Many people have been hearing about the growing trend in keeping chickens at home and have wondered to themselves, “Can I have chickens in my backyard too?”. It is not a secret that the economy has driven so many of us to make the best out of our resources. One of the simple yet quite practical ways to cut back from certain expenses, and possibly even make a profit, is by keeping chickens at home in your own backyard.
Even plenty of people living in highly urbanized and suburban locales will find this very applicable. But you will need to check your local laws first. However, for those of you who don’t have restrictions and tough regulations regarding backyard chicken keeping, then why don’t you just enjoy raising chickens? And you can make something out of your resourcefulness.
With the high costs of food nowadays and the concerns about just what is in our food, having backyard chickens can solve both those problems. And so, for some of us, keeping chickens at home may be the most ideal way to know that the food we eat is safe and healthy. That backyard or even that small space of yours could definitely go a long way.
Why backyard chicken keeping?
For starters, chickens are fairly easy to care for. What is great about keeping chickens at home is that basically, you would only need to feed them and fill their water container. Plus, do an occasional cleaning of their bedding and chicken coop. If you are worried about lack of space, you should be informed that backyard chickens will just roam happily in that little backyard of yours during the day. Or, they can even remain entirely in their coop and pen, if you prefer.
Raising chickens just does not require much space. It’s generally recommended that chickens have about 3 – 4 sq. ft. per bird in the coop for at nighttime and extreme weather. And then either free rangeor have an enclosed pen (chicken run) that allows 8 – 10 sq. ft. during the day. So, you can see that’s not a whole lot of space needed if you just keep a couple of hens. I’ve even heard of some people doing a small rooftop coop when there is no yard in the city. And coops and pens come in a variety of different sizes, from very large for raising many chickens, all the way down to very small for just one or two. Or, you can even build your own chicken coop with custom making it to fit whatever space you have.
Keeping chickens at home is not too costly either, compared with other animals. There are the initial start-up costs of buying or building a chicken coop, gathering initial supplies, and purchasing your chickens. But otherwise, the recurring costs of backyard chickens is not too much. You will have reasonable monthly feed costs, which can be reduced if you free range your chickens. Letting them out to eat bugs and plants will supplement the amount of feed they eat. And then you will need a supply of material, such as wood shavings, to replace dirty bedding. You may end up paying for the occasional vet visit. But if you care for your backyard chickens well and stay on top of cleaning their coop, these costs should be few and far between.
What could backyard chickens actually provide for me?
It is a fact that a healthy hen can provide you with up to 300+ eggs annually, depending on the breed. By raising chickens, you would have the benefit of having those fresh and healthy hen eggs straight from their nest into your kitchen. You can be assured that you are growing natural and organic chickens since you have control over their diet. As well as the chickens eating insects and other green plants around your backyard, giving them a nice variety of nutrients.
Indeed, this is a proven fact that chickens that are personally raised by an individual lay more nutritious and tastier eggs compared with those commercial eggs that are sold in the stores. The yolk’s color is more orange which has proven to be higher in Vitamin E, beta carotene and other nutrients. And if you are raising chickens for meat, you will be confident that the meat is the healthiest around. For those of you who would prefer fresh, organic food, then backyard chicken keeping could be your turf.
Chickens aren’t like any other poultry animals. Aside from the nutritious food they provide, chickens are also good helpers in your backyard. As you may have noticed, they are fond of eating unwanted insects as well as weeds. By keeping chickens at home, they could act as your pest controllers through which pests would be quickly controlled by your backyard chickens.
Chicken manure also makes an excellent fertilizer for your garden. Thus, if you would want, you can make a certain area of your yard healthier in terms of compost. Therefore, while you are raising chickens, all you will have to do is to confine them in such area during the day. And then after a certain time, the result will be a healthier soil for you to start working on to grow your garden. You can then move your chickens to another area of your yard and have them enrich your next soil patch.
Can I profit from keeping chickens at home?
The simple answer is yes – if you’re willing to put in a bit more work. Backyard chickens don’t only just provide you with those nutritious and tastier eggs. Or give a good experience for your children to learn from. But they could actually provide a very good extra income for you and your family. Certainly, people would rather choose to buy eggs that are home-raised rather than those commercial cage-confined chickens fed with chemicals. Moreover, people are willing to pay more for organic home-raised fresh eggs. They know the eggs are healthier and safer, so many people are willing to pay a premium.
Aside from selling eggs, if you raise meat chickens, you could also make a business out of selling healthy organic chicken meat. And remember, hen eggs aren’t just for eating. There’s a big market out there for specialty breeds. If you have the right breed and a rooster or two, you could make a profit selling fertilized eggs for hatching. Or you could hatch the eggs yourself using an incubator and sell the young chicks.
Finding customers wouldn’t be too difficult. Start with your friends and neighbors. And then you can expand from there. This could certainly be able to help you with paying some bills for your home. Or at the very least, the chickens can cover their own costs. So, you can get the enjoyment from raising chickens and not have any outstanding costs.
Say yes to keeping chickens at home
So, if you are one of the many people who’ve been wondering, “Can I have chickens in my backyard?”, then what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to check out your local chicken laws and get yourself started on the great and enjoyable hobby of backyard chicken keeping. Raising happy healthy backyard chickens will provide you and your family with many benefits.
Low maintenance, great helpers, and possible income providers are just a few of the reasons why you should opt for keeping chickens at home. According to studies, backyard chickens could also provide you with a good amount of satisfaction and happiness. Within a short time, you will be proud of yourself and your accomplishments of raising chickens with such little effort. So, supply your family and friends with organically raised chickens and eggs and you will be able to help provide them with a longer and healthier life.
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