Chicken farming is a very lucrative practice for both commercial and personal purposes. Technically, people who raise their own chickens enjoy a wide range of benefits. Jordan Walker, the lead content curator of Coops and Cages, shares a couple of the advantages chicken farmers enjoy.
Ever since men have developed the capacity to think, we have always thought of ways to further improve things or to emulate what others are doing. That’s why we see products naturally improving over time or are being copied from one country to the other.
On a smaller scale, food production also entails the same thing. People began to wonder how easier and cheaper it would be if they could grow their own food. Thus, came the advent of homesteading, defined as emulating a self-sufficient lifestyle.
Among the top homesteading practices is chicken farming. I’ll soon explain why.
Promotes Humane Chicken Treatment
If you’re like me, you probably buy your eggs or chickens at the grocery. It’s quicker, available in bulk, and less tedious than going into the process yourself.
What I found, however, is that the industrial farms that house these chickens are not at all very humane. In fact, the chickens’ quarters are said to be very tight that chickens can’t even socialize, walk around or even stretch their wings.
So here’s the catch. Chickens subjected to such treatment are said to suffer from psychological effects that sometimes affect the eggs they lay and the quality of meat they produce. That’s why I’ve decided to totally shy away from industrially raised chicken meat and eggs.
Fresh and Nutritious Eggs
On a similar note, eggs produced by chickens raised in friendly environments are shown to have as much as double or triple the omega-3 fatty acid content as well as a third of the cholesterol. Best of all, you know exactly what your chickens are exposed to and fed, which gives you the assurance that no chemical substances or feeds were used in any way.
Going back to the topic on commercially produced eggs, there is another thing bothering me about buying eggs at the store. The freshness is definitely not there anymore. After all, the eggs have been in transit from the farm to the mall or worse, there might be a distributor in between which handles logistics.
All that transit time plus the time the eggs stay on the shelves expose them to air and other contaminants. These can, in fact, seep into the egg shell and affect the quality, taste, and nutritional content of the eggs.
Chickens eat practically anything and if they have plenty of leg room, they’ll explore your backyard. My chickens, for example, feast on all sorts of insects in the garden. This helps my backyard plants flourish all the more.
Aside from pests and insects, chickens would also tear up weeds, grass and leaves that takes their fancy. This would minimize the waste and debris that your garden naturally produces.
Additionally, chicken droppings are as good as compost. I use all their droppings to fertilize the trees and plants I have at home. Just think about it, an insect and waste-free garden with free fertilizer. It’s pretty astounding.
No Wasted Leftovers
As mentioned earlier, chickens are not that picky. With some grass here and there, they’d be fine. Personally, I also feed them leftovers that I don’t foresee getting eaten soon. Chickens would just tear it up and appreciate the kind gesture in turn.
Chickens are easier to maintain as compared to dogs or cats. I also found that kids like feeding chickens as much as they like collecting eggs. If you have a kid at home and think a dog or cat is a step too much, chickens are the next best things.
Useful Egg Shells
Egg shells have long been used in compost heaps. Plants need all the extra calcium they can get and if you add egg shells, there’s your answer. Adding egg shells to compost allows your compost to help keep plants from rotting in the long run.
Also, not many know this but you can actually let your egg shells decompose in the soil as well. Just plop them directly underground and eventually, they’ll decompose and give you calcium rich soil for your plants.
Chicken farming is indeed a very beneficial endeavor that one could partake in for personal or commercial purposes. Don’t just take my word for it though. I know there are a ton of celebrities who have their own backyard farms and enjoy farm fresh eggs as much as the next guy.
And be sure to follow our friends at Pioneer Settler for more great homesteading tips!
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