Chickens are not just food, they actually make fan

So, what’s your first thought when you think about chickens? I expect it will be something along the lines of the last time you had chicken in some form for a dinner or lunch. Well, I’m here to change that perception that is so common around the world.


Personally, I have grown up in the countryside so ever since I was young I have known friends and family that have owned chickens as pets, yes pets! I have never seen it as anything out of the ordinary but since moving to the city I have realized that not as many people as I thought to think that chickens could be fun, educational and exciting pets.


All you need nowadays to start raising your own chickens is a garden large enough to hold chicken coops which are easily purchased online or in stores, and then a little bit of time to care for your new feathery friends.


Let me take you through some of the reasons I think chickens will be in a back garden by you in the very near future.


Chickens all have their own personality


Chickens are all individuals. They may seem to all act the same to the uninitiated eye but once you get to know your chickens you will realise they are all different. Just like us, some may be boisterous, some may be shy. You will get some that love affection and some that prefer to mind their own business. My personal favorite from my flock was the greedy one that always tried to take more than her fair share of the food! She was at the top of the pecking order in my flock.


As your flock grows together they will form a pecking order (hierarchy). This is to show who is in charge and to make sure everyone gets along as a group. Ideally, you should make sure you have enough room for the chickens to roost and relax when in the coop to ensure that the higher ranking chickens don’t get too much of an advantage.


Your Hens will be nice and easy to look after


Now to me, this is high on my list when I'm thinking about a new pet. Cats, for example, are again nice and easy in my view as all I have to do is feed my cat and then she takes care of herself (sometimes she doesn’t even need feeding!).


Chickens are the same. As mentioned earlier, all you need is a garden which can fit in your chicken coop, then either some space for them to move about with a relatively high fence, or a chicken run so your chickens can wander freely and enjoy their life.


The main thing you have to do is clean out the chicken coop and collect any eggs that have been laid. Other than that they will look after themselves. On the plus side, they also help around the garden by keeping unwanted pests and bugs off your plants or vegetable patch. They actually contribute to the house work!


Free, healthy food


No, I'm not talking about eating the chickens! I’m talking about the eggs that your chickens will lay on a daily basis. It will depend on the size of your flock but I love the fact that I can wake up, go collect some eggs and then have them straight away for breakfast.


Everyone today seems to be looking for the most organic, healthy version of everything. What’s healthier than knowing exactly how the hens have been living and where exactly your eggs have come from?


Cute baby chickens


So, this point may only happen once if you decide to only raise your chickens for eggs but if you’re like me you will want to experience owning and raising baby chicks.


They are not only adorable to look at and hold if you have children, but raising chicks can be a very educational experience as well. You will be able to teach your children about the full circle of life. From egg to chick, to a fully-grown Hen or Rooster.


Now, this will only happen if you have a rooster in your flock but if the idea of owning chicks sounds interesting then it can make raising chickens, even more, fun and rewarding. Not to mention the fact that any chicks you are not able to accommodate you could sell to help with the cost of food etc.


Just so there are no worries out there, even if you have a rooster. If you collect the eggs daily and then store them in the fridge, as you normally would, the fertilization process stops completely. The eggs would only ever hatch if they were incubated by the mother hen, or if you kept them in an incubation unit. This means you can keep hens and roosters without the worry that you will have loads of little chicks running about! (If that’s what you would prefer).


All the great stories you can tell about your Hens


One of my favorite aspects of owning my chickens is that I can sit out in the garden with a friend and we can watch them get up to very funny antics. I have had one chicken that I swear was auditioning for ‘Chicken Run’ as she just wouldn’t stop trying to escape the garden! I have my favorite that is always at the front of the queue when I bring out the food (her name is Greedy) and I have the laziest chicken ever who just like to find a quiet spot in the garden and relax all day long.


Either way, when you own chickens your life is bound to be more exciting. You will always have a story to tell if needed, and of course, you will be able to have lovely fresh eggs daily which always brightens up my morning.


James G. Craig
 

James G. Craig is a gardening enthusiast who splits his spare time between growing vegetables, preening his flower gardens, and blogging about his experiences at the Gardener Corner.

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