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Benefits of Owning Backyard Chickens

Updated on February 11, 2010

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Chickens can be fun pets and can become like family. They are funny creatures to watch and provide hours of entertainment.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?

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    • MtShastaWriter profile image

      MtShastaWriter 

      7 years ago from Mt. Shasta Valley, CA

      We have about ten hens and a rooster. They make the best pets.

    • profile image

      pylos26 

      8 years ago

      Jennifer...I had real fun reading your chicken story...I love chickens too.

    • rajeshiit2k5 profile image

      rajeshiit2k5 

      8 years ago from kharagpur

      I dont have chickens but I like d tastes and hey your hub is interesting.

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Interesting hub. I guess I wouldnt mind chickens but I live in an apartment so wont work for me but enjoyed your hub.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      8 years ago from California Gold Country

      We have enjoyed having chickens for the past four years. We didn't enjoy the noisy rooster. I think if our dog got inside the fence, she might chase for fun, but she doesn't really pay much attention to them. That might also because the rooster would try to attack her through the fence.

      You are right about them being funny and entertaining -- and they absolutely love tomato hornworms.

    • Jennifer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer 

      8 years ago

      I appreciate all the comments! Chickens need to be well protected from pets and wild animals. I have read that most dogs consider chickens lunch, so be careful if you mix them together. As for how many eggs, most hens at the peak of laying will lay one egg a day.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 

      8 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Great Hub! I tried this about a year ago & had an experience go wrong. My wife & I bought a rooster and a hen at a local flea market. When we got home, I went to place them in the pen I had for them & my wife had let our Jack Russell out of the house. Needless to say our dog spooked them. The rooster flew in the woods behind the house and the hen headed another direction in the trees toward a neighbors house down the road. My neighbor down the road supposedly has a dog rescue shelter & my hen became a meal for the dogs. However, my rooster visited us every evening by the back deck when we sit out there for several months & would eat the food I put out for him & we could hear him crow every morning for about 2 months until one day the crowing stopped. Needless to say I decided the chicken thing wasn't going to work out for us.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Sounds interesting. I actually know someone who keeps a couple of chickens in cages in their house. Not sure what my cats would think about that though.

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

      GojiJuiceGoodness 

      8 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

      Do you know what kind of chickens those are in the picture??

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      Love the hub, Jennifer, and some of the comments are interesting and add a nice touch ...good job once again!

    • theirishobserver. profile image

      theirishobserver. 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      great hub, I have my own chickens so appreciate the insight, eggs every day, more chickens coming saturday, well done....

    • babyching profile image

      babyching 

      8 years ago from Beijing, China

      Thank you for the great information Jennifer. I want to own at least one chicken someday. I have some questions:

      1. How many eggs does one chicken usually provide per day?

      2. How does owning a chicken jibe with most city laws?

      3. Do chickens and pets get along, such as dogs and cats?

    • profile image

      jeffmail55 

      8 years ago

      I would that I have such backyard, but let me know what costs are involved to make it success?

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      8 years ago

      I suppose I would be asked to move if I brought chickens onto the property.

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 

      8 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I am contemplating chickens this year...just not quite sure what my German Shepherd is going to think of them though. Lunch perhaps?

    • Part-time Writer profile image

      Part-time Writer 

      8 years ago from Way Up North (USA)

      Backyard chickens are big in Portland, OR where my daughter lives. I grew up on a farm and we had chickens for eggs and meat. I would love to have some now. We have a big enough yard and there aren't any ordinances against them, but I don't want to be tied down. They aren't like pets that you can take with, so when you're gone someone has to help watch them. We also live where it gets below 0 in the winter and heating a coupe might get kind of expensive. I think for now I'll just stick to buying our eggs and meat. Maybe in the future I will consider it. The idea is still enticing.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 

      8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Yes, people in NYC are actually doing this. It is not noticeable right now because it is winter. We are making every effort to eat healthy. The supermarket eggs - even the organic ones cannot compare to fresh eggs.

      Great hub! Thank you!

    • Ten Blogger profile image

      Ten Blogger 

      8 years ago

      Good one.. well, it also helps in case there are recalls of food.. You always have a trusted source of food. :)

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I would dearly love to but I don't think my neighbour would appreciate it. Thank you for your lovely hub.

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 

      8 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      i would love to own a few, but my dog would be eager to eat them!

    • Specialk3749 profile image

      Karen Metz 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      This is going to be our first summer without chickens and I am really going to miss the eggs! I will not miss the mess they make. They kept flying the coop and getting on my front porch for everyone to step in the droppings. They are very good on eating bugs, etc..but when the bugs are gone they start in on the plants! lol We are doing meat chickens this summer.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I heard of people in the city doing this. Something to consider.

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