Backyard Chicken – the basics
Why do people keep chickens in the backyard? Chickens are fun! Chickens give you eggs! They are cheap, organic pest control! They fertilize the garden! Did I mention, chickens are fun? Lets look at some backyard chicken basics :
Chickens as pets
Chickens are great pets. They are easy to take care of; some don’t mind a cuddle and they are easy to talk to. If you aren’t looking for chicken companionship, the chickens will usually go off and do their own thing. They are not in-your-face pets generally. They are cute, quirky and each one has an individual personality. Besides what many people think, chickens are quite smart and can even be taught some tricks. There is a large variety to choose from, different colours, different sizes and even different looks. There is a reason chickens are becoming ever more popular.
How many pets give back as much as chickens? Besides being great therapists and snugglers, chickens are also a source of organic, nutritious eggs. The eggs from free-range chickens are higher in many vitamins and Omega-3s and lower in cholesterol than battery chicken eggs. This means they are healthier for you as well.
You can also learn from chickens. They teach responsibility. They teach the basics of livestock handling. You can learn about the whole lifecycle, from the egg, to hatching, all the way to the end of life from a chicken. They are in general strong, hardy birds that can overcome a lot more than most birds. Chickens eat pests in your garden such as grasshoppers and ticks. They are also quite cheap to buy, raise and keep.
Chickens bring energy to your garden. Chickens always seem to be doing something. Whether it is scratching for seeds or insects, dust bathing, having a chicken conference or something else, chickens bring life to your home. Almost all cultures in the world have some history of chicken keeping. Besides linking us to what we eat, they are also a link back to basic cultures far back in history. Many of us can think back to ancestors that may have had chickens. For some of us, it may even be a closer link to parents or grandparents.
Not much space required
Chickens don’t need all that much space. You don’t have to have a huge place in the country to have a few chickens. You can look at smaller breeds and a chicken tractor to keep them in and this will give you the option to have a few chickens in your own back yard! Just check that they are allowed before you go ahead and purchase them though. Most places will allow hens, some will allow for a rooster, but some places might not allow chickens at all. Do your research on their required food and housing before you buy so that you are all set up before you come home with your chickens.
Checking out the chickens
There are many types and sizes of chickens. Most of the different breeds have characteristics and quirks of their own. Some do well in specific climates, some live to scavenge and some need a lot of space. Some are calm and will be happy to live in an enclosed coop. There are varieties that love cuddles while others are more free-spirited. Some have longer lives than others. Chickens such as broilers are not layers. They seldom live past reaching a specific weight, so not recommended as pets either. Take a look at some of the popular breeds for backyard chickens and you are sure to find one you love!
So, there you have it! If you are looking for a low maintenance pet that is interesting and fun, look at getting a few chickens to liven up your backyard. You can’t go wrong with chickens as pets. Now you know some backyard chicken basics to make it easier to keep your own chickens. Even if they don’t like to snuggle, they are sure to provide you with breakfast!