All though chickens share many of the benefits with other pets there is one thing that really sents them apart from dogs, cats, fish, etc. That is they produce eggs and poultry meat. In fact producing this food allows you to pay them off in the long run. Add to this that you can produce organic, cage-free eggs and meat at little cost allowing you to dramatically improve the quality of food you eat and you are in a pretty good hobby.
Organic Eggs – When I was buying organic cage-free eggs I was paying almost 4 times the price over regular eggs and I was buying store brand eggs. When raising you own chickens, making them organic chickens is pretty easy and cost effective. All it takes is to feed them organic feed and be sure they are grazing on chemical free grass.
If you haven’t thought much about switching to organic foods let me just bring up one point. Chickens fed an organic diet and allowed to roam freely and eat grass have been shown to have eggs with higher amounts of Vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids while also having lower levels of cholesterol.
A Chicken’s Personality – If you enjoy being around animals I am sure you notice that they all have a personality of their own. Chickens are no different. Each of your chickens will have a completely unique personality. You will be tempted to spoil them, pet them, and show them off to your friends and neighbors. Maybe even name each of them. Along with this they will each have their own unique look with varying patterns and colors. You are sure to enjoy just watching after a long day.
Eco-Friendly Helpers – A nice benefit of raising chickens is that they can help create an environmentally friendly backyard. Chickens love to roam around and graze on your lawn all the while eating garden pests. This helps decreases lawn care and prevents the need for using chemical pesticides. Chickens will also turn everything they eat into a high-quality organic fertilizer and even distribute it around the yard. This eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers. All you need to provide the food, water, and some free afternoons to enjoy watching them.
Many people do not realize that chickens can eat almost anything people can eat. This includes left over foods. You should take caution in feeding them strong flavors such as onions and garlic as this can affect the taste of their eggs. Also processed foods and other unhealthy foods are just as bed for chickens as they are for you and will degrade their eggs and meat.
Low-Maintenance – Chickens, compared to many of the other household animals that can be cared for as pets, are rather easy to care for. All they really require is to make sure their food is well stocked every day and the waterer remains full of fresh water. When they reach maturity and begin laying eggs, you will need to collect the eggs on a regular basis. Finally, their coop will need to be cleaned every other day or so and the coop bedding should be changed out every 3 to 4 weeks depending on the weather.