Chickens, the essential (and overlooked) preparedness tool

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by MacTech, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. MacTech

    MacTech Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm active on a few "prepping/survival" discussion forums, and a few firearms discussion sites, as my other "hobby" is preparedness, and recreational shooting, when the inevitable threads on "TEOTWAWKI" (The End Of The World As We Know It) (but... I feel fine... ;) ) all the normal discussion comes up, bugout bags, bugout vehicles, how much water/food/medical supplies are stored, best locations to bug out to, bugging out vs. Bugging in, preferred defensive measures, all the typical and stereotypical "prepper" chatter....

    But one item rarely is discussed, keeping poultry, mainly chickens...

    Chickens are an integral part of my preps, and should be a part of any preppers arsenal, they serve multiple purposes and more than pull their weight and do their part to enhance survival...

    1; most obviously, they produce eggs, and eggs are one of the most effective source of protein and energy, if the birds are free range, or in chicken tractors, they feed themselves for essentially no cost, and they are also extremely efficient consumers of table scraps

    2; the droppings and used bedding can be composted to make rich humus, which can be turned back into the ground, helping crops grow bigger, stronger, and more nutritious

    3; adding a rooster has numerous benefits, he will defend his girls from predators, find food for them, and most obviously, help create more chickens, insuring a self-replenishing flock

    4; they do a decent job of keeping ticks and other undesirable insects under control (and the hens turn these parasites into more material for egg laying ;) )

    5; they do a great job of clearing leaf litter and other detritus from gardens and ornamental plants/shrubberies

    6; they can be killed (humanely) and eaten, this is least desirable, as it deprives you of eggs/the ability to create more chickens, freezer camp should be the last option, unless you're overpopulated with poultry and need to thin the flock.

    You get all these benefits for the modest cost of commercial chicken feed, and if you free range, that feed will last for *months* during temperate times when they can free range, my last bag of layer pellets was purchased at least 3 months ago, and I still have half a bag left....

    Plus, in the event of a disaster, be it an earthquake, volcanic eruption, hurricane, tornado, coronal mass ejection/EMP, zombie apocalypse, financial collapse, space alien invasion, or any/all of the above, they give you valuable barter goods...

    The eggs (obviously) one of the best sources of protein available, a highly desirable barter item
    Compost/humus from the composted bedding
    Any "extra/spare" birds, be they chicks, pullets, layers, or cockerels, the nice thing about this, is you'd be helping someone down on their luck or in true need to become a little more self sufficient
    Spare birds from Freezer Camp..

    Chicken products or chickens would be far better barter than giving away/bartering hard to replace canned goods, medical supplies, water, gasoline, ammunition, or weapons, and only the truly stupid would barter away things that could be used against them, gas, ammo, or weapons could come back to haunt the bartered

    Which would be worth more as barter anyway? A chicken or three that you have plenty extra of (assuming you have a self replenishing flock) or canned goods you can't replace? And what would said spare chickens be worth to someone with only canned goods? Canned goods that can't be replaced, vs an animal that *produces* high quality food on a regular basis, and which can create more of itself from table scraps, free range browsing, and inexpensive feed/grains?

    Chickens should be part of any preparedness setup, any setup with the space for them
     
  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

    460
    67
    121
    Dec 10, 2013
    Tennessee
    Makes a lot of sense to me but they would have to be guarded or hungry people would just steal them. I feel that, regardless of the situation of the world today, everyone should start doing things to be more self-sufficient be it chickens, a garden, or learning to grow and use healing herbs. It is very fulfilling to know my family is eating healthy food that I provide. I find that tending to my chickens and garden are far more relaxing than sitting in front of the tv or internet...and healthier. Canning and curing are also very valuable skills to know. I hate wasting my money at the grocery store when I can provide it myself for almost free.
     
  3. MacTech

    MacTech Chillin' With My Peeps

    Protecting and defending them from any and all Predators, be they four legged, two legged, winged, (or equipped with a light-bending camouflage system and a shoulder-mounted energy weapon ;) ) is a given

    In addition to the standard means of dissuading predation, we also have a hyper-alert, big voiced four-legged security system that is very protective of his pack, which also includes the chickens

    His name? Cooper, a 3 year old shelter-rescue Portuguese Water Dog
    [​IMG]

    And an older pic back when my flock were much younger
    [​IMG]

    Porties have an innate herding instinct, not as strong as a true herding breed or LGD, but I can say "bring 'em in" to Cooper, and he will herd the flock back into the barn and stand guard...

    Now, I just need to break his occasional "want to PLAY!!" Instinct, he has never hurt the birds, but he loves to sniff them when they enter a submissive squat, he'll even nudge them with his nose to try and get them to play...
    "Stop squatting, I just wanna' play..."
    He just needs to understand that he can't play rough, no matter how much fun it is...for him, it's NOT fun for the birds...

    He is learning well, though, and porties have an abnormally long puppyhood...
     
  4. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

    460
    67
    121
    Dec 10, 2013
    Tennessee
    That's what I need. A good, four-legged alarm and guard system! [​IMG]
     
  5. MacTech

    MacTech Chillin' With My Peeps

    This was too cute to resist, look where Cooper is now...

    On the bed with me, falling asleep on the iPad as I read this thread
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by