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Top 10 reasons why every home needs at least one chicken

Updated on October 6, 2014

A great deal has been written about the advantages of raising your own poultry to provide free-range organic eggs, without the high prices associated with buying from retail outlets. But there are a lot of other reasons why every home needs at least one chicken.

Here's ten of them ...


The mother grew bored and abandoned the last few eggs, so we placed them beneath a lamp.
The mother grew bored and abandoned the last few eggs, so we placed them beneath a lamp. | Source

1. Top of the list, chickens are very cute.

We all need to get in touch with our softer side. Watching a baby chick hatch will melt even the hardest heart.

If you don't keep a rooster (and therefore don't have fertile eggs), you can start with a day-old chick from a rural supply store, pet store or nearby egg supplier. :)


Just 30 minutes out of the shell. Dry and active!
Just 30 minutes out of the shell. Dry and active! | Source

2. Chickens will grow up to be your slave

Who can resist a little ball of fluff that promises to deliver you breakfast every morning if you'll just look after it while it grows?

They are so easy to keep in a box indoors when they are little. It is a great way to get them to trust you, so they'll be less wary when they are older and you start collecting their eggs.


Breakfast.
Breakfast. | Source

3. Chickens can improve your sex life.

If you raise at least two chickens, you'll be able to feed breakfast to a friend as well. No need to think about what's in the fridge before inviting a friend to sleep over. Race out to your hen house and collect a couple of lovely fresh eggs.

Grow fresh herbs in your garden so your hens have access to fresh greens year round.

All these eggs hatched, with no help from me.
All these eggs hatched, with no help from me. | Source
Source

4. Chickens are low maintenance.

Chickens at all ages need access to a constant supply of water and they appreciate protection from foxes, cats and other predators particularly at night.

As long as you let them roam your garden during daylight hours and resist the urge to obsessively mow your lawn and weed your garden, they should be able to busy themselves and find enough to snack on while you are at work.


Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, 3rd Edition
Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, 3rd Edition

lol, I've raised chickens for so long I don't need a book, but if I was going to buy one it would be this. It even promises a chapter on training chickens and understanding their intelligence. :)

 
We grow lots of our own fruit and vegetables, but perhaps you could ask your local supermarket if they have fresh scraps you could feed to your hens.
We grow lots of our own fruit and vegetables, but perhaps you could ask your local supermarket if they have fresh scraps you could feed to your hens. | Source

5. Chickens clean up after you.

Early in life chicks appreciate a few handfuls of 'starter mash' that is easily bought from your local pet store, grain store, hardware store or in some regions even in the supermarket. As they get older, toss them your scraps from the kitchen and they'll devour everything you offer them.

I've never tried house training a chicken, but I have heard of people who let their special friend take quick trips into the kitchen every time there's been a spill. I prefer to just fling the goodies into the yard. My hens are my friends, but they're not quite that special.


Friend or feast?

What is the likely outcome if you were to leave a chicken in the backyard with your dog?

See results

6. Chickens can babysit your dog.

Train your dog to be trusted around your chickens and the relationship is mutually beneficial. The chickens keep your dog company in an otherwise boring backyard … and the dog protects the chickens from cats, foxes and other predators.

My yard is so big they rarely cross paths, but in previous homes I've had dogs and chickens in close contact.


There are many breeds of chickens to choose from. I also enjoy the beauty of roosters ... including this one.
There are many breeds of chickens to choose from. I also enjoy the beauty of roosters ... including this one. | Source

7. Chickens are the new accessory.

Gone are the days when baby chickens, hens and roosters were mass produced to all look the same. Today you can buy chickens to suit your home, your lifestyle and even your hair style.

From the demure and highly coiffed Silky that dare not scratch in bare earth and seldom leaves the ground, to the rugged outdoorsy up in the trees and don't wait up for me because I might be home late personality of the Indonesian Jungle Fowl, there is a chatty chicken (or an arrogant rooster) somewhere in the world just as individual as you are.


