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The Benefits to Raising Your Own Backyard Chickens

Updated on July 9, 2012

The amount of people raising their own chickens is on the rise, but still many don't realize just how many benefits raising these birds can have.

Ten Reasons You Should Own Chickens:

1. Eggs!

This one is the most obvious and number one reason for raising chickens and it's a good one. The eggs you can get at the supermarket can't compare to ones fresh from the yard. Just crack one open and you will be able to see the difference in the yolk. Fresh eggs from pastured chickens contain less fat, less cholesterol, more Omega 3 and are higher in vitamins. Plus, if you had your own chickens. Those nutritionally dense eggs would be free!

2. Natural Pest Control

Got June Bugs? Japanese Beetles? Grasshoppers? Cicada? I don't. Want to know why? It's because I have chickens roaming around my yard just waiting to come upon one of these tasty bugs. They love to chase, peck and eat those pesky insects that eat your flowers and trees and tear apart your garden.

3. Fertilizer

Chickens poop. A lot. And that poop, in the world of gardening, is considered black gold. It is amazing in its ability to turn soil into nutrient dense humus. Cleaning out your coop in the fall and putting the manure and bedding directly on the garden to sit until the next planting season will result in amazing produce from your garden. It is considered hot, so don't plant directly in it unless it has been composting for awhile.

4. Education

Having a few (or more!) chickens in the back yard give children a great lesson on where their food comes from. It also imparts responsibility since the animals must be tended daily. Chickens are easy to tend to, even for small children. They will enjoy their work of collecting the eggs and throwing scratch grains to the birds. Older children can help fill up waters, feed bins and clean out the coop.

5. They make great pets!

I know what you might be thinking. Pets? I can't hold them, pet them or walk them like a dog or cat. But I beg to differ. If you spend time with your birds they will become tame. And if you don't think you can hold or pet a chicken, I have 4 boys here at my house that will prove you wrong. I am pretty sure they love their chickens just as much or more than some of our dogs and other furry, huggable animals.

6. Entertainment

Maybe your definition of entertainment is different from mine, but you can't deny that watching chickens can be pretty darn funny. They come running in a pack when you come into the yard. They will chase each other all over the yard when one gets a treat that the others want. They turn bug catching into an Olympic sport that will have you laughing out loud. They will put a smile on your face, I guarantee it!

7. Soil Improvement

Chickens naturally scratch at the soil and under brush with their claws to search out bugs and other tasty things to eat. This will aerate the soil and help to break down vegetation and speed up the process of decomposition.

8. Beauty and Personality

Chickens pecking around the yard will add more beauty and personality than any lawn ornament. There a many different breeds that are also great eggs layers. The Speckled Sussex is a beautiful bird with lots of personality, as is the Americana that lay blue or green eggs. They will strut around, talk to your neighbors and just look good in general.

9. Sustainability

These days the future can see uncertain. The more people learn to depend on themselves the better. If you are able to secure your basic needs on your own you will be able to sustain yourself and your family if the need arises. Food is a basic human need. Raising your own chickens is one step toward a sustainable future. You will have access to food- eggs and meat- from your birds and since they are natural foragers they are good at feeding themselves as well.

10. Control over your food

In these days of mass produced food there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to what you eat. You can never be sure what you are eating. By raising your own chickens you can be certain of what they eat, what they are medicated with, and how they are treated. You can be sure that your birds have a good life, with access to the outdoors and ample space to live a clean life. And in turn they will provide you with food that you are 100% certain of the quality and freshness.

What about you?

Do you raise chickens?

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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Sadie,

      I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this hub. Beautiful writing; lay-out; graphics, the entire presentation. I voted up and all the buttons. Because you deserved it.

      Let me explain my vote for supermarket eggs. Where we live, the town will not allow chickens and that is the dumbest ordinance (among others) I have ever read.

      My name is Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Ala., a rural town in northwest Alabama that reminds you of Mayberry, the town that where Andy and Barney lived. We are little, but proud.

      Anyway. I am going now to leave you some fan mail and become a follower.

      I cordially invite you to check a few of my hubs and follow me.

      Thank you in advance.



    • sadie423 profile image

      sadie423 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Galla- Predators can be a problem. We lock our birds up at night, but neighborhood dogs can be an issue. Our own dogs have been trained not to touch them and cats are scared of them. We only muck out the coop about once a year since we use the deep bedding method. Difficulty of collecting eggs will entirely depend on your design.

      Brandis- I completely agree! I forgot about that one!

      adjkp25- Thanks!

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      We have had our flock for over 7 years now and I can't agree more with the reasons you provided on why having chickens is such a great idea.

      Voted up and useful

    • profile image

      Brandis 5 years ago

      I have another benefit for you- a stronger immune system! Many studies have shown that children who grow up around livestock have stronger immune systems, have fewer allergies, and get sick less often.

      Yeah chickens!

    • profile image

      Galia 5 years ago

      I live on 3 and a half acres of land which is partially wooded. There are hawks, and dogs and cats everywhere running loose, not to mention coyotes and foxes. I would love to have chickens, but would hate to have them killed by one of these animals. Additionally, I am on disability with arthritis, bone spurs and fibromyalgia. How could I protect yard chickens from the other "varmints" (as I would love to have my chickens roam free where they could catch all those blasted Japanese Beetles!), and if put in a pen with a coop, how difficult is it to get to, to collect eggs and clean the inside of the coop?

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Thanks. I did it.

    • sadie423 profile image

      sadie423 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Mary615- I love chickens too! Sure you can link!

      Jonsswagger1978- Glad you liked it! Thanks for commenting!

    • jonsswagger1978 profile image

      jonsswagger1978 5 years ago from Birmingham Alabama

      I loved your hub!! It takes me back to my child hood.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      My Hub about backyard chickens is a related one to this one. I love chickens, they are so sweet and smart, too.

      I voted this Hub UP

      May I link this Hub into mine? Thanks

    • sadie423 profile image

      sadie423 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Liz- Thanks! It's one of my favorite pictures of him too.

      NetflixReviews- Actually, many places these days are allowing chickens, even inside the city limits. There are usually restrictions on numbers and no roosters. But acreage isn't needed to enjoy these birds!

    • profile image

      NetflixReviews 5 years ago from Somewhere in North America

      I live in an urban area where I'm thinking chickens would not be appreciated (or legal). It's an interesting thought though. I think you need a back 40 rather than a backyard in any place that has zoning.

    • profile image

      Liz Walmoth 5 years ago

      I love chickens and would have a couple if I had a backyard. Your hub was interesting and made good points. I love the pic of your son in the red shirt hugging the chicken!