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

sumi

Égalité
Staff member
Premium member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,107
23,951
1,252
Tipperary, Ireland
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?

Egg laying?
Exhibition?
Dual purpose (meat and eggs)?
Lawn ornaments/pets?
Other?

For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archive
 

BantyChooks

Pullarius
Project manager
Premium member
Aug 1, 2015
56,327
166,159
1,707
My Coop
My Coop
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.
Jace2016.jpg
P1270380.JPG

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.
Leghorns2017.JPG


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.
P1280429.JPG


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.
P1310453.JPG


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.
bside.JPG
cfront.JPG


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.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
71,249
72,432
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
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 purpose...plus 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.
 

RUNuts

Hatching Malted Milk Balls
Premium member
May 19, 2017
3,822
22,469
787
Eastern Houston
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.
1.
Sanity. Empty nesters. @aart 's description of purpose rings true and I'm not retired yet. But as soon as that lottery hits!
2.
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.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom