Monday, March 25, 2013

5 Reasons to Own Chickens

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!
Today I would like to share with you  reasons you should own chickens.

1. They are probably the most productive pets you could own.

Chickens can regularly supply you with eggs. In fact the record for the most amount of eggs goes to an Australorp who, in the 1920's, layed 364 eggs in 365 days *.  And (If you live in a place where this is possible) you can sell your eggs!
*The standard number of eggs from an Australorp per year are 250
If you choose to own meat chickens, they'll also provide you with food as well.

And, another way chickens are productive is that they can help you recycle. Your chickens can eat pretty much all your food scraps. (Notice I said "pretty much all" so if your questioning a certain kind of food, look it up.) And once they've eaten the scraps they provide you with nitrogen-rich fertilizer, AKA chicken crap. And you can compost it with leaves.

And, finally, chickens are great at pest and weed control. They will munch on those bugs that are trying to eat your garden plants. And they will eat most weeds so give your arms a rest from weed pulling.
2. They truly can be great pets.
My favorite chicken is a Buff Silkie Bantam and she is the sweetest thing. She is gentle and docile. I can call her name and she'll come over to me. Usually she'll even let everyone pet her. We've had a little 2 year old girl come visit and she loves to pet Cleo (she calls her Clelo and Boodiful Gicken).
3. There is a huge variety of chicken breeds out there!

You can call up a hatchery (and maybe your local feed store if they take chick orders) and order whatever breed you want.
You can choose from "normal" chickens like:

   Rhode Island Red



Or you could go for a more "exotic" looking chicken such as:

           Silkie Bantam  

Sebright Bantam


 (All chicken photos, except for Cleo's, courtesy of My Pet Chicken)

 4. Most adult chickens are hardy.

Unless you have chosed a delicate breed, chickens can usually go for a few weeks just drinking water and scrounging around the yard for bugs and edible plants.

And, most chickens (again, unless you've chosen a delicate breed) can handle climate changes quite well. Our chickens have been through 120°F in the summer to -6°F in the winter. We just make sure they are in their coop with plenty of food and water.

5. You know exactly what's going on.

When you purchase chicken from the store you have no idea what that chicken went through. Most chickens live out their lives in a tiny little cage. Their only purpose is to lay eggs so that big name companies can sell them.

If that isn't enough reason to make the switch from buying store bought eggs to owning chickens, maybe this'll do it for you.

When you take care of your own chickens, you make the choice to eat healthier.

Your chickens are eating either natural chicken feed or they are eating plants and bugs. That turns the color of the egg yolk turns a bright orange, which means your chickens have a healthy diet. Most eggs you buy from the store have very pale yellow yolks.

In fact, Mother Earth News conducted a study in 2007 and came to this conclusion.

"Most of the eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on pasture. That’s the conclusion we have reached following completion of the 2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project. Our testing has found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:

• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

Wowza! What a difference.

It shouldn't really be that surprising that when you take care of your chickens, (let them run around, and eat natural food) then they'll produce better eggs.

So, now that I've given you 5 reasons to own chickens, hopefully you'll consider it. And, if you already own chickens and have another reason please comment and share it!

Thank ya'll for stopping by, and now........ I've got chicken eggs to hunt for.

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