Tag: backyard chickens
Backyard chickens are part of a growing trend that stresses locally produced food and avoidance of agribusiness-produced food products. There are many benefits to keeping backyard chickens, which include:
- A ready supply of fresh eggs that are considered healthier, with two to three times more omega-3 fatty acids and one-third the cholesterol of industry-sourced eggs
- Avoidance of buying eggs from chickens that have been kept in inhumane conditions
- An easy, environmentally friendly way to compost kitchen scraps
- A ready source of manure to be composted as garden fertilizer
- A natural method of insect and weed control, as chickens forage for bugs and plants to eat
- Chickens can be fun and affectionate pets for families
In short, keeping backyard chickens is considered by many to be a fun, simple way to reconnect with the earth, the community and your food sources, even with limited space in your backyard.
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While many urban areas still don’t allow homeowners to keep backyard chickens, more and more major cities are revising their animal ordinances to make it possible.
There are hundreds of different types of chickens that vary in just about every size, shape, personality and color, including the color of the eggs they lay. There are also varieties that are hardier than others, and those that live more comfortably in cold temperatures.
Raising chickens for eggs, meat or entertainment means you must make sure your chickens are healthy and active, which means ensuring they have clean air, the right chicken feed, a good water supply, plenty of space, predator protection, and overall enjoy a comfortable living environment.
The life expectancy of most standard chicken breeds shielded from predators and deep fryers can range from 8 to 15 years. There are many reports of pet chickens living as long as 20 years.
Typically hens will start to lay when they are around 5-6 months old, and will lay approximately 200 to 300 eggs annually, based on the breed type.
I’ve spent the 17 years in the poultry supply business, so I should be able to provide some unique insight into the world of backyard chickens.