Keeping Chickens takes some work, but is very worthwhile.
We love our chooks. Pictured above are Brigadeer (golden laced wyandotte rooster), Margaret (golden laced wyandotte hen) and Chomper (white leghorn hen)
Most people think about the egg factor when wanting to keep chickens, but I have found there are many more benefits to keeping chickens as pets.
Top 5 are below:
- if you get the right breed, they are wonderfully natured and great around children
- they eat weeds and pests around your garden (if they're free range of course)
- they're funny - each with it's own personality
- they make a great pet for young children
- they fertilise the garden
AND OF COURSE - they give you eggs in return for taking such good care of them.
We have found that keeping chickens on a cement pad is a much better solution for a) foxes and b) cleaning the pen. Nothing more awful than a muddy, dirty pen all through the year. Being able to clean out the pen every 3 months is good for us and great for the health of the chickens. We use a natural hemp straw to line the pen and it has been brilliant. Apparently usually used for rabbits, I highly recommend it for your chook pen. It absorbs water and is finer than pea straw or hay.
They eat poultry mix made of different seeds, scraps from the kitchen and god knows what insects when they are scratching around the garden. This wonderful diet means we are getting nutritious eggs from the hens. Studies have shown that what a chicken eats really does make a difference to how jam packed your meat or eggs are with Omegas, Vitamin B12 and D just to name a few. They're packed with protein and good fats too.
Lastly, for those people that think they're doing the right thing by throwing the yolk away and only using the white (for omelettes and quiches etc) Shame for your taste buds and shame for your health! Eggs are made in two parts for a reason. The yolk actually aids the break down of the whites in your body. SO you really should each them together :)
Having a few boiled eggs in the fridge is more nutritional and more filling than something else I'm likely to munch on when I'm hungry!