Friday, February 05, 2010

Why backyard chickens?

This is a nice post on trying to acclimate your neighbors to your backyard flock. We've been quite fortunate so far and haven't had to justify anything but I love the tone of this non-threatening, non-obnoxious flyer.


Why Backyard Chickens?

The eggs.
Beautiful, best-tasting, and most nutritious ever. They are higher in omega-3s and lower in cholesterol than commercially produced eggs.

Keeping a few hens reduces the demand for factory-farmed eggs which are produced under highly undesirable conditions. Plus, as far as “eating local” is concerned, the backyard is about as local as it gets.

Compost magic.
Chickens consume kitchen waste, weeds, and lawn clippings, reducing stress on landfills and turning household compost into a wonderfully balanced super-fertile soil. Perfect for the best
gardening conditions imaginable--without chemical fertilizers.

It may be a drop in the bucket, but shopping for eggs in the backyard and enhancing
the production of a kitchen garden is a tangible step many people can take to reduce reliance on the corporate machinery that has taken a bite out of our independence.

You Have Chickens in Your Backyard? I wonder . . .

Is it going to be dirty and/or smelly?
A well-maintained chicken set-up is a very low or no-odor environment. Much less so than cats and dogs.

Am I going to get a wake-up call at dawn every morning?
Few backyard chicken owners keep roosters. Roosters are not necessary for egg production, just for egg fertilization. Some hens intermittently set up an “egg-laying cackle” in late morning to early afternoon, but it isn’t the penetrating crow of a rooster. Just a “bawk!, I laid an egg, I laid an egg” announcement. Hens are very quiet most of the time, particularly during the early morning hours and well before and after sunset.

If only all the neighborhood dogs, leaf-blowers and teenagers would be as considerate!

Aaahh! Bird flu!!
Bird flu has never been found in domestic flocks in the US. In fact, experts consider an increase in home egg production to be an answer to the threat of diseases such as avian influenza which are aggravated by overcrowded poultry factory conditions.

It it even legal?
Yes, municipal laws in our county permit backyard fowl.

Can I have some eggs? Can I bring my children to see your chickens?
Yes! We love to share! And we love introducing our flock to the people who appreciate them the most-- kids! Chickens are a great teaching tool and there’s nothing like the experience of gathering a warm egg from a nest.

Copyright Little House in the Suburbs ( 2010

Thanks Ladies!

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