We’ve kept a large flock of free range chickens for several years and would like to save you a little time and frustration from what we have learned. A couple of backyard chickens will definitely benefit your family by providing fresh eggs, reduce insects, contribute to soil improvements, and reduce the amount of waste your family sends to the landfill.
Once set up, the birds require minimum maintenance. We recommend setting up a small coop with nesting boxes. Once the birds are laying in the boxes, they can be let out each morning and will return at sunset. This will keep them safe from predators at night and insure you do not have to go on an egg hunt every day.
Depending on your yard and the amount of table scraps, 1 bag of chicken feed will last 3-12 months. Allowing the birds free range of the backyard (daily or at least several times a week) insures you receive all the benefits of backyard chickens. It reduces your feed costs, insect population, and your coop maintenance.
Research has shown that free range/backyard chicken eggs often have a better nutritional make up then commercially produced eggs. All chicken eggs have similar caloric, cholesterol, and protein content. However, backyard chicken eggs tend to have a higher quantity and a more diverse set of micronutrients. This is because backyard chickens usually consume a broader diet when compared to commercially raised chickens.
If you have any questions on setting up your backyard chickens, feel free to write. Or if you need some fresh eggs, let us know.
As families look for ways to reduce costs and go green, we humbly recommend the backyard chicken. The simple addition of a couple backyard chickens would make a beneficial contribution to every home across the country. They are the ultimate green machines, with low maintenance and a high return.
Then there is the manure. Composted chicken waste is great for gardens and lawns. It will provide nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for your plants. It is a great soil amendment providing organic matter and increases the water holding capacity of the soil.
Then there is the chicken’s diet. Our backyards are often home to insects we’d prefer not to have around. Thankfully, chickens consider these insects tasty treats: centipedes, millipedes, caterpillars, snails, slugs, flies, roaches, potato bugs, earwigs, sal bugs, grass hoppers, and termites. They don’t stop there; they also enjoy small mice, lizards, and baby snakes. This is just their moving diet; they also love plants, especially the new green growth. In most yards this means they will eat weeds, some grass, brush, and flowering plants.
A home with a couple backyard chickens will see a dramatic decrease in what is sent to the landfill. Chickens will eat ALL table scraps and leftovers. Overripe fruit and vegetables should not be thrown away but offered to the chickens. They will also eat most cuttings, rinds, seeds, peels, and skins to the fruits and vegetables we enjoy. The only thing we do not give chickens is rotten food and leftover desserts. (They don’t need the sugar anymore than we do.) And yes, they even eat leftover chicken, turkey, and beef. Give the chickens the egg shells too. They are a beneficial source of calcium for the birds and soil.
If you have any questions on what type of chicken makes a great backyard chicken, just write. We’d be happy to share from our experiences and provide you a chicken or two.