Chick This Out!

Chickens… who would think that they would have so many benefits? Chickens produce eggs, they eat bugs, and they fertilize your yard, not to mention that they are great, lovable pets! I have three chickens: Piccolo, Audrey, and Egg White, aka Cathy. These three hens are very low maintenance and they are very nice. Chickens are fairly docile creatures and they make great additions to any family.

First off, before purchasing your flock, make sure that you and your family can care for these chickens to the best of your ability, just like having a dog or a cat. While roosters are great, if you have no plans on expanding your flock, do not get a rooster!  To continue on how awesome chickens are, let’s talk about eggs! Eggs are a great source of protein and they taste pretty good! Once tasting farm fresh eggs, there is no going back! The reason is that, your chickens’ eggs will be fresher and they will also be all natural!

“The reason I love having backyard chickens is I can see first-hand the conditions the eggs my family eats are made in. I can control what the chickens eat and know that they aren't crammed in tiny little cages. We treat them like a member of our family.”

-Jamie Wendling

As can clearly be seen, chickens can provide your family with a healthier egg choice than that of the store bought version, but before diving into the commitment that is chicken farming, be smart about your decisions. Whether it is about breeds of chicken or if you and your family can handle them!

In an article written for Green America, author, Sarah Traver-Wahlquist writes in  “The Many Benefits of Backyard Chickens,” how you should take, “proper care of your chickens [to] ensure that they stay healthy, and will help you get the most eggs out of your flock. Each chicken requires about ¼ cup of feed per day, as well as a supply of fresh, clean water. Chickens can survive both hot and cold weather, and will be fine outside with temperatures as low as 15 degrees, but their laying patterns will change with the seasons.” One could conclude that chickens need daily care and love, but come with minimal cost to upkeep. However, chickens do require specialized vet care and monitoring.

Just like a cat or a dog, chickens can contract several diseases or ailments and speaking from personal experience, these diseases can decrease your flock. Always be watching your chickens for signs of sickness or pain. Unfortunately, not much can be done for chickens, but you can always take preventative measures to keep your flock healthy! Get your chickens vaccinated and make sure to research what foods they can and can’t have.  Giving your chicken’s yummy and healthy chicken snacks is one of many ways to bond with your flock!

In conclusion, chickens are great and lovable pets that will always make you smile and provide healthy and all natural for you and your family! If you have the space and the time to invest in these feathery creature, I urge you to start your own hen house. Good luck from me and the Tiny Acre flock.

Written by Youth Volunteer Rylyn

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Photo Credits: Rylyn and Jamie Wendling