It seems like nowadays, backyard chickens are popping up all over the place. We knew someone in the next neighborhood over had chickens, because we could hear their rooster every now and then. Then another neighbor got chickens, and then another. And of course, our little flock is growing. Apparently chickens are the new black.
When most people think about getting chickens, they’re usually thinking it will just be for the delicious, healthy, fresh eggs. That was definitely the main reason we did. But there’s many more reasons to get them.
1. Eggs from the grocery store are up to six weeks old by the time you’re making breakfast with them.
Not only are the grocery store eggs older, even the “free-range,” “organic,” and “vegetarian fed” (not to mention chickens are NOT vegetarians) eggs aren’t nearly as healthy. Science has shown backyard eggs to be higher in vitamins A, E, and D, omega 3s, and beta-carotene. They also have lower cholesterol and saturated fat. Some people may not realize it, but those store bought eggs with their pale yellow yolks are NOT what eggs are supposed to look like. Backyard eggs have dark orange, tasty yolks.
2. Your chickens love cutting down your bug population and cut down on your weeds.
Our chickens live in a secure coop and run, which are both inside our fenced garden area. Alaska tends to run pretty high on the predator list. But whenever I’m home, I do my best to let my girl “free range” in the garden. They love it, and I know they’re still safe from neighbor hood dogs and such. They get to free range for bug protein and fresh greens, which also helps cut down on my feed costs.
For anyone who has ever had chickens, you’ve come to know just how much poop the little suckers can generate. It’s really quite amazing. For those who garden, you know just how wonderful chicken manure is for your garden. Get your own chickens and you have egg producing, manure making machines.
4. Garbage Disposals
Got kitchen scraps? Feed your girls. Not only will it cut down on your feed bill, but you’ll know exactly what your chickens are eating, which in turn means you’ll know exactly what’s in your eggs.
5. Get Your Daily Soaps
Watching your chickens can be quite mesmerizing. When we got our first chicks, I would spend time daily by the brooder, just watching them. On my day off, with a long to-do list, I caught myself sitting by the brooder watching the chicks for over an hour and a half. They’re incredibly entertaining. Even when the chicks grew up, I still love looking out my kitchen window and seeing my girls run around, doing their chicken things.
Backyard chickens are great. I love my girls. It’s extremely easy to see why “chickens are the new black.” They’re easy to take care of, they give back in many, many ways, and you don’t even need a rooster to get eggs!
Thinking of getting your own backyard chickens? Check out my post Everything You Need to Know About Getting Chickens or learn to hatch your own chicks HERE.
Don’t forget to get your copy of Chickens From Scratch and Chicken Hot Topics – great books for getting started with chickens!