Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Why Backyard Chickens Will Change Your Life


There is a growing trend towards homesteading and sustainable living. You see more and more people turning their backyards into miniature farms. Gardening, chicken keeping, bee keeping, and even goat keeping are pretty normal activities for the average person.

If this lifestyle interests you, an easy jump into backyard homesteading is to purchase your very own chickens! 

So, besides the most obvious reason of fresh eggs, why own chickens? These little animals will change your life.

Baby chicks are adorable-- like most baby animals, and it's tough to resist the tiny fuzzy peeping chick at your local farm store. While it could be more appealing to purchase a chicken that's already laying eggs, you will be significantly more satisfied with your flock if you get them as babies. Relationships are formed fast. They get used to you handling them. And they'll even get used to your nosy dog.

Adult chickens turn into miniature garbage disposals. We hardly throw away any food waste. Between composting and the chickens, we sustainably get rid of most all our food waste. Chickens will really eat anything. They would even eat cooked chicken if you gave it to them (although we don't). 

Speaking of feeding the chickens-- one of our absolute favorite things to do is hand feed the girls fruit, vegetable, and bread scraps. One of the best benefits of getting half of our flock as chicks is that they will run right up to us for food and eat from our hands. They also let us pick them up, hold them, and pet them with no resistance. They are surprisingly affectionate in their own little way.

Ever hear of something called "the Chicken Channel"? I heard this phrase in reference to family goats in Little House in the Suburbs. Well, the Chicken Channel is when you stand around outside watching the chickens for entertainment. You would be surprised at how incredibly fascinating chickens can be. Chickens have personalities just like any other pet. Spryo the silver wyandotte is skittish and a survivalist-- she'll dash in, grab a treat, then rush away so no one can take it. Guillermo the silkie is a diva, and will "bawk, bawk, bawk" to her hearts content. Blair the red sex-link is nosy and always wants her photo taken. Ethel the white leghorn is smart-- she always knows where to wait to get the most treats. 

Chickens will also rid your yard of unwanted bugs and ticks. Once we started letting the girlies free range in the yard last summer, we stopped finding ticks. 

Chickens really do make great pets. You will easily lose track of time to the Chicken Chanel. They will keep you entertained and make you laugh at their antics. You will smile when you look out the window and see them pecking around the yard. You will also have an abundance of fresh yummy eggs!  

If you're considering trying your hand at chicken keeping-- take the leap. They are relatively inexpensive. You could end up spending a lot to build a safe coop and run area, but you can find less expensive ways to build it. And if you end up not loving it, you can always sell the chickens online. People will snatch them up. But, I think you'll fall in love :)

We just passed our official one-year-of-chicken-keeping anniversary. We've learned a lot along the way and I'd be happy to share my tips and lessons learned. Feel free to ask me any questions you have in the comments below!

♥AK

#UnapologeticallyYou #happyhens #backyardchickens #sustainableliving #homesteading