5 Best Reasons to Raise Chickens
Why raise chickens?
I want some Chickens!
Seems everywhere you turn these days, somebody's got some chickens. To the average person, one begins to wonder what all the fuss and excitement is about. I mean, this obsession for an animal that scratches the ground in search of worms, poops wherever they please, and discusses their day in cackles and crows with no concern who might be listening. Beaks, combs, spurs, feathers, scaly legs and feet. Would anyone call that beauty? Well, let me tell you, no, let me WARN you, Chickens are addictive. Yes, a passion for them wins you over without you even realizing it till you are already hooked. I caution you, unless you want to risk becoming addicted as well, run, RUN NOW! Do not get near these fowl for otherwise, it will happen to you too.
Baby Chicks are such magnets to us.
Best Reason #1: Eggs
In Need of Sweet Chicks.
For me, it happened back in the spring of 2010. I'd had the hankering for a while, that gnawing on my insides, craving... craving something... hmmm.... couldn't quite put my finger on it... and then it hit me. With a blow of unimaginable force. It came on a pleasant sunshiny, spring, Sunday afternoon, and with no more to do I hopped in my car and boogied on down to my local Tractor Supply where I made my purchase of eight soft little puff balls. I have been smitten ever since.
Best Reason #1 Eggs
It's obvious. Eggs. Having a pet who makes one breakfast certainly scores highly on benefits. And I will tell you, going to the chicken house to gather the eggs and finding the oval wonders in the bed of straw never (and I mean NEVER!) gets old. It's like a daily miracle that you get to be a part of. It's like receiving a gift each day from your pet. Totally thrilling. But the best is yet to be said. Farm Fresh (and now Back Yard Fresh) eggs are proven to be much better for you than store bought eggs! Back Yard Fresh Eggs have:
- 1/3 less cholesterol,
- 1/4 less saturated fat,
- 2/3 more Vitamin A,
- 2 times more Omega-3,
- 3 times more Vitamin E,
- 7 times more Beta Carotene!
Whew! That's a bunch of better right there! And I promise, they are MUCH tastier than store bought ones as well!
Softness of downy feathers
Natalie and Pepper
Best Reason # 2 Downy Softness
It's a given that a sweet baby chick is downy soft, but that's only the beginning. What has been amazing to me is how soft a hen is even after she's grown. I have a few Cochins and when held, their cottony coat of feathers is overwhelming. When a momma hen is setting her velvety feathers just blossom beneath her to cover and protect her pre-baby eggs. The epitome of softness is portrayed as a tiny chick peeps out from within its mommy's fleecy protection. That my friends, is a tenderness that is so rare in this harsh world we live in.
Downy Soft Chickens
Learn More about Chickens
Protect your Flock
Children & Chickens
Best Reason # 3 Children Adore Them!
Last weekend my grandchildren came for a visit. Brycen, nearly six now, bounced up and down. "Can I go hold a chicken? Can I go hold a chicken? When can I go hold a chicken?" This is the same little guy that walked into the chicken house last year with his nose pinched and then refused to come back out the rest of the day. He spent the entire time holding and playing tenderly with the flock. Our other grandchildren are fascinated with these pets as well. Holding, stroking, petting, feeding, and gathering the eggs is such a enjoyable experience. That said, just as any other pet, the more one plays with them, the more tame they become. If left in a pen without interaction except to be fed and watered, they become "pets from a far" and will not enjoy companionship that is "up close & personal" with humans.
For Clean Water use these:
A Chicken's Needs are Simple.
Best Reason # 4 Inexpensive
Some days when it seems the entire world has gone crazy and I can't seem to keep up with the continuous changes I find great comfort in spending a bit of time with my chickens. Why? Because they give me a stability. If you think about it, Chickens are doing the same things they did when I was a kid, when my grandparents were young and their grandparents before them, right on back to Biblical times. Chickens still scratch, peck, cackle and crow. Their needs are simple and keeping them is usually rather inexpensive. Provide feed, water and a safe, protective shelter and they are happy. Surf the internet and you will find all kinds of containers and coops to keep chickens in. Want to keep the expense down even more, put them in a chicken tractor, (a mobile coop that can be moved around in the yard) and the chickens will enjoy a diet of fresh grass and bugs (AKA "Free Food").
Chickens don't ask for much. They demand even less. We've housed my little flock in a century old chicken house. Admittedly, we are currently building a new chicken house but that is mostly because as with anything else we enjoy, we seem to find ways to enjoy them better. Some folks spend thousands of dollars on their hobbies and pets. Chickens do not require such as that. They are happy and content as long as they have food, water and a nice dry, safe place to roost and lay their eggs.
My Cochin Roosters
Best Reason # 5 Personality
I think of all the things that I didn't expect when starting my little flock, their personalities were the biggest surprise of all. Chickens by nature are social little critters. They are also rather inquisitive. These two traits create quite a set of characters in the hen house. My first batch of puff balls from Tractor Supply were what they call "straight run". That means no idea if they are male or female. As it turned out, I was blessed with more roosters than I really bargained for. However, these (as well as the hens) found themselves entangled in my heart way before any crowing or egg laying began. Three of the cochin chicks began to crow, so, I named them Razor, Tweezer and Snips. Tweezer was such a rouge. With one drop of gray on his white chest, it was easy to scope him out from the other two cochin males. Since three of the cochin chicks were hens, I named them the Dixie Chicks and when one kept getting out of the pen when Tweezer did I deemed her Natalie. And so, it became obvious Tweezer and Natalie became an item (see YouTube video below). When Natalie began setting in some tall monkey grass we laughed about how Tweezer had "knocked her up". We waited with great anticipation for the arrival of the love birds' offspring and cried when a varmint found the nest of eggs a tasty dinner (Thus learning more about protective measures against such varmints). Sadly Tweezer and Snips both met their demise from varmints but Razor is still "ruling the roost" with his little man syndrome in high gear constantly.
Currently I have 23 chickens and three baby chicks. There are tales of each and every one of them. Each is an individual with specific personality traits. Emily is calm yet Cinnamon is not. Oreo and Blizz are twins yet one likes to lay her eggs in the nest, but the other prefers the corner on the ground. Hitchcock has a crow that actually sounds more like a growl and with his size, his name is very fitting as the scariest one of the flock. Chick Sparrow, my banty rooster sends me into a fit of giggles each time he crows for he's such a tiny thing, with dark eyeliner around his eyes which compliments his colorful feathers. Razor tends to wheeze when he gets upset. Biscuit began crowing and I cringed at having another rooster, but then Biscuit began to pop out with banty eggs. Yes, *sigh*, I have a crowing banty hen. Snowflake, my leghorn hen is one of my best layers, producing a nice snowball white egg each day. Hitchcock loved her so much that he wore the feathers off her back. I removed Snowflake from Hitchcock's pen and she refused to be anywhere else, escaping daily to priss right in front of Hitchcock and making him go crazy with desire. Upon this event, Snowflake's name was changed to Snow-Hoe.
Yes, I could go on and on about the personalities of these fowl because they are indeed full of the personality traits we as humans have as well. From motherly instinct to a fella's strutting and crowing, we as humans have much in common with chickens. I think that is one of the most fascinating discoveries of owning Chickens.
Tweezer & Natalie, a Love Story
Pamper your Chickens
Your Hens will love this.
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