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Benefits of Owning Backyard Chickens
We have talked recently about whether raising backyard chickens was right for you. Now let's talk about the benefits of raising backyard chickens. From what I have read and from talking to people I know who have chickens, chickens are fairly easy to own. Of all the barnyard animals out there, chickens can be kept just about anywhere. In fact you don't even need a yard. In China many families keep a chicken in their homes with them. Now that we know it is fairly easy, let's talk about the benefits.
- Bug control. We all know what it is like to try to enjoy the outdoors in the summer. There are bugs, especially at dusk, which is when my family wants to be outside the most. Chickens love bugs and do a great job of keeping insect populations down.
- Fertilizer for your garden. We are big gardeners and this is a huge plus for us. You can compost chicken droppings for your flower and vegetable gardens and it is an excellent free source of nutrients for your soil.
- Chickens will till up your garden beds - or any other area you want tilled. Moveable chicken tractors are wonderful inventions and if you park it over an area for long enough they will till up the ground very nicely. If you don't want everything removed, move the tractor more often. This scratching and pecking is good for the soil.
- Backyard chickens that are allowed to free range (even in a tractor) produce wonderfully tasty and highly nutritious eggs. And you don't even have to go to the store to buy them.
- Chickens can be fun pets and can become like family. They are funny creatures to watch and provide hours of entertainment.
- Chickens also teach children about responsibility, the life cycle (including death) and where food comes from. Chickens are the perfect pet for children to take care of.
- Chickens are good for the environment. Anytime you can raise your own food and eat a more local diet it is better for the environment than the alternative.
If you are considering backyard chickens there are a lot of pros out there. I contemplated writing an article on the cons of backyard chickens, but other than having to deal with the droppings (it is messy), going outside in the dead of winter and the daily commitment I couldn't think of much. The pros definitely outweigh the cons for us. How about you?