Heather of The Homesteading Hippy always shares great information when it comes to living the homesteading lifestyle. She is offering advice on her chickens today. How do you know if you should raise chickens or not? Heather has the experience and would like you to know what you are getting yourself into. We appreciate her contributions and look forward to her next article on chickens and more! If you would like more up to date information on what’s going on around the Homesteading Hippy, follow her on Facebook.
We love our girls, we really do! If you are considering adding some chickens to your backyard homestead, here are my top 5 reasons to do so. Of course, with 5 reasons to keep chickens, we have to add “and 4 reasons NOT to”.
Bug and Pest Control
Chickens are great for bug control. They love to dig around for little bugs, and they are pretty adept at catching them mid air as well. Every Summer, when the mosquitoes are all around, it’s fun to watch the hens run around and chase them, jumping up and catching them. Chickens are also really good mousers. As a matter of fact, our hens are better at catching and killing mice than our cats are. This is why we store their food in their coop, covered. We don’t worry about mice, because the chickens will take them out.
Source of Eggs
This goes without saying, that having your own chickens will provide a quick source of eggs. Depending on the breed you raise, you will get anywhere from 250-350 eggs per hen per year. A family of 5 having 10 hens will be well kept in eggs with no difficulty. Of course, if you have laws that only allow a smaller number of hens, don’t despair. Even 3-5 hens will provide plenty of eggs for you!
Source of Meat
Many people treat their chickens like pets. We do as well, they are “my girls” and they get spoiled often with treats in addition to their regular feed. Each one is named, and I know their personality very well. Some of them will come up to my son and squak until he picks them up to be petted. But, they are also working animals. When they are done laying, we do make that difficult decision to cull them from the flock and use them for meat. I know that they have had a happy, healthy life and that they are being used to their full potential when we eat them. Some have issues with doing that, and that’s okay. We just choose to keep our flock rotated, and cull the non laying hens. Continue here…..