Why People are Keeping Chickens  

Keeping backyard chickens is fast becoming a popular hobby with people, both in the country as well as in urban areas. It's not that hard to learn how to keep chickens, and your little backyard flock can provide you with many things. Here are a few of the reasons you might want to consider keeping chickens at home.




Just Collecting the Eggs 

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  Eggs are the main reason to keep chickens

This is the main reason why people are keeping chickens at home these days, for the continuous supply of eggs. As long as your chickens are healthy and relatively stress-free, they will each provide you with one egg per day (more or less). Hens need to be at least 18 weeks old before they start laying though. And contrary to popular belief, you do not need to keep a rooster in your flock in order to have eggs. Your backyard chickens will happily lay eggs without a rooster. Just make sure to have a suitable nesting box in your chicken coop where the hens feel safe to lay their eggs,






Natural Insect Control 


One of the great things about keeping backyard chickens, is that each one is a little bug-eating machine. Chickens love insects, and will really keep the insect population down in your yard. Let your chickens loose occasionally in your vegetable garden, and they will pick all the nasty beetles and slugs off your plants. They might scratch the dirt up, so don't let them loose on young seedlings. Just remember that once your chickens are let out of their pen, they might not be that easy to round up again.



Fertilizer for Your Garden 


Depending on how you are keeping your chickens, you will most likely have some kind of bedding in their coop. Wood shavings, shredded paper or straw is the most common. And when you clean out the used bedding, you have a wonderful supply of fertilizer for your garden. Used organic material with plenty of chicken droppings can be mixed into your soil, and your plants will thrive.



Fresh Organic Meat 


For a small backyard flock, slaughtering chickens for meat is not that common simply because it involves a fair bit of work (compared to just gathering up some eggs). And by killing off your chickens, you then need to constantly add more to keep your flock going. If you have a reasonably reliable place to buy new chicks, then it won't really be a problem. Try to get breeds intended for meat-production so you can get the most meat for your efforts. If you intend to slaughter your backyard chickens, make sure any children in your family understand that the birds are not pets.

 Keeping Chickens as pets


Just as Pets 


And lastly, some people keep chickens just because they happen to like chickens. They're not quite as friendly as your typical pet dog or cat, but chickens can be fun to watch and they definitely add some interest to your backyard. If you live in the suburbs but long for the country, a few chickens can really help give you that taste of the farmyard right at home.


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