There's no need to restrict yourself to one breed. These two hens are the best of friends.
There's no need to restrict yourself to one breed. These two hens are the best of friends. | Source

8. Chickens adapt to your lifestyle.

If you open the kitchen door early in the morning to feed them, they'll be there. If you open the kitchen door at midday to feed them, they'll come running.

If you wait until after dark to toss them a plateful of leftovers, they'll probably wait until morning to eat – but they'll be more than happy that you made the effort, whatever time it was.


Some hens just don't know when to let their children leave the nest. lol.
Some hens just don't know when to let their children leave the nest. lol. | Source

9. You can take a chicken for a walk.

Walk the length of your yard with the bucket you generally carry to deliver scraps and you'll see how quickly a chicken can learn to heel.

The biggest laughs come when a mother hen tries to hurry after you with her teenage children who like the warmth of her breast still tucked under her.


My hens help me in the garden. They find caterpillars and other pests I might have overlooked.
My hens help me in the garden. They find caterpillars and other pests I might have overlooked. | Source

10. Guilt free gardening ... thanks to your chickens!

If you suffer a moral dilemma every time you spot a caterpillar on a cabbage leaf or slugs sliding towards your spinach, chickens are the perfect solution.

Instead of squashing garden pests, sprinkling salt, spraying repellents or spreading pellets, let your poultry into the vegetable garden to do the dirty work.

They'll eat the grubs and you'll have the clear conscience of one who simply marvels at the wonder of nature. Every gardener can lose the guilt!

When I have a good harvest, I'm always happy to reward my poultry. :)
When I have a good harvest, I'm always happy to reward my poultry. :) | Source
Pawhut 71" Wooden Backyard Hen House Chicken Coop
Pawhut 71" Wooden Backyard Hen House Chicken Coop

Three reasons why I think this would be a good purchase for anyone new to chickens. 1) I consider it very important to allow chickens to get outdoors, even when they are confined in their house. Some mornings you might not be around to open their door. 2) You can collect the eggs from outdoors. 3) Feedback from customers gives it five stars. :)

 

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    • JimTxMiller profile image

      Jim Miller 4 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      A delight to read! No, I'm not going to rush out and steal a chick for my very own, but it is something to consider down the road.

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Thanks, Jim.

    • CarNoobz profile image

      CarNoobz 4 years ago from USA

      When I first moved to Hawaii, the chickens were one of the first things I noticed...not the beautiful green mountains or the crystal blue waters or the sparkling rainbows overhead.

      No, I was mesmerized by all the chickens walking around in the parking lots and in people's front yards.

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Wow, CarNoobz, that sounds great. I wonder if the stress of cars passing reduces their ability to lay. Guess they're just street wise chickens.

      I take it by now you've had time to appreciate the beautiful green mountains, crystal blue waters and sparkling rainbows. Sounds idyllic.

    • Mitch Alan profile image

      Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey

      We are looking in to getting some chickens in the spring and this was an informative and humorous way to increase our interest. Fun hub...keep hubbing.

    • CarNoobz profile image

      CarNoobz 4 years ago from USA

      Yeah, I've stopped freaking out about the chickens and been able to enjoy the scenery =)

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Thanks, Mitch. I wondered whether this hub would be considered too flippant. But heck, life's too short to miss the chance for a bit of a chuckle.

      I trust your chickens will provide you with many healthy breakfasts!

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      lol. Of course if one sneaks into your car when you are packing your groceries you know you'll have to take it home and adopt it.

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      This was a fun hub! They are definitely cute when they are all fuzzy and little :). A few years ago, I called our city and found out that we are not allowed to have "farm animals" on our property, since we live in the city limits. I assumed all towns were like that, but it sounds like some places must be different.

