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omega 3 fatty acids
mother earth news
chicken coops
fresh eggs
beta carotene
chicken coop
nesting boxes
Why Raise Chickens?
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Why Raise Chickens?

Wondering about the reasons to raise chickens in your backyard? As more families take an interest in keeping these productive pets, their reasons and the benefits have become widely known. For starters, having a backyard chicken flock gives a household a small measure of self-sufficiency. Some analysts predict food shortages in the future; the ability to produce some of what one needs instead of living only as a consumer is invaluable. In addition:

  • Eggs from hens allowed access to green grass ("free-ranging") are nutritionally superior to those from industrial egg producers, according to an in-depth study by Mother Earth News. These small-flock eggs are higher in omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene, among other nutrients, than the typical grocery store eggs.
  • Fresh eggs from one's own flock simply taste better than supermarket eggs.
  • With a low initial investment in birds and equipment, people can save money on their grocery bill by collecting their own eggs and/or raising meat birds as well.
  • Hens are fun to have as useful pets; enjoyable to watch and rewarding to raise.
  • Small flock management is a great learning experience for young children up through high schoolers.

An individual's reasons to raise chickens may vary considerably from the next person's. Some do it solely for the monetary savings (a well-managed flock can often produce eggs more cheaply than buying them retail) while others freely admit the hobby costs them more in feed and equipment than it saves, but they enjoy it so much the small cost difference doesn't bother them.

Once you decide to raise chickens, for whatever reason, you'll need to prepare an environment for them -- typically a chicken coop with a roosting bar and nesting boxes, as well as an enclosed chicken yard and food and water in appropriate containers.

There are many types of chicken coops, including large and small chicken houses, two-story houses, moveable chicken pens and more.

The great thing about portable chicken coops is that you can both contain your flock -- protecting them from predators and your patio from poultry droppings -- and allow them access to fresh lawn or pasture daily simply by moving their coop to the next area. As you move their coop after a day or so in one spot, they can eat grass and bugs and fertilize the area as they go, without overgrazing one spot. the best movable chicken pen designs include wheels and handles to ensure that virtually anyone can move the coop with ease.

There are many different chicken coop plans available online for use in backyard coop construction. Choose ones that will, first and foremost, properly fit your flock. the basic rule of thumb is to allow 3-5 square feet per bird. Thus a flock of six hens needs at least 18 square feet of living space, or a coop that is three feet by six feet.

After choosing your plans or a ready-made coop, the fun begins -- you can pick out the best egg laying chickens for you backyard flock. Enjoy the variety available as you raise chickens for your family's benefit.

Street Talk


Oh I agree, Rob! The quality of the eggs from backyard hens makes them incomparable to factory farm eggs, and there are countless other benefits as well, including healthier soil! Thanks for the comment.

  about 7 years ago

Great article Maria, there are so many good reasons to keep chickens that I think if the cost out ways the benefits it is because one is not analysing all those benefits...I love having chickens around, they save a fortune in chemical pesticides and keep the environment so much more healthy because of that...

  about 7 years ago

Do you know what time those little critters get up in the morning rob? :)

  about 7 years ago

See, that's why you need an automatic chicken coop door. ;)

  about 7 years ago
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