Take a stroll around your neighborhood and you’ll likely notice a trend that’s popping up in cities all across America: backyard chickens. More Americans are starting to pay attention to and play a more active role in their food chain. Many more city dwellers are growing their own food, and for some this means raising chickens. So, what’s their reasoning?
Some choose to raise chickens to give themselves peace of mind that their eggs are safe to eat. With last summer’s recall of millions of eggs due to a salmonella outbreak, many consumers have lost trust in store-bought eggs. Raising chickens gives them the ability to control exactly what their chickens are ingesting, as well as the levels of sanitation and the humaneness of the birds’ conditions.
Others choose to raise their own chickens because of a love of fresh eggs. Fresh eggs have firm, bright orange yolks that bounce back when poked with a fork. Being able to collect eggs daily ensures getting them at their absolute freshest.
Still others choose to raise chickens in order to lessen their environmental impact. By eating food that is grown as locally as your own backyard, you can lessen the amount of fossil fuels that are used by your household.
Many families have found that chickens make terrific pets. They are fun and fascinating critters to watch. Daily feeding, watering, and cleaning the coop is a great way to teach children life lessons and responsibility.
Whatever your motivations, if you are interested in raising chickens, the first step is to check your local city or county ordinances regarding raising poultry in your area. There are also many resources at your local bookstore, library, and online.