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      lol. I've had hens and fresh eggs in the middle of various cities at different times. It's the noise of a rooster that neighbours don't like. I had to be very careful choosing a quiet one. Although, come to think of it, I did have a beautiful rooster with a very loud morning greeting in one city yard. Every night I confined it in a mini hen-house made from a large metal wire dog crate covered on all sides and above with straw bales. The open door faced towards some bushes growing alongside my house. The muffled sound that emanated from his little house early in the morning woke nobody. Of course it wasn't easy to find straw bales to buy in the middle of the city, but that's another story. Perhaps you could ask your city if you are allowed to have a couple of hens as "pets". You would need silkies because they are less inclined to jump fences. Thanks for commenting ExpectGreatThings.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      You are so right about chickens. Enjoyed this hub. Voted up.

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Thanks, moonlake.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I don't have dogs or chickens. If I had to choose between the two I'd pick the chickens. But they would have to stick to their own area - I'm allergic to animals.

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      No obstacle too great, That Grrl. What about a length of downpipe ripped from the side of your building and cleverly inserted into the box where your chickens lay their eggs? At the right angle, if the hen lifts her leg the right way, you could probably have fresh eggs delivered right to the kitchen door. You could make another contraption for feeding them.

      (Of course your roof might leak by the time you've ripped your house apart making modifications. lol.)

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 4 years ago from London

      Haha this was frankly an adorable and very clever hub!

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Thank you, Philanthropy2012. I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • Meggan Tropos profile image

      Meggan Tropos 4 years ago from United States

      Oh my gosh! I cannot even imagine trying to care for a chicken, though from the sound of it maybe it would take care of me! Maybe I should try keeping a few plants alive first :) Thank you for the laugh this morning!

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

      Cute, informative and funny...lol. I would love to have a couple of chickens, but I live in an apartment. I would definitely have them if I decide to move. Voted up and useful.

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Thanks, Gail.

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Meggan, when the time comes to keep plants alive, you'll be glad you've got chickens. That's how helpful they are. :)

    • DIYmommy profile image

      Julie 4 years ago

      Some of my husband's family recently purchased 2 chickens. Their reasons? Pretty much everything you have mentioned in this hub. I'm definitely considering it....

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      That's great, DIYmommy. Fresh eggs when you go to visit them. :) When the time comes for you to get your own chickens, consider getting silkies. They're a nice little bantam and I've never seen an aggressive silkie. With young children, you don't want to get chickens that will grow bigger than your toddler!

      Silkies have feathers on their feet so they don't scratch very much. Not much help for clearing a garden of weeds, but they'll pick the caterpillars from your vegetable leaves and tread softly through your flower bed. And their eggs, while smaller than a bigger hen's eggs, are still fresh and lovely. :)

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Very useful and voted up! My husband and I have talked about some chickens for eggs. We recently moved, surrounded by woods and we have about 2 acres of grass. We have a lot of deer in this area, as well as coyotes. Our garden is going to be fenced in. Would you have any recommendations for how we could work our chickens into this "setting?" (I DO have two dogs, but when outside, they are tied up....since they run off!)

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Hi vandynegl. You can do a lot with two acres. Plenty of room for chickens!

      My personal suggestion because you have young children is to start with bantams ... the smallest breeds of hens. They tend to be less intimidating to children, and kids become confident collecting eggs etc.

      I have considered writing more hubs with tips about keeping hens, but I tend to think my biggest contribution comes from writing about self-sufficiency and living off the grid in general. While there seems to be a few hubbers writing about off-grid living, I don't think many have real first-hand experience.

      So ... I have looked around for the best chicken-related hubs I can find and I will now edit my hub and add links to them. I've found some brilliant hubs.

      If you still want to ask me any questions, come back here and write to me. I'm more than happy to fill in any gaps. :)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I've been thinking about this for years and would love a few chickens running around the yard. I so love fresh eggs! I understand though that you have to be so careful - we've got a couple of big hawks prowling around out there, not to mention foxes.

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Hi Dolores. We have hawks. I love watching them. If I lose the occasional hen to a hawk, I could live with that. I have noticed, however, that the hens take shelter when there's a hawk around. I have never lost one yet, and my hens get to free range every day. We have planted lots of fruit trees plus bushes as wind breaks, and the hens tend to be scratching around under some kind of cover most of the time. I've not lost one yet.

