Topic of the Week - What is the purpose of your flock?



Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
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We all keep chickens for our reasons, whether it's eggs, exhibition, or just pets with benefits. This week, out of curiosity, I'd like to hear what your flock's main purpose is for you? I.e. why do you keep chickens?

Dual purpose (meat and eggs)?
Lawn ornaments/pets?


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I have chickens for probably a little of every reason. Some are pets, chosen to be such because of a special quality that makes them loved by all, such as the funny antics of Jace or the calm and docility around children my sweet Jazz displays.

These birds are almost always kept for their whole lives, and if they're sold for some reason, it's only to homes I know and trust to care for them well.

Then I have the egg layers, which pay the feed bill for the rest of the freeloaders. These are usually sold in two to three years. This year it's White Leghorns. I highly recommend them, by the way.

Some birds are breeding stock for my endeavours towards the Standard of Perfection. These birds will likely be kept for a good long time but I don't know as of yet whether I will keep them their whole life or not. Likely not, if I can get some better stock from their eggs.

Partridge Chantecler cockerel. This is the bird I am keeping from this set. That gold you see in his hackle is the underside; the top side of the hackle is the brilliant red seen on the rest of it.

Partridge Chantecler pullet. This one is not a good bird in terms of colour but she has decent structure in points where the above cockerel is weak, I think.

Some of my Silver Ameraucana breeding group. The cock is going to be invited to dinner as soon as I get a suitable replacement due to his bratty temperament. I have eggs from them in lockdown now.

Last, I keep them for tick patrol. The ducks in particular are great at this and definitely reduce how many issues we have with them. As an added bonus, I don't have to mow the area where the birds spend most of their time. I have also utilized a spare cockerel for meat. I have more for that purpose sitting in the coop now, and I mean to do it more often, rather than giving away all those feed guzzlers for nothing in return... still, I shirk from it enough I don't think it can as of yet be classified as a purpose that I keep my flock for.
The purpose is.... plain and simple....purpose.

It got me off the couch a year after my son's death, and has continued to sustain me with daily and long term it fulfilled a lifelong dream of keeping chickens.
Observing their behaviors and meeting their needs is fascinating and satisfying to me.

I love eggs...
...and the sale of eggs is what feeds and beds the chickens,
part of the goal as retirement does not fully support such a hobby.

I love meat....
....and keeping chickens always presents the opportunity to have some meat,
extra cockerels and older hens are delicious.
Slaughtering and butchering allow me to be semi 'sustainable',
and more importantly responsible for some of the meat I eat.

I also hatch chicks each year....
.... some for bartering for other meat raisiers(lamb,pork),
and some to keep a fresh batch of layers here to get those eggs sales that feed the chickens.

Keeping chickens can be the 'perfect circle of life' experience.
Mine is a longer story. Brother bought 40 acres with a dream. Kept telling me how HARD it was to raise free range chickens (with predators, 7 young kids, full time job with travel, etc). Well, challenge accepted. Experiment started for educational purposes. Did the research and decided it sounded easy, what was the catch?

Why do I still have them after a year? In no particular order.
Sanity. Empty nesters. @aart 's description of purpose rings true and I'm not retired yet. But as soon as that lottery hits!
Eggs. Deliciously creamy fresh eggs. Delectable, delightful, deliciousness. I'd eat store eggs, but didn't like them. But better than starving.
3. Meat. See eggs. The taste! This started me into the expensive world of grass fed meats. I understand the hype and grok. Venison was the preferred meat.
4. Poop. Yep, composted poop for plant food. The garden was the first foray. The research into chickening dovetailed, oh so nicely. The growing of greens, fed by chickens, to the chickens is giving rich yolks with beautiful texture. I'm digging it!
5. Not having to mow. Enough said.

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