Benefits of Urban Chicken Keeping
Benefits of Urban Chicken Keeping
- Jul 31, 2018
At Critter Boutique, we love chickens! We believe they can add a great deal of fun and joy to our lives. If you are thinking about becoming a chicken keeper, we think you should take the plunge. Here are 10 reasons why chickens can be fantastic addition to your backyard or homestead.
Don't feel like reading? Watch our YouTube video below and visit our YouTube channel for more where that came from!
The most obvious of all the reasons to keep chickens is that they regularly provide you with a tasty, healthy breakfast! Eggs are a great way to make friends with the neighbors, too. Knowing where your food comes from is one step closer to responsible agriculture, no matter how small the scale.
Chickens all have their own unique personalities, just like we do. It is a lot of fun watching those personalities develop as they grow up. If you acquired your chickens as adults, you might notice their personalities come out as they settle into a new lifestyle. Gradually, as they get more comfortable with you, they will start seeking you out for tasty treats!
With unique personalities comes hilarious antics! You will love all these silly moments that your chickens are bound to share with you. If you need something to encourage them to get excited, try feeding them mealworms! The more you feed them tasty treats they love, the more comfortable with you they will become.
Chicken poop makes phenomenal fertilizer on its own, and even better compost when combined with your kitchen scraps. Use these nutrient-rich gifts on your flowerbeds or vegetable gardens, and watch in amazement how your plants will prosper.
When allowed to forage, even for a short time during the day, chickens can find and eat a great many bugs. Not only does it rid these pesky visitors from your yard, it also gives the chickens a new source of protein, which makes their eggs taste even better. Foraging is a natural practice for chickens, and can help with behavioral problems like coop aggression or feather plucking.
Less Food Waste
With chickens around, your kitchen scraps can double as tasty treats instead of going in the compost, or worse, straight to the trash. Composting kitchen scraps (especially alongside chicken manure) is a great use of leftovers, but the chickens will appreciate it much more if they get to eat the scraps themselves!
If you've ever had chickens, you know that they are FUN to talk about. Starting up a chicken conversation is a great way to make a new friend, regardless of whether they are chicken keepers themselves or not. People always seem to have questions!
Great for Kids
Chicken keeping is a great way for kids to get connected to the outdoors. It can teach responsibility and animal husbandry, and give them a glimpse into the world of animal agriculture. Chickens are very low maintenance and require very little space (about 10 sq ft per bird), which is why they are often the first farm animal to be added to a homestead.
If you’re handy and itching for a building project, chickens might be a great excuse to get into DIY! You can stay as basic as you want, or get "egg-stravagant" with designs for chicken architecture. From coops, to nesting boxes, to special feeders, even doors that open and close on a timer, there’s always a reason to get out the tools and let the creative juices flow. But if you’re not handy, don’t fret! As long as it is properly designed, our urban chickens are usually quite content with their enclosures, and are not picky about details.
Chickens come in a rainbow of colors, shapes, and sizes. The three big categories are laying hens, ornamental breeds, and meat birds. The most popular of the three categories, at least among urban chicken keepers, is laying hens. Besides the obvious benefit of a constant egg supply, these breeds are often the friendliest and most curious. Meat birds are not usually kept as pets. They reach slaughter weight very early, at about 8 weeks, and often do not live much longer because their legs cannot hold up their body weight. The ornamental breeds aren’t terribly proficient at laying, nor are they heavily muscled. These are the supermodels of the bird world, sporting feathers of all different types and colors. Included in this group are Bantams, which are basically miniature chickens. Some standard size breeds come in Bantam variety.