We, like other families, were on the fence for a while about whether or not we would actually make the jump to owning chickens. You hear that it’s not all that hard to keep them, but sometimes the amount of information available on chicken keeping can be rather overwhelming to read! So we hemmed and hawed about how we would make it work- how would we build the coop? Where would we keep it? Which breed should we get? Which methods of chicken care would work for us?
When we finally bought our first small flock of chickens last September, I was of course excited to bring them home. However, I did not expect how much I would come to enjoy having them. Our little hobby has turned into a surprising passion of ours!
Here’s thirty reasons that I came up with to start- I’m quite certain there are more though. 😉
- They’re easy to care for.
- You can make their home fairly self-managing for several days at a time.
- They’re fairly cheap. (Cheaper than your average dog or cat, and they at least give you something back!)
- They lay eggs.
- You can cook their eggs and eat them.
- Free range farm eggs are MUCH better for you than supermarket eggs.
- You can control what goes into your own chickens’ diet. (But you can’t with grocery poultry and eggs!)
- They’re fun to watch.
- They fertilize your soil.
- They aerate your soil.
- They eat ticks.
- They eat bugs.
- Did I mention they keep down the bug population?
- They eat your kitchen scraps.
- They help move your compost pile along.
- They’re charming. Am I right?
- Cock-a-doodle-doo is a pleasing sound. So long as you don’t have too many roosters.
- They eat weeds.
- They make your kids laugh.
- They provide a good learning experience for your kids.
- They are a beautifully common example of the cycle of life we see everywhere.
- You can eat them.
- You can preserve chicken meat via your freezer or pressure canner, so you can store your homegrown poultry easily.
- Free-range meat is much healthier for you than store-bought meat. And you won’t be paying an exorbitant price for it.
- They reproduce. Renewable food source, anyone?
- Chicks are cute and fluffy.
- They are an easy way to provide some self-sufficiency to your home.
- When you’re a chicken owner, you’re in the minority of the American population. So you can feel some elitism in being part of the chicken club. Until you rake out their poop, then you don’t feel so elite. Oh, wait, onto the reasons you WANT chickens…
- On the other hand, they’re one of the oldest and most widespread backyard animals throughout the world. So you can feel like you’re part of a larger heritage that has gone before you, scooping poop along with you in spirit.
- They help you learn some traditional skills. Like caring for animals, hatching and raising chicks, and butchering and preserving your own food.
All joking aside, these birds have been wonderful to have. if you’re a chicken owner, why do you love your chickens? What reasons would you give someone to make the jump to owning a flock of their own?