Keeping a flock of chickens on your property is a smart way to reduce your carbon footprint and maintain a self-sufficient, sustainable, organic and ethical lifestyle. Healthy hens can provide you with so much. From cruelty-free 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 and self sufficiency of their lifestyle.
Let’s have a peck at why chickens are a smart addition to any self-sufficient lifestyle and how you can practice sustainable chicken keeping…
Chickens provide ethically and organically raised eggs and meat
The egg and meat bird industries are often maligned for their economically driven operational practices and commercial egg labelling is confusing at best. While we at Backyard Chicken Coops prefer our chickens as pets, we do understand that raising chickens for meat is part of the self sufficient lifestyle for many people. There really is only one way to ensure your eggs and meat are ethically, compassionately and organically raised – by raising them yourself!
Chickens are the perfect companion for a permaculture garden
Organic manure, spent coop bedding compost and mulch and obsessive and natural weed control are just a few of the ways a backyard chicken flock will improve your permaculture garden! There is virtually no chicken keeping waste that is not useful. Spent eggshells can be added to compost or ground up and fed back to the flock as shell grit. Manure tea is also a great way to transform their droppings – which there will be plenty of – into a nutrient rich elixir for your plants. Learn more about manure tea with our guide here.
Your flock’s spent coop bedding, provided it is from an organic source like our Hemp Bedding, can be added to the compost or simply laid down as nutrient rich mulch in your permaculture garden. You can also employ the deep litter method using organic hemp bedding, which essentially creates a clean and safe compost heap within the chicken run itself. Learn more with our guide to the chicken run deep litter system here.
Chickens are avid hunters and will make light work of any garden pests and parasites such as grasshoppers, flies, grubs, ticks and termites. Their garden prey will provide them with essential nutrients and protein, necessary for producing eggs and maintaining their general health. It’s a wing-wing situation!
There are many natural ways to keep your chickens healthy
Prevention is always better than cure, and this stands true for chicken health too. You can maintain a healthy hen flock using natural products that are safe for you, your chickens and your surrounding environment. Download our guide to the top 5 natural health products for chickens above this article to help prevent common chicken health issues such as worms, lice, mites and digestive and respiratory issues.
It’s easy to grow your own organic chicken feed
If you are a keen green thumb, and have the forage space, there is no need for a trip to the produce store for chicken feed. The five nutritional cornerstones of a healthy chicken diet are water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins and minerals. Making your own chicken feed ensures you know exactly what your chickens are eating and therefore what they are passing on to you and your garden through their eggs, meat and manure. Have a peck at our guide to making your own nutritionally balanced chicken feed here.
Keen to get crackin’? Give us a call – our poultry experts are standing by and ready to help you.
Download our Sustainable Chicken Keeping ebook