Which came first? Who will be able to ever answer this ancient question?? … probably only the first chicken… or egg.
But regardless of which came first, it is becoming more and more apparent that the Chicken is winning when it comes to popularity for today’s Urban Farmer.
I have had more and more friends start their own little chicken farm than I’ve had friends go on the Gluten-Free Diet… and that’s saying something.
Chickens are the new Puggle! They are popular to have… and, in my personal opinion, they come with a few more benefits than little Fido.
The benefits are as follows:
This is the obvious benefit. A mature chicken will lay approximately one egg daily. Depending on what you feed your chicken, it is assumed that it would be natural feed, you would be the owner of a Cage-Free, Organic, and Highly Nutritious Egg. It has already been proven that Cage-Free eggs are much higher in nutritient value than your average store bought egg; not to mention the quality of life between Cage-Free and Battery Cages is strikingly different.
Chickens are an excellent source of natural insecticide. If you love to have an organic vegetable garden, chickens are great resource for getting rid of those nasty little bugs that aim to ruin your veggies! And, they perform this service happily and without chemicals… it’s brilliant.
Piggy-backing on the previous point, chickens also provide highly nutrient-rich fertilizer with their waste. As they walk through your garden, taking care of the little bugs, they are also fertilizing and helping your garden grow. The bedding from their cage also becomes an inexpensive compost for your soil.
There isn’t the greatest amount of cost difference between purchasing your eggs from the store or raising your own chickens to get your eggs. However, it is still found to be less expensive to own chickens, than to purchase cage-free eggs. Plus, it’s important to add into the account the benefits of the additional natural uses as a pesticide and fertilizer for your garden. In the end, you WILL be saving money raising your own chickens.
Chicks are inexpensive to purchase, between 15$-25$ each depending on species. Check out the website mypetchicken.com to understand price/cost scenarios. In the basic sense, you only need to provide a chicken coop, a place in which they can sleep and feel safe to lay eggs. Click HERE for a great How-To on making your own coop. Finally providing chickens your choice of feeds. There are grain mixes that you can purchase from any Feed store… or, as many of my friends have done, chickens are, like pigs, happy to eat the scraps from your own homemade meals. but let’s not be gross and feed them chicken meat… that’s just cruel.
These little chicks are funny. Each time I arrive at a friend’s home who has chickens, I find simple enjoyment at watching them entertain themselves in the garden, in the yard, or even in my lap! They are curious, sweet, and active little pets that enjoy to be petted and coddled. They become a little member of the clan! … now, this can be problematic for those who envision that their chicken coop will provide more than just a meal of eggs, but will also provide Chicken Meat... in that respect… maybe don’t let yourself get too attached to Pluky… and leave them to their own business.
It’s my ZGreen Opinion that raising chickens is not only a more sustainable alternative to purchasing your own eggs and chicken meat, but it it also a sustainable alternative to protecting and growing your garden. Not to mention the benefits to the chickens that you choose to raise, providing in all likely-hood a happier life than many other chickens have. Raising chickens is a full life cycle process in which there is a huge reduction of waste from packaging of eggs and meat, to further reduction in CO2 emission from the transportation of these commodities. Remember… every little bit counts, never discount or minimize the act of your small step.
Have Fun, Get Started, Go Green!
Z Green Scene