Sustainable Living with Backyard Chickens

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 22 July 2020

Keeping a flock of lovely pet chickens in your backyard is a wonderful way to reduce your carbon footprint and maintain a sustainable, organic and ethical lifestyle. Happy healthy hens can provide your family with so much. From ethically raised eggs as a food source to organic manure and compost for your gardens to natural pest and parasite control. These quirky pets really are the perfect choice for anyone wanting to improve their health, happiness and the sustainability of their lifestyle. Let’s have a peck at just a few reasons a flock of backyard hens is best for your family…

home raised chicken eggs

Pet chickens provide ethically raised eggs
Thanks to the confusing labeling of commercial egg packaging there really is only one way to ensure your eggs are ethically produced - by producing them yourself!

Here at Backyard Chicken Coops we love to let our chooks free-range. For us, this means letting the girls out into the yard to stretch their wings, and scratch to their heart’s content. This is the image most backyard chicken keepers have when they think of free-ranging. Unfortunately, that beautiful word doesn’t have the same meaning when you step into the supermarket. Instead, if you want delicious eggs from happy hens, you’ll need to get a flock of your own ladies...” - Ethical Eggs – Free Range or Pastured?

chicken in backyard garden with flowers

Your gardens will thank you
Manure, Hemp Bedding compost and mulch, and obsessive weed control are just a few ways a backyard chicken flock will improve your garden…

Say hello to dark nutrient rich garden soil, a weedless wonderland of bounty, an insect free gardening zone, a rowdy soil mixing rally and vibrant delicious vegetables chock full of good for you vitamins and minerals! Don’t forget your pretty flower gardens though- flowering plants too can reap the rewards of a strong soil foundation brought to you by none other than a small backyard chicken flock! Great gardens do begin with chickens!” - Great Gardens Begin With Chickens

australorp chicken in penthouse coop with hemp bedding

Hens are an extremely low waste and sustainable pet
There is virtually no waste in the day to day keeping of chickens that is not useful. Their spent eggshells can be added to compost or ground up and fed back to them as shell grit - essential for calcium intake. Their messed bedding can be added to the compost or simply laid down as nutrient rich mulch on your vegetable and garden beds Even their poop is an asset to your garden!

Chicken litter compost is a favourite of coop keepers who are also avid gardeners! It feeds your garden with a hearty mix of nutrients and minerals, and means that your chooks play another vital role in in the upkeep of their home (aside from egg production, pest control and provider of chicken hugs!).” - Can I Use Chicken Manure As Fertilizer In My Garden?

chicken in backyard free range

Chooks are eggs-perts in natural pest control
Did you know that chickens are descendants of the dinosaurs?! It’s true! Your backyard flock may be small in stature but they are very clever girls whose hunting instincts are second to none. Garden pests and parasites such as grasshoppers, flies, grubs, ticks and termites don’t stand a chance when your hens are stalking the garden for treats.

What’s even better is that the insects are good for them. Insects provide the chickens with a healthy, plentiful source of protein– something that’s essential to their diet.” - Chickens and Gardens – Nature’s Pest Control

mother child backyard chicken

A backyard chicken coop is a great learning tool for children
Teaching our kids about sustainable living is best done in practice. Chicken keeping is an interactive and fun way for children to learn about the life cycle, ethical and sustainable practices, food sources, empathetic pet care AND it sparks an interest in nature and natural animal behaviours. There’s really nothing a chook can’t teach a kid!

Chickens are far from brainless, boring birds. Hens make for clever, individually minded and affectionate companion pets for kids. Raise your chicken flock from day olds, or hatch some baby chicks, and your kiddos will have a faithful feathered friend for years to come.” - 3 Reasons Chickens Make the Best Pets for Kids

There are lots of benefits when it comes to keeping chickens, including sustainable living, eggs and companionship. To be the best chicken parent, you need the right information to guide you to a happy, healthy flock. Many chicken keepers struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock.

This is why I recommend Chickenpedia to all my readers. They have comprehensive online courses on everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, you’ll find beginner-friendly courses that’ll give you the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens.

As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. No need to wing it, become the ultimate chicken eggspert! Check out Chickenpedia today!

Learn more about how chickens can improve your lifestyle here and if you’d like to give a hen a happy home have a peck at our guide to adopting an ex-battery chicken right here.