Introducing Backyard Farm Animals
How Many Animals Can You Keep?
- Ducks & Geese
- Honey Bees
- Dairy Cows & Beef Cattle
Excerpt from Page 12, Chickens>Getting Started
Comparing Benefits and Drawbacks
Raising chickens has some downsides. One is the dust they stir up, which can get pretty unpleasant if they are housed in an outbuilding where equipment is store. Another is their propensity to scratch the ground and dig dust holes, which can be a big problem if they get into a bed of newly planted seedlings. Chickens also produce plenty of droppings that, if no properly managed, will smell bad and attract flies.
Until you raise your own chickens, it may be hard to believe that people become attached to their chickens and have difficulty letting them go when it's time to butcher meat birds or replace old layers with younger, more efficient hens. The only alternative, though, is to run a retirement home for chickens, which gets pretty expensive, and the birds will still get old and die eventually. You'll have to come to grips with the loss.
For many people, the upside of raising far outweighs the downside. Chickens provide wholesome eggs and meat for your family, and you can take pride in knowing that the flock that puts food on your table lives under pleasant conditions.
Caring for a home flock takes only a few minutes each day to provide feed and water and to collect eggs. In hot or cold weather, these jobs must be twice daily, seven days a week. If you raise chickens for meat, the project will be finished in two to three months. If you raise hens for eggs, you must care for them year-round. As long as you keep in mind that your flock relies on you for its survival, raising chickens is a breeze.