The Top 7 Benefits of Raising Chickens For Homeowners

Quaker 4x6 Chicken Coups

More and more homeowners are enjoying raising chickens in their backyards as a fun hobby. The benefits of backyard chickens extend far beyond the joy of gathering fresh eggs every morning.

From enhancing your garden’s health to providing entertainment, the advantages are numerous. Here, we explore the top seven reasons why keeping a small flock of chickens can be rewarding for your family and garden.

Plus, we’ll offer some advice on choosing the right chicken coop to ensure your feathered friends are happy and healthy.

Fresh Free-Range Chicken Eggs

One of the most immediate benefits of raising chickens is the supply of fresh eggs. Knowing your eggs came from happy, healthy chickens roaming freely around your garden adds an extra layer of satisfaction to your breakfast.

Fresh eggs from your backyard are not only tastier but are often more nutritious than those you’d buy from a grocery store. And you’ll have plenty of eggs saving money from high priced eggs at the grocery store.

What Makes Backyard Eggs So Much Better?

While all eggs are recognized as a powerhouse of nutrients, eggs from backyard chickens often have an edge in nutritional content compared to their commercially farmed counterparts. Here’s a look into what makes backyard chicken eggs a more nutritious option.

Enhanced Nutrient Profile

  1. Higher Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Backyard chickens often have access to a diverse diet, including grass, insects, and seeds, which significantly increases the omega-3 fatty acid content in their eggs. Omega-3s are essential fats the body cannot produce by itself, playing a critical role in brain function as well as normal growth and development.
  2. Increased Vitamin Levels: Eggs from backyard chickens boast higher levels of vitamins, particularly Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin D. The natural, varied diet of these chickens, along with exposure to sunlight, contributes to the elevated vitamin content. Vitamin A supports the immune system and vision, Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, and Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and immune function.
  3. Richer in Beta Carotene: The deep yellow or orange hue of the yolks from backyard chickens’ eggs is due to higher levels of beta carotene, an antioxidant that the body converts into Vitamin A. This nutrient supports good skin health and vision, along with aiding the immune system.
  4. Lower Cholesterol and Saturated Fat: Some studies suggest that eggs from backyard chickens may contain lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fat, although this can vary based on the chickens’ diet. Nevertheless, reducing saturated fat intake is beneficial for heart health.
  5. Better Taste & Freshness: Many advocates for backyard chicken eggs also cite superior taste and freshness. Fresh eggs can make a noticeable difference in cooking and baking, offering richer flavors and better texture. Additionally, knowing exactly where your eggs come from adds a layer of satisfaction and peace of mind about the food you consume.

Sustainable Meat Source

For those interested, raising chickens provides a sustainable source of meat. Free-range chicken meat is fresher, healthier, and more ethically sourced than many alternatives available in supermarkets.

It allows you to control what goes into your food and understand the entire process from farm to table. No steroids and antibiotics and you can source a local butcher and have it packaged in parts that work for your needs.

Natural Pest Control

Chickens are natural foragers and will spend their days pecking away at pests that can harm your garden. They eat ticks, beetles, and other insects, providing effective pest control without the need for chemical alternatives.

Watching them peck around the garden beds becomes both beneficial for your plants and entertaining. You’re plants and vegie gardens will flourish if you have chickens to help protect them from insect invasion, and the less ticks in your yard is a bonus.

Kitchen Waste Disposal

Chickens can eat many of the kitchen scraps that would otherwise end up in the compost pile or trash can. From banana peels to leftover vegetables, feeding these scraps to your chickens not only reduces waste but also contributes to their diet.

Plus, these types of kitchen scraps can get smelly in your trash can attracting household fly’s and other insects and rodents from invading your outdoor trash barrels.

Compost and Fertilizer

Speaking of compost, chicken manure is high in nutrients, making it an excellent fertilizer for your garden. Aged chicken manure can be mixed into your compost pile to create a rich, organic material that will help your plants thrive. And egg shells are a great source for successful composting.

Sustainability

Keeping chickens is a step toward living a more sustainable lifestyle. By producing your own eggs and potentially meat, you reduce your reliance on commercial farming practices. Plus, the benefits of natural pest control and organic fertilizer contribute to a healthier environment.

Entertainment and Companionship

Chickens are social, curious creatures with distinct personalities. Watching your chickens roam around the yard, interacting with each other, and exploring their surroundings provides endless entertainment. They can also become friendly pets that enjoy human interaction.

Choosing the Right Chicken Coop

When it comes to housing your feathered friends, selecting the right chicken coop is crucial. The size of your coop will depend on the number of chickens you plan to keep. A general rule of thumb is the more chickens, the bigger the coop needs to be.

However, if you’re planning on having a run where chickens can safely roam within a fenced area, the coop can be smaller as they will have more space to move around during the day.

There are several styles of chicken coops to suit various needs for a chicken friendly coop, including:

  • A-Frame: Ideal for small flocks and compact spaces.
  • Tractor: Portable coops that can be moved around your yard, allowing for fresh grazing ground.
  • Lean-to: Can be attached to an existing structure, saving space.
  • Combo Hen House and Run: Offers a built-in run with the coop, providing a safe space for your chickens to roam.
  • Dutch: Characterized by their classic, barn-like appearance.
  • Quaker: Known for their distinctive roof slope, providing extra space and protection from the elements.

When choosing a coop, consider the security, ventilation, ease of cleaning, and space for nesting boxes and roosting areas. Ensuring your chickens have a comfortable, safe place to live will keep them healthy and productive.

Learn more here: Thinking About Getting a Chicken Coop: Where to Start

Conclusion

The benefits of raising chickens are numerous, from providing fresh eggs and meat to enriching your garden and offering companionship. If you’re thinking about adding a small flock of chickens to your backyard, remember the importance of choosing the right chicken coop to meet their needs.

With a little planning and care, your feathered friends will thrive, bringing joy and numerous benefits to your home and garden.