In recent years, chickens have made their way from farmyards to backyards, and sometimes even into swank New York City apartments. It seems that the trend towards sustainability only grows stronger and more mainstream as time goes on. So why would a seemingly normal family want to tend to chickens, and how does a family know if they are prepared for a backyard full of feathered friends?
For many chicken owners, raising chickens is a way of life that is fun, environmentally conscious, and sometimes profitable. Texas urban homesteader Debra Knox, who frequently takes home top prizes in chicken and egg shows from local and state fairs, knows a thing or two about chickens. She turned her entire backyard into a chicken sanctuary and has invested in several unique chicken breeds for her growing brood. "We love watching how the chickens interact with each other and us," Debra says. "They all have very different personalities and they're also a great stress reliever. And of course, the eggs are wonderful." Other chicken owners attest to how much their children enjoy the chickens as part of a familial push towards green living, and they add that raising chickens can also help the environment and reap rewards for backyard gardens.
Because raising chickens is not for everyone, experts offer a few words of caution before you leap into purchasing a coop and chicks. First of all, check your local laws to make sure that owning chickens is legal in your residential area. If your neighborhood allows you to own chickens, ask yourself a few important questions before moving forward with your backyard plans:
Many chicken owners feel that these drawbacks and risks associated with owning the birds are absolutely worth the joy they obtain from the animals. If you have weighed the pros and cons of owning chickens and feel that it is an endeavor you're willing to pursue, start saving up for a chicken coop and read about the supplies you'll need when you bring your first chicks home in early spring.
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