      As for the foxes ... we have them too. I lock the hens up safely every night. And I shoot foxes when I get the chance. They are not native to Australia and they kill a lot of our local wildlife.

      Oh, and before someone jumps in to tell me how dangerous guns are, I should point out I am licensed and registered and well trained etc. I've even written a couple of hubs about guns, including one with a photo of a lovely police officer who came to inspect my gun safe. (Don't think that hubber will be back, Dolores, but just in case. lol!)

      Thanks for commenting.

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Thank you LongTimeMother for your advice on the types of hens to get! I didn't know that they had different "moods" so to speak! I'm sure my kids would love to work with me! As for predators, would you recommend some kind of fencing? I definitely want to keep them free range.

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      I have had lots of different fencing arrangements over the years, depending on where I lived at the time. I actually like our current system best.

      I have a long thin chicken run leading from the opposite side of the hen house to the door. There's just a little hole in the back wall where they can get out and stretch their legs in the morning between sunrise and when I open the door to let them out.

      The other fences are around my vegetable gardens. They all include 'chicken wire' in their design and keep the hens and the rabbits away from my vegetables. I let the chooks in to look for caterpillars during the day (except when I have new seed or little seedlings that they are likely to eat or scratch up) but I shut the garden gates in the evenings. Rabbits can be a problem here at night.

      My current chook run (we call them chooks in Australia, don't know if you do) is as tall as the wire is wide. Not quite shoulder height for me. And it is completely covered over the top with the same kind of wire. There's lots of room for them because I made it very long.

      Water bowls in that area are easy to fill through the wire, and we have no reason to go in that area because the egg boxes are just inside the door. When they free range, they get to wander through the orchard and the flower gardens, and eat the grass etc.

      As for 'moods', it is more an issue of personalities. Occasionally you'll come across an aggressive rooster or hen that will peck you on the back of the leg. That's the one you choose to cook for dinner. lol.

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Haha! Thank you! Great advice! We are going to be doing some pretty high fencing around our garden since there are deer masses out here, but I like the idea for the hens. I would also let them out with my supervision of course to feed on the other grass as well.

    • profile image

      Beth37 3 years ago

      You're going to think this is strange, but I was just thinking, literally a few minutes ago, 'I wonder how many chickens it would take to supply my family with eggs every week.' My mom and sister live in similar conditions to yours, I would imagine, in AZ. They have a little "ranch" out there with chickens and such. I would like to have a veggie garden again, but Im not sure if Im ready to take the leap into livestock yet. Ill come back and reread your article if I ever set my mind to this task for real. :)

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

      Hi Beth37. We are in the process of constructing a new hen house. By the time you get your chickens I might have written a hub about it, lol.

      Every springtime I move their home somewhere else in the garden. It creates a lovely fertile new spot to plant another tree or start another garden area. When I wanted their attention to focus on making an old apple tree healthier, we placed a hen house alongside it and created a fenced area around the tree. Lots of blossoms on that tree again this year!!

      Good idea to get your vegetable garden established first, but I'm thinking it is only a matter of time until you'll have chickens wandering through it. :) Thanks for the visit.

    • Mitch Alan profile image

      Mitch Alan 2 years ago from South Jersey

      We have had our chickens for over a year now...great source of fresh eggs...and good way to teach the kiddos some valuable lessons...

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

      Hello Oubly. Maybe one day you'll have some of your own. :)

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

      Hi Mitch. It is hard to identify which is the most valuable .. the eggs or the experience for kids. lol.

    • kevin murphy-87 profile image

      kevin murphy 2 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks for the tips! Now i just need to convince my partner that it's a good idea! haha

    • LongTimeMother profile image
      Author

      LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

      Hello, Kevin. I'll cross my fingers for you. Hope that helps. lol. :)

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