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Why Raising Chickens Is Great For The Environment

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Raising chickens means so much more than fresh eggs every morning.  Chickens are a marvellous creature whose everyday habits positively contribute to their environment, and when you give them the right lifestyle, they make yours more sustainable.

A fluffy backyard chicken bum

A Natural Fertilizer

Chickens poo.  Alot.  They can excrete waste up to 50 times a day!  Many people pay good money for bags of organic fertilizer (free from the chemicals often found in manufactured fertilizers), but when raising chickens for yourself, you can have a constant supply of it.  Because chickens are omnivores, their manure is free of the diseases and bacteria found in the manure of meat consuming animals. Raising chickens on an organic diet also certifies that your fertilizer will also be free of any chemicals.  Collecting and adding it to your garden beds and vegetable patches provides a brilliant range of nutrients for your plants. Raising chickens in a free range in your yard also means the grass will stay fertilized and healthy.

Compost

The perfect recipe for compost is never complete without chicken manure.  If you want to get the most out of the fertilizing capability of your chickens waste, then add the wood shavings from your coop (if that’s what you use for bedding), plus any bits of excess plant life you have lying around i.e. grass clippings, fallen leaves.  Moistening the compost will activate its fertilizing properties, as well as mixing it to get the oxygen in.  You can even throw the empty eggshells into the compost heap.  This saves you from using synthetic fertilizers that can damage the environment – the toxic runoff from garden beds into waterways and eventually streams/the ocean is a serious concern.

Fresh Eggs

Having a constant supply of fresh eggs is one of the best treats you can give your breakfast table.  These days, raising chickens yourself is one of the only ways to ensure that no chemical, hormone or other nasty interferences have gone into the making of that egg!  In addition, raising chickens and producing your own eggs means that no money has gone into factory farming – where chickens are subjected to abhorrent conditions in order to meet the demand.  Raising chickens based on a healthy diet and using those eggs instead not only gives your chickens a better life, but sends a message to the factory farming industry.

Another great thing about raising chickens is that you get your fresh eggs for free.  Certified organic eggs are quite expensive to purchase these days, as are most certified products.  Often people who find themselves having a surplus even make a few dollars selling to their envious neighbours and friends!

Minimize Waste     

If you’re left with piles of leftover food scraps and are hesitant about putting them in the bin, your feathered friends certainly have a better use for them.  Raising chickens on a scrap-rich diet ensures that they are getting lots of great nutrients.  Our customers are constantly laughing about their chickens anxiously waiting out the kitchen window for their daily scrap feast!  Feeding your kitchen scraps is definitely a great way to minimize waste and reduce landfill – plus once the chickens have digested it, it goes on to fertilize your lawn! And thus the cycle of sustainability continues.

Natural pest control

Many of us in our desperate hours may turn to chemical sprays and pesticides to save our precious garden plants from the clutches of insects – but raising chickens is a great method of all-natural pest control!  Chickens have a voracious appetite for insects, and absolutely love to eat grasshoppers, slugs, snails and beetles – preventing the culprits from leaving your plants less than intact! Raising chickens on a bug and insect rich diet is extremely beneficial for them, and will even make your eggs taste better as a result.  It’s a win win – you don’t have to use pesticides and chemicals that could taint your garden and damage the environment, the chickens get their dinner and your breakfast is even tastier!

Young girl patting her backyard chickens

Teach your kids about sustainability

Chickens are great family pets and very child friendly – most love a cuddle just as much as any other animal. Raising chickens with your kids is a great way to teach them about the environment and how to live in an eco-friendly way.  Get the kids involved with collecting the eggs, or get them to take out the scraps at dinner time.  It’ll be great entertainment for them seeing how eager the chickens are for their delicious meal!  Educating your kids while their young makes them more aware of their footprint on the earth for years to come.

It’s easy to keep them!

Raising chickens is actually quite an easy activity, as they are independent creatures that look after their own needs.  They clean themselves by dustbathing, which staves of disease and parasites.  They only eat when they’re hungry, and consume such a wide variety of food (bugs, scraps, feed) that its easy to keep supplies up.  They go to bed when they need to, they don’t need your help to lay their eggs…they are pretty nifty creatures!  The main thing you as an owner need to consider when raising chickens is providing them with a safe, secure environment and room to stretch their wings. And your love of course – they can never get enough of that!

Raising chickens is a wonderfully rewarding experience – not just because of the feathered friends you make, but because they really do contribute positively to the environment.  Not only do they keep your garden in tip-top shape, but they provide you with fresh eggs almost everyday.  So if you’re all about sustainability and considering getting some new pets, raising chickens is the perfect choice. They really do pay for themselves!

Sources and further reading

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