Animals

Top 5 Reasons Why to Raise Chickens and How to Get Started

Raising chickens should not be a fuss. There are actually several reasons why people want to cultivate chickens in their backyard. Some of these are written below.

Reason # 1 Chickens love leftovers.

A chickens appetite is incredible. They can eat almost everything, even their own kind! You can now say bye-bye to those unwanted leftovers being left rotten in your fridge. You feel less guilty of throwing them out into the garbage can. Plus, you can save on chicken feed. But be very careful with what you give for it may be their last supper. Tone down on the onions and garlic.

Reason #2 Eggs!

Who doesnt love eggs? Have them boiled, scrambled, sunny side up, etc. Admit it, pets that live comfortably inside your houses dont give anything more than barks, meows, purrs, and sometimes, chirp. Fishes, in general, can be eaten, but who would want to eat Goldie? None of these domesticated animals produce something edible. Well, chickens, on the other hand, have lots of benefits. One of the many benefits chickens give is their egg. 

Who doesnt love eggs? Have them boiled, scrambled, sunny side up, etc. Admit it, pets that live comfortably inside your houses dont give anything more than barks, meows, purrs, and sometimes, chirp. Fishes, in general, can be eaten, but who would want to eat Goldie? None of these domesticated animals produce something edible. Well, chickens, on the other hand, have lots of benefits. One of the many benefits chickens give is their egg. 

You can eat fresh eggs right from the source. Eggs taken from chickens minutes or hours ago are more tasty and nutritious than those purchased in the grocery store. Youll notice the texture and color is way different than that of the fresh ones.  We have a variety of different breeds of chickens that all lay different colors which makes it more fun for the kids (and us!).

Reason #3 Source of natural fertilizers

Your lawn or backyard couldve never looked better. Chickens love to freely walk around. Chickens also love to peck on anything they see that can be considered as food. And what is food to them? Possibly anything thats organic. If you let your chickens roam around your space, youll find out how reliable they can be. They eat pests living in your backyard grubs, beetles, insects, earwigs, and anything that comes close.

After the digestion has set its due, they will transform what theyve eaten into poop. But this is not just any kind of poop but a treasure called natural fertilizer. And you know what natural fertilizers do right? They keep the soil healthy for plants to grow. Cool. 

Reason #4 Low Maintenance Pets

Unlike dogs that need combing and brushing everyday to keep their fur alive and shiny, chickens doesnt need such soulful treatment. All you have to do is provide them their daily needs like food and water. You also have to clean their pad at least twice a month and change the beddings too. In return, you can gather all the eggs. Aside from just gathering, you can also start a small business of your own by supplying poultry stores with fresh eggs or chicken meat.

Reason #5 Grass and weed clippers

Got that right. Now you can save on mowing your own lawn by getting yourself chickens! For chickens, grasses, weeds, and leaves are treats. Its like a lifetime dessert offering. Its like having a cow in your own backyard. They will dig through whatever it is without even complaining about the hard work. Chickens will clip it then clean it all at the same time.

With these reasons, why bother getting yourself a dog or a cat? No offense but they cant even water the plants nor lay eggs for breakfast. All they do is prove to their masters that they are either ones best friends. In cases of chickens, you can have a best friend, a lawn mower, a supplier of organic fertilizer and an egg producer all in one.

So how do you get started?

Certain equipments must already be present upon the arrival of the chickens in your own backyard. You have to be geared up before presenting your not so baby chicks outside the world. The transition period can be quite stressful therefore being prepared can help you rid of half of the stress.

You have to purchase a lot of items for your chicks to stay comfortable from where they would lay. You need to pamper them so that when selling or butchering day comes, there are no regrets. 

1. Food

Without this, who will live? The food you will give will entirely depend on the kind of chicken that you have. But to sum it up, just give something that is complete. It must contain the right food substance that your chickens will need like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and minerals and if the budget can still take it, buy them vitamins. There are two kinds of feeds: conventional and organic. Either of the two can be purchased online or at an agricultural poultry store. We choose Scratch and Peck foods for our chickens.

If the time has come for your chickens to lay eggs or is about 20 weeks old, purchase a layer feed. But if they are younger than 20 weeks, starter or grower feed is highly recommended. 

2. Waterer and Feeder

Purchase a waterer and feeder that are suspended from the ground if possible. They should hang at least a couple inches off it. A very good advantage when purchasing such items is that they will prevent your chickens from jumping on top of it and smudging off their feet filled with feces inside the container. An automatic refill feature is also included which is very reliable during times when you have to go somewhere and will take you a couple of days before you come back. Worry-free. 

Our favorite water is one with little refillable cups. Our chickens love to use this, almost year round. During the really cold months, we use a heated waterer. Remember that food and water should be left outside of the coop to avoid unwanted visitors (rodents) and frostbite during the winter. The increased humidity in the coop is the top culprit of frostbite for chickens.

3. Bed

Yes, no matter how absurd it seems, you have to provide them with the proper bedding to keep them warm, comfortable, healthy and happy. But this doesnt mean that you have to buy them sheets from Best Buy. Beddings can be in the form of a pile of clean haystack, old or used newspapers, or if you wanted it to be extra special, there are beddings that can be bought online or in a poultry store. 

Beddings are best inside the coop where it can provide chickens a soft surface to roam around with. Beddings are also beneficial for your flock because it absorbs the odor and droppings. You dont want a foul-smelling coop, right? Another advantage of the bedding is that is saves the eggs from cracking making it an area where eggs are safe to land. 

Our favorite is hemp bedding. There are so many reasons we love it!

  • GIVE YOUR PETS THE POSHEST PAD – Premium Hemp Fiber is the highest quality bedding you can provide for your pets. Super warm, cozy and comfortable, Hemp Bedding is loved by a wide variety of animals big and small.
  • SUPERIOR QUALITIES – Hemp bedding is highly absorbent meaning less mess and less odor. A high thermal rating means your animals will stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Low dust means cleaner, fresher air to breathe.
  • LONGER LIFE = LESS EXPENSE – Hemp bedding lasts much longer than traditional paper and wood bedding materials making it the economical choice. When it does finally expire, hemp bedding makes great compost!
  • GREAT FOR PETS AND THE PLANET – Hemp grows super fast, needs very little water or fertilizer and no pesticides making it the eco-friendly and sustainable choice. Naturally Processed and free of chemicals and dyes.

There are a lot of bedding varieties. But whatever the bedding that youve chosen, always make it a point that it is at least two inches thick and is truly absorbent. 

4. Dust Baths

If you see your chickens digging a shallow hole and creating a mess with dirt, they are dust bathing! Chickens enjoy bathing in dust. But did you know that when chickens take dust baths, they are actually protecting themselves from parasites and those creatures that find it interesting to live inside their legs and feathers. Therefore, it is necessary to have dust baths.

If you have a dry area in your chicken run that has patches of fresh ground, its the perfect spot to do their thing. But if your pen consists of entirely cement, worry not, because there are artificial dust baths (like this one) available in agricultural stores.

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