Despite the many advantages of raising backyard chickens (fresh eggs! fresh chicken meat, family fun, eco-friendly to name a few) the practice is still quite uncommon. Most people are simply not aware that aside from the healthy eggs and poultry meat chickens can provide their family on a regular basis, chickens are fun pets too that your kids can cuddle.
Below are some important considerations that should be carefully evaluated if you are thinking about raising backyard chickens.
Do you have time to look after your chickens?
Although chickens are relatively low-maintenance, they do require time for daily care. While the amount of time is small, i.e. you only need 15 to 20 minutes daily for feeding, water and taking care of bedding, it’s important that you begin your chicken raising with eyes wide open and know what commitments you have to make.
Do you have enough space?
If chickens are kept in a chicken coop then you have to make sure that the chicken run (where they are allowed to range freely during the day) is big enough and secure from predators. It is recommended that at least six square feet per bird is available in the outside run. Ultimately though, the more space the better.
Chickens are also natural foragers. They eat insects, grass, weeds and anything else that they can find in their chicken run – the more they are able to forage, the healthier and more contented they will be.
Apart from the obvious, why else are healthy chickens beneficial to you? It means tastier eggs and poultry meat.
When chicken roam freely, they also get a great deal of exercise and keep themselves fit and entertained. Another side benefit is that they will keep the grass maintained, so less time spend mowing! Chicken droppings also make great fertilizer so your back yard chickens will help fertilize your lawn for free.