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Whether you are living on a farm in the country or building a home in the city, chickens are wonderful to have around. While most people tend to think of chickens as potential sources of dinner, others enjoy them as family members or pets. Chickens are wonderful animals to have around as they are self sustaining. The costs of raising a chicken can be very minimal. You may need to invest a lot in the beginning. However, the costs will be reduced considerably over time. Besides being a food source, they have many other multiple uses that are beneficial.
Chickens are great for your garden
On a daily basis chickens produce enough waste that can be used over time to fertilize a garden. Their droppings are full of nitrogen which is great for garden production. Chicken manure can be added to any garden for growth of food, plants and flowers. Of course you will need to process the manure first as it is a bit stronger than normal fertilizer. There is a process of curing the manure that needs to be done before use. Once it is ready it will be the best manure you will ever use. Chickens also love to eat bugs. You will never have to worry about a bug or grub infestation in your gardens. If you give a chicken a bug, they will enjoy it like a kid with a new toy. They absolutely love eating them. Just be sure to remove your chickens from gardens once your vegetables start to grow.
They are helpful at reducing trash or waste
Every day people toss away pounds of uneaten, rotten or stale food. Chickens help with reducing food waste. They will eat just about any scrap food you give them. They will happily eat old vegetables, fruits, stale breads, crackers and other spoiled foods. Some have even been known to eat other meats, even a small mouse, worms or a lizard can be food for chickens. Your trash will be reduced considerably with chickens around.
Great for education and teaching responsibility
Children love having pets around. While most kids prefer a cat or a dog, others have been known to raise chickens. Chickens are great teaching tools for kids. Even schools are starting to have farming programs for kids. Kids learn how to feed chickens, clean up after them in their coops, learn about incubating eggs, build chicken coops, learn about egg production and even learn how to train chickens.
They can help you earn money
Raising chickens as an income source is great. Depending on the type of chickens you have, you will get a significant amount of eggs on a weekly basis. If you have enough chickens around you will end up with more eggs in a day than you can eat. Selling eggs can be quite profitable on a large scale. Earnings can be from $3 to $5 a carton in some areas. Eggs from Organic, free range chickens are highly desirable these days as opposed to store bought eggs. If you are raising chickens for their meat you can make a profit as well. You just need to have enough chickens to continue the production of eggs and incubation. These days some people are even renting out chickens to make money.
Chickens produce food
With a chicken around you will never go hungry. Eggs are a perfect source of protein in any diet. A chicken will lay one egg per day. So if you have several chickens around, you will have a large amount of eggs at the end of the day or week. You can store them up to several months if you can’t eat them all. Or you can sell them and earn some extra cash. Raising chickens for their meat is another food source for you. Chickens can get big enough to feed a small family if they are fed properly.
They are entertaining and fun to watch
Chickens are about as entertaining as cats and dogs. They run around and play, forage for bugs, make interesting sounds and make great antidepressants. You can watch a chicken play for hours. Give a chicken a bug is similar to watching a football game. They play keep away with other chickens and will even hide with their bug while others look for them. Trying to catch a chicken can be a game in itself. A chicken can outrun you on just about any given day. If you are trying to lose weight chase a chicken around for a few hours.
Chickens are great alarms and warning systems
Everyone knows that roosters can be very noisy. It seems as though they have a built in alarm clock. They wake up before the sun comes up on most days. Some even cackle during the day. If predators are around, a rooster will let you know about it. They will get very excited and vocal until the danger has passed. So if a coyote or bobcat comes near and they see it, they will let you know danger is near.
Egg shells have many uses
Egg shells no longer need to be discarded after the yoke and whites have been removed. Egg shells can be used for gardening and composting. Crushing egg shells into your garden helps build up your soil. Tossing them into composting bins is good too for the environment. If you have seeds you want to sprout you can use an egg shell to get it started. Crushed and powered egg shells can be used as a vitamin supplement as well. The nutrients are great for humans and animals. They make the perfect calcium supplement. If you are looking for a cool way to entertain kids, you can teach them how to make sidewalk chalk using egg shells. If you coffee is a bit bitter try adding in some egg shells before brewing. It will taste better and lose any bitterness.
So if you are looking to raise chickens these benefits should help you make the right decision. Chickens are a great investment and will bring much joy to your life.