Raising chickens in the backyard has become very popular in recent years. Raising chickens is easy, inexpensive and has rewards that every family can benefit from. Chickens101.com is your guide to raising chickens.
* Great project for kids. Kids love chicks, gathering eggs and it is a wonderful learning experience for them. The maturity level needed to raise chickens is easily handled by all but the youngest of children.
* Great tasting eggs that are more nutritious than store bought eggs. The eggs are always fresh and the yolks are a deep dark yellow. Eggs from backyard chickens are often better nutritionally because they have not set around for weeks or months. Notice the color difference between the pastured egg on the left and the store bought egg on the right.
Typically pastured eggs contain, as compared to a typical egg:
• 33% less cholesterol • 25% less saturated fat • 66% more vitamin A • 200% more omega-3 fatty acids • 300% more vitamin E • 700% more beta carotene
(source: Mother Earth News)
* Great tasting meat, free from chemicals and hormones. If you choose to start raising chickens for the delicious meat they provide, you will not find anything better than chickens raised in your own backyard. The taste is simply incredible and you can rest assured that you know what they have been eating and what is in the meat.
* Very inexpensive and easy to raise. Chicken require very little attention other than fresh water, food and a chicken coop. Eggs need gathered daily, which takes just a few minutes. Its also a good idea to shut the coop at night to protect the flock from predators such as foxes and raccoons. If your chickens are confined to a coop or unmovable pen, you will need to clean them out on average every week or two depending on the number of chickens you have.
* Free organic fertilizer. Chicken manure is high in nitrogen and makes an excellent fertilizer for your garden and flowers. Chicken manure breaks down fairly quickly and is ready to use in just a few months. Because of its strength, chicken manure should be allowed to break down with compost as to avoid burning plants. The average chicken will produce about 10 pounds of manure a month.
*Chickens are great substitutes for pesticides in the yard and garden. They will clear the area of ticks, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders and other bugs.