People raise chicken for lots of reasons. After all, people have been raising chicken since 5400 BC. The domestication of the chicken has largely evolved into a major food production undertaking for human consumption. Today, domesticated chickens in farm houses are more various than wild fowl in forests across the world.
And why would you and I want to raise chicken?
I have my own reasons, and you probably have yours, too. For me, I just want to go back to the old charm of the countryside after spending sometime in the city. I want to enjoy the smell of natural flowers, feel the caress of fresh air, climb mountains, wade through rivers, and feel free and refreshed in the midst of it all. Perhaps, there is an anthropological explanation to this. I believe there is a natural yearning in all of us to be in the midst of nature and our natural sources of food.
But, of course, I also need to continue working to have something to feed my family – and I think poultry-raising is not such a bad idea. Aside from getting a steady source of income from chicken eggs and meat, I can also have a steady supply of fresh chicken and eggs for my family’s consumption. With the price of organic eggs in groceries hitting $ 4 a dozen, raising chicken in your own backyard is certainly a most welcome idea.
Let me give you a rundown of the other benefits of raising chicken in your own backyard:
Eggs from free range chickens are healthier and more ideal for human consumption. Commercially farmed chicken are fed an unnatural diet, mostly chemically produced feeds that are meant to produce more eggs quickly and cheaply. This results in layers that produce eggs that are less nutritious than those produced by chickens allowed to roam around a barn, scratch and search for their own food, and live in natural, open environment.
Eggs of backyard, free range chicken are naturally more nutritious and more flavorful than commercial eggs produced by chickens perpetually in a state of confinement.
Raising backyard chicken teaches children about responsibility and origins of their food.
Chicken droppings can enrich the quality of soil in your backyard. They can be a source of cheaper, healthier, natural fertilizer for your garden,
When foraging for food around your backyard, chickens serve as natural pest deterrent
These are just a few advantages. There are more benefits, but there is just not enough space to include them here. For one, tending chickens is not as demanding as taking care of dogs or other household animals. Chickens do not need to be bathed or taken for a walk, unlike your favorite Labrador or German Shepherd. They just need to be fed and given fresh water like all natural pets. Of course, you need to keep the coop clean and the chickens inspected regularly to ensure that they are healthy.
You can involve your kids in these activities, including picking up eggs on a daily basis. As a child, I remember watching a mother hen lay her egg each day. My brother and I had to wake up very early in the morning to watch this daily ritual. It’s a memory I totally enjoyed recalling to my kids even before we decided to move to this farmhouse. My brother and I continue to relish the memory to this day.
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