Homesteading and chickens go hand in hand. After all, no homestead is truly complete without a flock about.
These wonderful birds are a gift to the self reliant, providing us with eggs, meat and a productive garden.
Learning how to care for chickens is a good start to self reliance. Your own small - or even large - flock is one of the first things you should invest in when starting the homesteading life.
Here are four reasons why:
You can pursue homesteading and chickens on a limited budget. Unlike goats, a cow or pigs, chickens are relatively inexpensive to purchase and feed.
Their housing and fencing is also inexpensive, compared to other farm animals.
Plus, if you keep a flock of six to ten chickens, they'll produce enough eggs for you and your family, as well as some extra to sell to cover feed costs and other expenses.
If you have sufficient space and energy, you can easily keep a flock of a hundred chickens or more. With a good marketing campaign, you can sell your large surplus of eggs for a part-time income. Keep a few roosters as part of your homesteading campaign, and your hens will produce enough broilers for you to process and sell.
Most of us who homestead aren't just interested in saving money (although we do!), we also want a better quality of life.
Good health is crucial to enjoying life to its fullest.
By raising our own meat and eggs free of antibiotics and growth hormones, we become healthier, happier and more productive.
Keep your chickens in a chicken tractor, and you'll increase the health benefits of the eggs they produce. Your flock will be eating lots of fresh grass, weeds and insects, the type of living food they should be eating.
They'll be healthier, and you in return will become healthier as well.
Permaculture means working with nature rather than against it. Keep your flock in a chicken tractor, and they'll help control weeds and insects as well as provide plenty of manure for your garden.
Chicken manure is one of the most powerful fertilizers you can provide for your garden. Only be sure to compost that manure first, or it might burn the roots of your plants. Adding chickens to your homestead is the fastest way to a healthy organic garden, and a delightful way to make your homesteading more self-sufficient.
Related article: Raising organic chickens.
Learn More About Raising Chickens
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