Raising Chickens - A Valuable
Addition to Every Homestead

Raising chickens in your backyard farm is the fastest way to a healthy organic garden, and a delightful way to make your homesteading more self-sufficient. Learn how to raise chickens, and you will always have a steady supply of healthy food.

Raising chickens are important for many reasons, but these seven reasons stand out as some of the most important.

1.  An Excellent Way to Prepare

In the thirties, during the Great Depression, horror stories abounded about soup lines and folks facing starvation.

But those who owned their own land along with a dozen or more hens and roosters never went hungry.

That's because in a bad economy, those who can raise their own food are way ahead of the game.  With a dozen or so hens and a rooster you'll have a steady supply of eggs and meat.

Live in the city? You probably won't be able to keep a rooster, but most city ordinances will allow you to have up to six hens. Those lovely birds will supply you with two and a half dozen eggs per week.

2.  Your Organic Garden Will Thank You For Raising Chickens

The manure from your hens or rooster is one of the most fertile substances in nature. While you should never add the manure directly to your soil - the nitrogen is too strong and can burn your plants - it does marvelous things when added to your compost pile.

3.  Raising Chickens is Easy

Although they do require some special care those first two to three weeks of their life, these birds are - on the whole - easy to care for. All they require is a little shelter, fresh water and food every day. Gallon water feeders are available. Use those and you'll only need to provide water for your birds once a day.

4.  Chickens Are Great With Children

Depending on the breed, these birds can be gentle and safe around children. Your little ones will love holding the baby chicks.

5.  Raising Chickens Means Fresh Eggs, and Improving Your Health

A survey done by Mother Earth News revealed that poultry - particularly those who live in chicken tractors moved daily - have up to one third less cholesterol and a fourth less saturated fat than commercially raised eggs. They also have more vitamin A and a lot more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and beta carotene than their commercial counterparts.

Free range birds eat more of the diet they are supposed to have - lots of leafy greens, bugs and worms. They enjoy their lives; my birds love it when I move their tractor about. Everyday they get a new supply of grass to scratch in! Commercially raised birds, on the other hand, spend their entire lives cramped in the same small, dark, dirty space. They consume a diet of cottonseed, soy and corn with additives thrown in.

This stressful environment can make them sick, so they're also given antibiotics to keep them from dying too soon. You and your family ingest those antibiotics when you eat their eggs. Plus, you're eating eggs from stressed-out, potentially sick birds.

By raising chickens in a free range environment, you're providing a kinder environment for your brood and better nutrition for your family.

6.  Raising Chickens Provides You With Fresh, Clean Meat

Naturally, the same goes for raising chickens for meat. Less stress and no antibiotics. Plus, the meat will be cleaner. Hens and roosters that are commercially processed and killed are plucked and then thrown into a large vat of hot water until they are ready to be cut up. A lot of fecal matter collects in the vat. The poultry is literally cooking in "fecal soup".

The feces soaks into the flesh of the bird and is in the liquid that comes in the packaging. When you butcher your own birds, you eliminate the "fecal soup." Hence, cleaner meat.

7.  Eggs are an Easy Income

Everybody loves fresh eggs, so they are easy to sell. Start keeping chickens and they'll produce more eggs than you and your family can eat. Collect eggs and store them quickly. Sell the surplus, and within a year you'll recoup your startup and feed costs. Keep selling your extra eggs, and the following year, you'll have free eggs and earn a little income besides.

More Articles About Chickens

Learn more about keeping chickens in a moveable coop

Great tips on caring for your flock in winter.

Live in the city? It's likely you can still keep a small flock. Learn more.

It's best to start with chicks. Here are tips on housing your baby chicks.

More great information on caring for your flock.

Ready for fresh, delicious eggs? Read this great benefit of keeping hens for their eggs.

Thinking about ordering baby chicks? Learn which chicken breed is right for you.

Tips on raising the organic flock.

Want chickens in your urban neighborhood, but the laws forbid it? Learn how you can get a chicken law passed in your neighborhood.

Learn why homesteading and chickens go hand in hand.

Ready to have your own backyard flock? Here are some tips on caring for backyard chickens.

Looking for an excellent way to build the health of your flock and protect you and your family from diseases such as Salmonella and E-coli? Add poultry probiotics to your flock's water every day.

Tips on raising chickens for meat.

Learn how to butcher chickens.

Return from Raising Chickens to the Home Page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.