Top 5 Reasons to keep Backyard Chickens
You may not realise it, but Backyard Chicken keeping is a great way to meet new people. Raising non-commercial poultry is a growing trend. There are plenty of forums and meet-ups with other backyard poultry keepers where you can learn more and develop a new social network. Here are our Top 5 Reasons to keep Backyard Chickens, which may tempt you to take the leap you've been holding back on.
1. Find your inner calm.
New Zealand has some of the world's most beautiful country. With so many of us living in semi-rural or rural areas, Backyard Chickens are very popular in New Zealand. In a world where life seems to go by at such a fast pace, backyard chicken keeping gives you the opportunity to slow down. Sit outside, read a book, feed the flock, and find yourself coming back to nature. It is the perfect way to de-stress and unwind.
2. Chickens are very economical to keep and maintain.
Almost every person has room for a chicken coop. And even the coop doesn't have to be expensive. You can certainly purchase a top of the range chicken coop for up to $2000, but it can be just as much fun to take the time, find recycled materials and give yourself a project of building your own. Even the kids will love to spend time with Dad or Mum constructing the home for their new chickens.
A chicken coop should allow a minimum of at least 1 square metre per bird. And while you may have the room to make your coop larger, it may not be the best idea. Adequate, comfortable housing enables chickens to produce their own heat helping them stay warm in colder weather. And let's face it, New Zealand certainly has cooler weather in the cold months.
Chicken feed is inexpensive if you choose the right kinds of food. Depending on the type of Chicken feeder you use, chickens will be able to rake the feed on the ground, which then is wasted. It may also get wet in the rain. The Dine A Chook Chicken Feeder is engineered to keep for from being raked onto the ground. This helps stop wastage and also deters rats and vermin. Our Chicken and Poultry feeder units also have rain covers and gutter systems to prevent rain as well as moisture build-up.
Chickens are ideal for individuals, couples and also families. Just look at any carnival petting zoo to see the attraction children have to chickens. It is instant and magnetic. Put away the Nintendo and X Box and enjoy watching the children go egg hunting.
3. Stop paying for eggs
Chickens show their love and appreciation by laying eggs. A good stream of eggs can provide you with nutrient-dense food. And let's not forget home baking. What's more, they are fresh. No more buying 2 - 6-week old eggs at the grocery store. You might even be able to start a side business by selling the eggs your family can’t eat.
If organic eggs are essential to you, then save even more money by producing organic eggs at home. To produce homegrown organic eggs solely comes down to what you feed the chicken. When organic material goes in, organic eggs come out. Also, if you’re selling your eggs, you earn more money from organic ones compared to conventional eggs.
4. Support Sustainable Farming Practices and your garden
In a world where Farming practices are becoming Unsustainable, Backyard Chicken Keeping is Smart, Sensible and Eco-Friendly.
If you love gardening, adding chickens to your property is a huge advantage. Chickens act like winged landscapers. A mobile chicken coop can be moved around the yard, encouraging the birds to graze in different areas. If you rotate a portable coop frequently enough, you might be able to cut down on tedious lawn-mowing time.
As chickens peck at the grass, they also remove insects and aerate your lawn. One of the best parts of raising chickens is that you’ll have plenty of natural fertiliser. To maximize your self-sustaining lifestyle, you can use the fertiliser to create an abundant vegetable garden.
5. Backyard Eggs Are More Nutritious
The nutrient content of the eggs from many commercial facilities is less to that of pasture-raised chickens. Mother Earth News conducted a study to test the nutrients. Their study compared the nutritional value in commercial-quality eggs to eggs from grazing hens. The researchers found that pastured eggs had less cholesterol as well as less saturated fat. They also contained more vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E as well as beta-carotene than commercial eggs.
Backyard fresh eggs from a nest box have a different texture than supermarket eggs. The yolks stand up, and the whites hold together better. Older eggs have runnier whites and also flatter yolks.
When you have your own chickens, you’ll get more nutrition from every egg.
Bonus Reason - Chickens Make Great Pets
Have you ever sat and watched a chicken for a while? The animals are bound to bring a smile to your face. They’re feisty and funny, and they make great companions.
Many people are surprised to hear that chickens can communicate with you and one another. Call them to roost at night, and they’ll respond to the sound of your voice. They can be trained to follow simple commands.
Many families describe their chickens as beloved pets. The kids carry the birds around as though they’re kittens. The animals are more than willing to share your yard with you, and they’re usually quite calm even when kids are running around outdoors.
Whether you want to connect with nature, teach your children responsibility and compassion, save money on groceries or just build a better backyard, you should consider raising backyard poultry. Make sure that you have space as well as time to care for them, and you’ll soon find that the birds will help you open your heart.
These were our Reasons to keep Backyard Chickens. We are sure you may have other reasons for becoming a Backyard Chicken Keeper. If so we would love to hear about them. Also, if you have a story about how Chickens have made a difference in your life, send us an email. If the story is positive and fun, we might ask your permission to share it on our Facebook page.
Thanks for Reading.
Ryan at Dine A Chook