I am sure I don’t rank among the norm, when it comes to my strong affection for my chickens. Chickens are an amazing creature that fills my life with joy and contentment. I can sit on my front porch for hours and watch the chickens walk around so proudly and peck and scratch at the ground with confidence. I realize some people raise chickens out of need, such as eggs, pest control for their yard, or meat. I see their reasoning and I also enjoy those great benefits of raising chickens. Of course, my main reason for raising chickens is because they make me smile on the inside and out when I take my daily journey to their colorful coop. My heart fills with joy when I go outside and they run toward me because they know I have something special for them. I guess you can say my chickens serve as an antidepressant, so to speak. Of course there are variety of reasons why an individual would choose to raise chickens, and variety of chickens you can choose from, to raise.
Here are few reasons why someone may choose to raise chickens.
Provide your Family With a Healthy Diet.
As a mother you always want the very best food for your family. If I can provide a meal that was grown on our very own farm, it makes me feel better about what is entering my children’s body. If you never have had a farm fresh egg, you are missing out. The shell is incredibly tough and the yolk is a vibrant orange. The flavor is incredible, and very healthy for you as well. Research shows they are not only higher in omega-3, Beta-Carotene, and Vitamins A, D, and E, but they are lower in Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Everything that enters my chickens body is natural. They do not get injected with growth hormones and no other chemical enters their body, which in turn, is better for us all.
You can Use Chickens as Pest Control for Your Yard.
I have found that a chicken’s diet is quite diverse. They will eat just about anything and everything. If allowed to forage, chickens will eat spiders, ticks, beetles, grubs, worms, grasshoppers, cricket’s and just about any creeping critter you can think of. They love to dig through lawn clippings and yard waste, and scratch and peck at the ground. It seems to be their favorite thing to do. So if you don’t want these pests in your yard, then let your feathered friends roam the yard every now and then, plus it gives them a little freedom and the protein from the insects will be great for them. I promise you they will love you for it.
Providing your Children Positive Values and Responsibility.
I believe it is important to teach my family where our food comes from. Not only do we raise chickens, but we also raise beef cows, and meat goats. Raising animals teaches them values, work ethic, and responsibility. Children also appreciate nature and gain a respect for creation. I know that I get just as excited as my kids when we find an egg in the coop that has been laid by one of our chickens. It is like Easter egg hunting every day of the year. It also provides a great lesson about nature and how it provides for us.
I can go on all day about reasons why someone may want to choose to raise backyard chickens, because the reasons are truly endless. Along with the many reasons why an individual chooses a backyard sanctuary for our feathered friends, there are just as many variety of breeds to choose from.
I personally don’t raise chickens for meat. My sole purpose for raising chickens is for the eggs and just the pure enjoyment in having such pure souls keep me company in my own yard. So I choose to raise birds that are best for egg laying.
I believe that whatever breed you choose you need to pick a breed that best fits your needs. So here are a few breeds that I prefer, because they are best for egg production and their temperament is sweet or calm around my children.
So here are few of my favorite breeds.
Ameraucanas (known also as Easter-Egger): This breed makes wonderful backyard chickens. They have a calm disposition, and not hard to handle. They say that this is probably the best bird for a family with kids. Plus, you get to enjoy their eggs which are colored a beautiful blue. You can expect about 3 eggs a week with this breed.
Wyandotte: This is a breed that originated in the United States. Wyandottes are a sweet, docile, dual-purpose bird. They are great for egg production, and meat. You can expect around 200 eggs per year. This breed is easy to take care of and very tame. They will be a great addition to your coop because they are a friendly and get along well with people.
Australorp: This is an Australian breed. These birds are a large, soft-feathered bird. They are hardy and very docile. This breed is a good egg-layer as well as a meat bird. You can expect approximately 250 eggs per year. They also make good mothers and nest sitters if you choose to raise chicks.
Barred Plymouth Rock: This breed is a dual-purpose bird. They have been created to be a powerful egg layer. They have a great personality and best described as calm. They are great with children and they are super sweet. They genuinely want to be around their caretakers, and other pets or chickens. They are curious and outgoing and will definitely be a great addition to your chicken family. I highly recommended this chicken for your backyard chicken brood.
Rhode Island Red: This breed even though can be an aggressive bird at times, are excellent egg layers. They can produce up to 220 eggs a year. They also make for a great meat chicken as well. They can be calm, sweet and behave around feeding time and at times are ok with being held. If raised properly and with love they can be an affectionate bird, and an excellent addition for your egg laying production.
Sussex: This breed is my favorite out of all the birds. The Speckled Sussex is what I raise. They have red feathers and looks like each feather is tipped at the end with a white spangle. They have beautiful plumage. This breed is an excellent choice for small flocks. They are independent, soft-spoken, and inquisitive. They have an excellent personality, and quite friendly. They are easy to maintain and have a high-yield of eggs. I would recommend this breed to any one who is deciding on what breed to choose.
If you decide to join the fast-growing backyard chicken movement that is sweeping across the world, you will need to do some research. What type of chickens do I want to raise? Do I want to raise chickens for egg production? Do I want to raise chickens for meat? Am I interested in free range? What type of chicken coops do I want? Do I want a small flock or a large flock? The options are endless and exciting. No matter what you choose, the important thing to know is, by choosing to raise chickens you have chosen to live greener, more ecofriendly, and live a healthier lifestyle. I encourage you to dive right into this incredible journey in raising chickens. I promise, you won’t regret it.