While raising chickens is not unchartered territory with many farmers, ranchers and homesteaders, it’s benefits are often wildly overlooked. Yes, chickens can be entertaining and they do, of course, give you the gift of eggs, but there are several other reasons to add these funny, fluff-balls into your operation today.
Chickens eat several kinds of bugs including grubs and ants, which can do harm to your garden. They will often find the ant’s nest and dig into it, eating all the eggs they can find along the way.
Chickens enjoy foraging around the yard, looking for anything and everything they can pluck out of the ground and eat. Do be careful of your prized petunias though! Chickens are great at eating up unwanted weeds, but don’t have much self-control when it comes to other plants such as flowers and garden vegetables. It’s important to have these types of items in a place that they can’t get to.
Chicken poop is especially high in nitrogen. Mixing this with the wood shavings that most chicken keepers use for bedding is the perfect way to start a compost pile. You can easily add in other things of course, but even just the chicken droppings alone can have a positive effect on your plants.
No More Wasted Leftovers
Chickens love to eat scraps from their human’s dinner plates! Whether or not you are composting parts of your leftovers, the chickens will definitely be down to help. They can eat pretty much anything that might be left after dinner, although I personally avoid meats and processed foods. Chickens love any sort of pasta or bread!
Extra Side Income
Depending on how many birds you have in your flock, you can generally make a little income on the side by selling extra eggs or even chicks! If you’ve decided to have a rooster around, there’s a good chance that chicks are also in your future. Many chicken keepers resell these chicks, rather than trying to integrate them into their flock. Selling eggs can also make you a small profit, depending on how many you have and what they look like. You wouldn’t believe what a city slicker will do for a blue chicken egg!
These are just a few of the benefits that you could reap from adding a flock to your farm or ranch. They are a nice addition to the yard, provide endless entertainment, and if you don’t end up enjoying the chicken tender lifestyle, you can always use them for meat, rather than eggs. Take my word for it, but guard those petunias!