No one asks a beef farmer why he doesn't just buy it from the store, nor do they ask the other poultry farmers because they are raising theirs FOR the stores.
People actually slow down and gawk when they drive by my place to stare at us doing all these "weird" things like: Free ranging our chickens, keeping hair sheep, sitting on our porch and reading books(yes..seems to be quite a mystery to people when folks aren't all inside watching TV), gardening in raised beds with permanent pathways, having a milk cow, etc.
The people here, and mostly those with whom I work, will openly criticize all of these things and will ask me how I can stand to eat my own chickens???? Like somehow MY chickens suffer more from being eaten than do the millions they raise in packed broiler and layer houses around these parts. I just tell them I like having eggs and meat that didn't come from a stinking torture box like the commercial poultry houses behind their own houses.
It IS cheaper to raise your own if you are doing it properly with frugal methods, it IS healthier for you and your family, it IS better tasting and it provides a good life for the animals involved. Anyone who doesn't see those things as being quite obvious are not intelligent enough to even carry on the other side of the discussion, so you can just walk away and not waste your time.
Herd mentality is hard to change so I don't often try anymore.