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raising backyard chickens research report

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by cicilianb97, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Raising Backyard Chickens 101
    By cicilianb97
    Raising backyard chickens is growing ever popular in our nation today, and the benefits are enormous. Raising backyard chickens requires a considerable amount of research and preparation. When choosing to raise backyard chickens there are many things to consider such as food, shelter, and whether or not to own egg-laying or meat chickens.
    “Why chickens?” is the question that comes to mind first. Why not goats or pig, why chickens? Chickens are the best source for eggs and the most commonly eaten meat in the country of the United States of America. Eggs are what make most people decide to raise backyard chickens. Although most begin to raise their chickens for the eggs, some want the meat. Yet others still take advantage of the chickens’ friendly disposition and raise their chickens as pets. “They are absolutely the most low maintenance pet (except for maybe a goldfish) that you can own” (Stewart). The chickens will be happy as can be, provided that they have food, water, and a well maintained hutch (Stewart).

    As pets, chickens are friendly, fun to watch, fun to play with, and if raised properly love attention. When you raise and handle a chicken from a baby they will happily eat from your hand, sit on your lap, and follow you around (Stewart). Certain chickens are wonderful, but other breeds make horrible pets. The Silkie is one of the greatest choices for pet chickens, they can tolerate cold and hot climates, making it easy for them to be kept in many parts of the country.

    There are so many benefits to raising chickens like highly nutritious eggs, wonderful meat, and even the chickens themselves. “Hens will produce eggs that are fresh and nutritious, not to mention great tasting. Backyard eggs are also much healthier than their store bought counterparts” (Why Raise Chickens). Their meat is far better tasting and more wholesome. The chickens are very funny and their personalities are wonderful.

    The breed that you choose has to do with what you want out of your chicken. If you want eggs out of your chicken you should choose a Rhode Island Red or a Production Red. These two lay two-hundred to two-hundred-fifty brown eggs a year. Now if you are looking for meat then it would be a good choice to get some New Hampshire chickens. They are top-notch choice for meat chickens, another good choice for meat chickens is the Cornish. They are not the largest of chickens but their meat is famous for its flavor. When you are looking for a pet chicken a Silkie or a Sizzle are both good choices for their soft feathers and small size, which is great for children (Walker 114).

    What you feed your chickens is an important issue; ultimately you are eating what you feed your chickens (Stewart). Chickens that produce the meat that you can purchase at a grocery store are typically fed animal fat, flesh, blood, milk, and eggs which are very bad for the human and the chicken. “Animals at animal factories often receive antibiotics to promote faster growth and to compensate for crowded, stressful, and unsanitary living conditions” (Sapkota, Lefferts, McKenzie, and Walker). What should be fed to backyard chickens is organic feed from your local farm supply store. You can also use cracked corn kernels and different bags of grains, which should all be mixed together so the chickens get a good blend. This mixture of grains makes for a good and healthy chicken.
    Shelter for your chickens is one of the most important issues that you will encounter when raising backyard chickens. “There are literally thousands of different outdoor coop designs” (Stewart). A small chicken coop with a long fenced off area for the chickens to scratch around and run in should do the trick for about four to six chickens. Many debate over stationary verses mobile coops. Stationary coops are good for a large flock of chickens with a rooster because with a mobile coop it would be difficult to move around a large flock of chickens. “Coops that are mobile are commonly referred to as chicken tractors. These normally have wheels on one side and allow you to move it around the yard so that your hens can free range a bit” (Stewart). Both stationary and mobile coops can be made with scrap materials or good quality wood and several different materials. A coop should be able to keep out predators like foxes and raccoons.

    Considerations such as food, shelter, and whether or not to own egg-laying or meat chickens are vital to this experience. The question of why chickens is highly important because chickens are the best source of eggs and they are the only source of the most commonly eaten meat in the United States of America. The benefits of raising chickens in your backyard, from eggs to meat to the chickens themselves, are very satisfactory. Chickens also make great pets because they will follow you around, sit on your lap, and eat from your hand. You should also choose the right breed for your flock or pet. This is not an easy task and you must know exactly what you want from your chickens. Feeding your chickens is one of the most important things to consider; they need a healthy mixture of corn and different grains in order to be healthy. Shelter is also one of the most important issues; you must choose what is best for your flock, whether it is stationary or mobile and what materials to use, are key. The choice to raise backyard chickens has several rewarding benefits to the one who pursues this exploit.

    Works Cited

    Sapkota, A.R., L.Y. Lefferts, S. McKenzie, and P. Walker. “They Eat What? The Reality of Feed at Animal
    Factories.” 8 Aug. 2006. Union of Concerned Scientists. 2007. <http://www.ucsusa.org/food and agriculture/our-failing-food-system/industrial-agriculture/they-eat-what-the-reality-of.html>

    Stewart, Creek. “How to Raise Backyard Chickens.” 26 March. 2013. The Art of Manliness.

    Walker, Sharon Biggs. “Silkie.” Guide to Chicken Breeds Popular Farming Series Volume 9: 114.

    “Why Raise Chickens In Your Backyard? The Many Reasons & Benefits.” 10 Jan. 2012. Backyard
    . Last updated 22 March 2013. <https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/why-raise-chickens-in-your-backyard-the-many-reasons-benefits>
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2014

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