Keeping small flocks of chicken in your backyard has a wide variety of benefits. Whether you get to profit from selling fresh eggs or an option to where you can get your food from, keeping backyard chickens is just becoming popular nowadays. And as it turns out, you may even have a neighbor giving you nutritious warm fresh eggs for free. But first, let us find out the history of backyard chickens.
Keeping livestock has long been developed since the ancient times for food and trading of goods. Whether its pigs, ducks, sheep, goats, cows, and much more, this has been a common custom that people around the world can agree. Even in the times of war and economic depression, it was also practiced by people for supporting large populations that were affected. Whether you are from a rural or urban area, keeping a livestock is something that we had inherited from our ancestors that keep us on living day by day. Though keeping a livestock such as pigs and cows does not really rhyme with today’s period, having backyard chickens is a hit off to some people.
Below are some of the benefits of having backyard chickens in your area:
1. You know where your food comes from –
It is important to know that the food that you are eating does not contain any substances that can affect your health or “chemically-raised” food. Especially in the case of eggs which has been labeled as free-run, nest-laid, free range, or cage-free which for some means the same since they came from factory farming. However, raising hens in your backyard means that you know where your eggs came from.
According to the Mother Earth News, pasture raised eggs from chickens that were given space to peck for food are more nutritious that the industry-sourced eggs. Because pasture eggs contain two to three time more omega-3 fatty acids and one-third the cholesterol of factory-farmed eggs.
2. Chicken are a natural pest for your garden –
Though there are some circumstances that chickens might ruin your plants and the design of your garden, did you know that chickens are known to lessen and eradicate the population of termites, slugs, grasshoppers, fleas and rodents because they clean up food sources that might interest them? Now that you know about it, it is recommended to let the chickens range around the garden, but you can also use chicken wire to protect your garden.
3. An instant excellent fertilizer –
Nitrogen is an exceptional element that gardens, yards, and farms need for the growth of plants. Chicken poop contains nitrogen that can make a great compost for your vegetation. Moreover, chickens are also known as recyclers since they can eat from your table scraps, any unwanted weeds, or garden clippings. This can be their supplement for day to day. And whatever scraps and weeds that they ate can turn up into fertilizer as manure which can be a valuable substance for your garden.
4. Reduce stress and serves as entertainment –
Studies have shown that tending chickens release oxytocin hormone that can lower stress. In addition to that, it lessens blood pressure and reduces the feeling of loneliness.
According to the book Zen and the Art of Raising Chickens, authored by Clea Danaan, watching chicken increases mindfulness skills.
“Caring for chickens gets us outside regularly, and watching their methodical scratching and foraging around the yard slows us down and grounds us in the present, providing a meditative experience that can be difficult to achieve in our busy day-to-day lives, particularly in urban settings.”
Moreover, not only those adults can be entertained by chickens. Kids are naturally curious and love to ask what animals such as chickens can do. It can also be a learning process for them to help them understand the environment. Just be careful that they can’t get pecked by the chicken.
5. Used as a Therapy –
Foreman said that hens are actually employed as therapy chickens. They can be helpful to people of all ages. This can address issues such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, psychiatric illness, and autism. That is because it has a calming effect that can help the symptoms of emotional distress, anxiety, or social frustration.
6. Meet new friends –
Having a conversation with your neighbor or someone who has backyard chickens, can help give you a topic that you can talk about. You can also help each other in sustaining backyard chickens and exchange ideas for a better result.
It is really challenging to have backyard chickens but it is worth the effort. The nutritional benefits, profit, and sustainable living are just some of the advantages of keeping this kind of system. That is why it is still better to know that on how we can sustain this kind of method for to our daily living and also for future purposes.