Why Keep Chickens?
In case you're not sold yet on chickens, here are some really good reasons to call them your own:
Great-Tasting, Nutritious Eggs
We all love our dogs, cats and fish, but do they actually produce something edible? Or pay their own way? Chickens do, and once you've dined on their eggs you'll never reach for a dozen in the supermarket again. They're so much more flavourful, in no small part because you'll eat them when they're only minutes or hours old, not weeks or months. You'll even see the difference in the yolks, they are a healthy orange - not some of the pale yellow you're used to.
Research shows that chickens allowed to roam freely and eat grass lay eggs that are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E and at the same time lower in cholesterol than store-bought, too. (Think of your hair and skin...)
Each chicken has their own co
mpletely unique quirky, kooky and endearing personality. They're stunningly beautiful too, parading around in a variety of colours, patterns, shapes and sizes. You'll name them, spoil them with treats, and pick them up and hug them any chance you get.
Do you find it disconcerting how far removed we all are from the animals and plants we need to survive? How our fast-paced lives and ever-increasing demands are trashing the planet that sustains us? Believe it or not, keeping a few chickens in your backyard equates to taking a stand against all this. How? Read on..
Bug Removal & Fertilize
Never buy fertilizer – buy chook food and watch them go. Chickens LOVE to range freely, and allowing them to do so kills the proverbial two birds with one stone: they'll eat any garden pest they can get their beaks on and they'll turn it all into treasure in the form of fertilizer. Say goodbye to toxic, costly pest control solutions and wasteful bags and bottles of store-bought fertilizer. Plus they mow as well - chickens love to eat grass and reduce the amount that you need to mow.
Chickens can eat almost anything people can, and they adore "people food" -- so you can throw those unwanted leftovers into the chicken run. No more feeling guilty about letting them rot in the fridge or throwing them out! Watch out for the mouldy food and very salty food and either of these can make your chooks sick or can kill them.
Great Compost Pile
Composting is a wonderful way to reduce your ecological footprint, and a nitrogen-rich compost pile is a healthy compost pile. What better to provide the nitrogen than chicken poo? Eggshells are a great addition, too, especially in areas where there's lots of clay in the soil. At the end of the composting process you'll have "black gold" soil, so called because it's so rich and fertile.
Weeds and Mulch Removal
Leaves, weeds and grass clippings are a treat for chooks. They'll happily dig through whatever you give them, eat what they can, and pulverize the rest. Give a small flock a heap of yard and garden debris and a week later it'll be gone without a trace. Need to spread some mulch – put it in their yard and watch them go.
Chickens don't need to be walked, brushed, or fed twice a day. Essentially all you have to do is gather eggs daily, fill their food and water containers a couple of times a week and change their bedding once a month!
Life Cycle Education
Chickens are a great pet and a great way for your children to learn about the cycle of life.