Raising chickens for eggs is a satisfying and rewarding pastime. Not only is this a great way to have a constant supply of low cost fresh eggs, it is also a very environmentally friendly activity.
There is nothing quite like a freshly laid egg. Not only is it as fresh as it can possibly be, but it is also packed with nutrients. A fresh egg from a home reared chicken will have a rich golden yolk and a thick white. It will be very unlike the battery or intensively farmed eggs that are available from stores and supermarkets.
Keeping chickens needn't just be for the rural dweller or self sufficient farmer. Even urban dwellers with a small back yard can keep a couple of chickens and enjoy the benefits of fresh eggs for most of the year. Add a few containers for growing vegetables and a significant amount of produce can be grown cheaply at home.
How Many Eggs Will a Chicken Produce
Before people start out raising chickens for eggs, they often wonder how many eggs a chicken will produce. This is an important question as it will help to determine the number of chickens kept. Typically, one chicken will produce one egg a day for the part of the year when the amount of daylight is increasing. Certain breeds are more prolific and it can also depend on geographical conditions. It is possible to increase the number of eggs produced by artificially adjusting the amount of light that they receive. However, most hobby chicken keepers are happy to let the chickens produce eggs in line with nature.
Environmental Benefits of Raising Chickens for Eggs
There are many environmental benefits of raising chickens for eggs. These include:
- Chickens can be fed on kitchen waste and this helps to keep food out of landfills and reduces the amount of waste produced
- Minimal carbon footprint created as there are no delivery miles incurred
- Chicken waste can be used as a highly nutritious fertilizer for the garden
- The chickens can be raised organically and without the use of harmful chemicals
What Is Required to Keep Chickens?
Keeping chickens requires surprisingly little in the way of specialist equipment. One of their key requirements is somewhere safe and dry for them to roost at night. Specialist chicken coops can be purchased and these range from all in one chicken coops that also include covered runs, through to simple roosts where free ranging chickens can be shut overnight.
In addition to specially built coups, it is also very easy to convert or build backyard chicken coops. An old garden shed, for instance, can be adapted for use with chickens. This is also a good way to recycle old and unwanted materials.
Looking after chickens is also a great activity for children. It helps them to learn about the responsibility of looking after animals as well as learning more about going green - and of course they will be rewarded daily with freshly laid eggs.
While chickens don't require a lot of special attention, they do require a daily care routine. Most people who keep chickens, however, regard this as being a pleasure rather than a time imposition. People soon get to know their chickens with their unique personalities and looking after them can be a fun activity as well as an environmentally rewarding one.
Chickens need a daily routine of feeding, the collection of their eggs, shutting them away at night and letting them out in the morning.
Other Regular Care
Chicken runs require regular cleaning. This is essential and will help to keep the chickens healthy. Chicken waste can be used as a fertilizer and is often highly appreciated by gardening friends. Chickens also need to be regularly checked for diseases or parasites such as mites.
Finding Out More Information
One of the best ways to find out more information is to talk with local chicken keepers. They will be able to advise on the best breeds for local conditions, give information about any special conditions to be aware of and generally offer support to a new chicken keeper. Asking at a local farm supplies store is a good way to find out about local chicken rearer groups. An Internet search might also be useful.