|One of our own meat chickens, a Red Broiler.|
Today I hope to inspire those that have considered owning just a few chickens to get on that bandwagon and ride it! I am going to tell you today why you need three laying hens. Seriously, you do. And yes that’s right, just three hens. Why three, you may ask? Well, the number three really isn't that important... the idea is that you just really need a some! (And let's be honest, you will get addicted and are going to want more!)
Benefits of Owning a Few Laying Hens
- 1. They typically aren’t too loud. Did you know that you don’t have to have a rooster to get eggs from hens? This works out great for people who are allowed to keep chickens in more populated areas. This means no early-morning cocka-doodle-dooing! (Be sure to check your city ordinances and zoning to make sure it is okay to keep hens in your backyard if you live in an urban area.)
- 2. Eggs. If you choose a good egg laying breed like Rhode Island Reds, you can get an average of 200 eggs per year per bird and if they are really healthy, even more! That means an about 600 eggs in a year from just three hens!! That is an average of about a dozen eggs per week. Fried eggs for breakfast, anyone? Omelets for dinner, perhaps? YUM!
- 3. It just feels good to raise your own food. There is something about knowing where your food (eggs in this case) comes from and what it goes through to get to your table that is just neat to be a part of. And who knows! Maybe it will inspire you to do more to bring homegrown foods to your table.
- 4. They are great for kiddos! If you have kids, it is wonderful to allow them to be a part of the process of procuring food from their own animals. I don’t have any children of my own as of yet, but I remember being a child when my dad raised chickens. I remember feeling really privileged to gather our own eggs and to get to see our own poultry and beef raised right before our eyes. You suddenly feel a sense of ownership that you don’t get when you buy the same product from the store. It can also teach kids to be responsible, how to care for animals, and it is a great way for them to learn to connect with older folks who have an interest in chickens.
- 5. You can show them off! If you are interested, you can get your little chicken all dolled up and take her to the fair to win the big blue ribbon! Now if that doesn’t sound fun, I don’t know what does!
- 6. They don’t cost much. After the initial cost of getting your hens and putting up a coop (which, if you are handy, you can build yourself from scrap materials) the upkeep of your hens is pretty cheap! You can buy them a bag of laying hen feed and supplement with table scraps and slightly wilted produce. Just make sure you do your research to find our what table scraps are good for chickens and what ones aren’t!
|Some of our own bantam eggs!|