Can it be true? Farm fresh eggs from your own backyard? Yes even if you live in the city it just might be possible. In this first of a series of articles we will point out the many benefits of raising chickens for eggs.
The benefits. Raising chickens for eggs is simple. Feed the chickens and they will reward you with eggs. With two chickens we get one to three eggs each day and we know that they are chemical and disease free. It costs us about $5.00 each month for scratch.
Besides the eggs there are additional benefits. They are a natural way to control insects. They wont eat all insects, for example aphids and fruit flies are too small, but the first spring that we had chickens, they eliminated the June bug problems that we had had during the previous year. They eat the June bugs in the larva stage so we only saw one adult this year (either they missed one or it wondered over from our neighbors yard). They also love pill or sow bugs, earwigs, slugs, snails and most any other insect with in their reach. While they love earthworms when they get one, earthworms tend to live a little deeper than the chickens like to scratch.
As the chickens dig for insects they cultivate the earth. We have paths in our yard which are lined with natural stone, at times it looks as if the edges of the path have been painstakingly cultivated by mini rakes. The mini rakes are actually chicken feet, digging for the many insects which hide there. Another added benefit is their high nitrogen guano. In the day we generally let our chickens run free in the yard where they add a little fertilizer here and there. The guano from under the coop is shoveled into the mulch pile or allowed to fall directly into the garden (we have a coop that is easy to move).
In our next publication, we will list some of the concerns you may need to consider before raising chickens in your backyard.