Even though I live in suburbia lot, I want to grow my own food. If I have to supplement with ‘store bought’, I buy from local, family owned, organic sources who I trust to not contaminate my food with hormones, pesticides, etc.
Recently, our city changed an ordinance allowing residents to care for up to six laying hens. Tending my own hens gives me control over a high quality source of protein for my family.
We have been too far removed from knowing about the food we eat.
To a small-scale gardener like myself, chickens are “pets with benefits”. I give them my kitchen scraps, and free range access to grass and bugs. In return, they give my family fresh eggs, weed and pest control, fertilizer for the lawn and garden, and loads of entertainment.
Hens are also GREAT intruder detectors! They are notoriously territorial so strange person or animal can go skulking through our backyard undetected.
I already mentioned the entertainment factor, right? Who needs tv or even a trip to a movie theater with hens around?! Nothin’ beats watching a flock of chickens livin’ large in the backyard. There’s comedy, drama and action ‘o plenty amongst a flock hens. Just pull up a chair and don’t forget the treats!
These days, keeping chickens makes me part of the ‘in’ crowd. People no longer think I am weird for having hens. Some even keep them as inside pets! There is a multimillion dollar industry that has sprung up around urban homesteading and keeping backyard hens; and in these hard economic times, that is a blessing on many levels.
Fancy chicken coops, chicken tractors, chicken diapers… just listen to this NPR story Backyard Coops Make Chicks Chic for more! Don’t stop reading now!. Google information about your food, you may be surprised about what you learn.
I am grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with nature and provide healthier food for my family. Hope you are motivated to move in a similar direction!