4 Reasons You Will Love Owning Backyard Chickens
Our Family Loves Owning Chickens!
Ok, so this one is not for everyone, but we love our chickens! There was a time, however, where I was totally against this idea. My husband had thrown out the idea a few times but I always shot him down. They are farm animals. They are messy. They can smell. They are a lot of work! I was home more often so I would be the one stuck taking care of them. Yeah, ok, so you get eggs, but you can just buy eggs at the store. Why on earth would we get chickens? My thoughts exactly! Let me give you a better understanding to how these ladies enrich our lives.
#1. They Make Great Pets
Chickens make great pets! Surprisingly enough they have BIG personalities. Some can be extremely outgoing and, as a flock, they will run to greet us as we enter the backyard. For some reason, there is also something so satisfying about just watching them free-range with their quirky interactions and intense foraging. When it comes to sustainability, there is none better than a flock of chickens. They find their own food, entertain themselves, prompt their own exercise and even put themselves away when the sun sets. Best of all, they live outside! Yes, they need food available to them, and clean water, of course, and some small clean up. That would be the hardest part. Oh, and you have to collect their eggs (trust me, you want those!).
#2. They Help Teach Children Responsibility
They give us more of an opportunity to teach our son responsibility. As low maintenance as they are, they are still dependent on us. They provide my son with a job which, in turn, gives him a sense of importance. Caring for his chickens has become a chore that he truly enjoys doing. He carries his basket out to the coop and yells “I want to get the eggs”. He helps let them out in the morning and to lock them up at night. Sometimes he even does it all by himself. It fulfills his feelings as a caregiver. He is only four and he is growing up with a better understanding of compassion, empathy and commitment.
#3. They Give You Fresh Eggs
Now, think about that big Sunday breakfast, except add some delicious fresh eggs that you just collected! What is better than a pet that brings entertainment, helps teach your kids responsibility, lives solely outside and also puts fresh, HEALTHY, food on the table? You get fresh eggs everyday! Not only are these eggs fresh (unlike the 8 week old eggs you buy at the supermarket) but you know exactly what you’re eating. You feed them and you choose if they truly “free-range”. It’s amazing the difference when you crack an egg from the store into one bowl and crack an egg from your free-ranging chickens into another bowl, and then compare the two. The yolk is a rich, yellowish-orange color with thick whites. They are filled with a ton of additional nutrients from the sunlight they get and the natural food they find.
#4. You Can Give Your Chickens Better Lives
When my husband and I were first dabbling into this endeavor I educated myself on store bought eggs. I was dumbfounded with what I learned. You know when you look at an egg carton and read “FREE-RANGE” you envision chickens widely dispersed in a beautiful green field, with the sun beaming down on them? This is not quite what they mean. Actually, it’s extremely far from it. I won’t go into the disturbing details so let’s just leave it at this; they may never see sunlight or a shred of grass and their living conditions are awful. By owning our own small flock of chickens we have the option to give them a much better life in which they repay us with much better food.
Their personalities are diverse, we appreciate them as pets and, my husband’s favorite part, we get their bountiful eggs. The last day my husband proposed the idea of getting chickens I opened my mind to it. In fact, I totally ran with it. I got online, I did my homework, researched every aspect I could. We ordered some day old chicks that arrived to us through the mail. It was an unforgettable experience watching them grow into what they’ve become today.
For us, owning chickens has been great. Don’t let me glamorize it too much though. They do need care, things can go wrong and there is always a potential for the inevitable loss, as with all life. But as a family, and with our chickens, we have learned together, grown together and best of all, we ate amazing breakfasts together