Why I Raise Chickens

Fluffy butts, fresh eggs, being a crazy chicken lady… what more could you want in life? Possibly more chickens, but that just goes without saying. #MustHaveALLTheChickens

5 years ago I never imagined I’d have 13 chickens in my backyard or that I’d be dunking chickens in salt water and then dish soap for 20 minutes total to remove lice naturally or cuddling baby chicks in my office but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have life any other way now.

And although there are so many reasons why I raise chickens, here are my top 7 to hopefully persuade you into getting some chickens of your own. Because chickens = love. And fresh eggs. And fluffy butts.

1. We get eggs… duh.

Fresh eggs are probably the number one reason why everyone who first starts out raising chickens for. People who have never raised chickens probably also start raising them because they assume they will get free eggs. I’m sorry to bust your bubble, but when you raise chickens for eggs, they are anything but free. In fact, they are probably the most expensive eggs you’ll ever eat but damnit, it’s worth every single penny.

Nothing beats walking to your backyard, collecting warm eggs, witnessing the large vivid orange yolk, and eating them up that morning.


2. We know exactly how the chickens were raised

It’s a scary world out there when it comes to food production — especially in livestock. Hormones, antibiotics, disease, filthy living conditions, GMOs, cramped quarters, no sunshine, de-beaking, chemical egg rinses, unhappiness; it sounds awful doesn’t it? Why would you want to eat an animal that has lived a life — if you could call it that — in such a miserable way?

It’s also awful when it becomes harder and harder to trust mainstream food sources. In a sense, I guess it’s better because it means more and more people are turning to local farmers and friends who raise food humanely. Where the people go, the money go, and companies are always watching.

That being said, sometimes it’s hard to find local sources of good food. When raising chickens myself, I know firsthand what goes into the whole process; how they’ve been treated, what they ate, what kind of love they received, etc. Call me a control freak but I’d much rather put the hard work into raising the chickens than rely on someone to do it for me.

3. Andrew gets to experience something most kids don’t

In my opinion, a majority of the current generation of children are lacking one of the most important things in life: a connection to their food. Unfortunately, our society as a whole has lost a complete connection to where their food comes from, and in turn, has lost respect for food, hard work, and all the other lessons that come with raising food — whether it be livestock or a vegetable garden.

Growing and raising food is hard work. However the hard work that comes from growing and raising food has one of the most ultimate rewards you can receive: gratitude, respect, and appreciation for the food we eat, and honestly, life in general. Children need to see this, experience it, and live it.

The life lessons taught — patience, persistence, critical thinking, how to overcome failure — are invaluable and something I personally believe cannot be taught in regular school. Have you seen the mass amounts of homework children are given these days???

I am so incredibly grateful we can offer this experience to our children. Although right now Andrew is not as interested in gardening all the time or often doesn’t want to come outside to help me feed the chickens, he is still exposed to the hard work Mommy has to do so we can harvest delicious food. There are opportunities to talk about life, death, taking care of the chickens, the life cycle of a chicken and egg, and so much more. He gets the opportunity to feel the warmth of a freshly laid egg, gathering them all up, and helping me make breakfast with them. He gets to see me sell our eggs to other families so we can use that money to buy our chicken feed, show love to the chickens by picking weeds for them, and go outside to simply enjoy being with them.

In our material world, these experiences are something money could never buy and I have no doubt will carry on with him as he grows older and eventually leaves the house. I can only hope he’ll one day marry a lady who will love chickens, too. 

4. I feel a deeper gratitude for life and my food

Ditto to everything I said in #3. There is no greater reward than putting the hard work into raising an animal to produce the food that nourishes your family and friends. As someone who is consciously trying to dwell on the things I’m grateful for and feel more gratitude in my life, this is one more thing that adds to the pot of a satisfied life and soul.

Plus, simply watching your chickens enjoy themselves by taking dust baths is enough to make you smile and be thankful.

5. I get my own chicken soap opera in my backyard

I’m not a huge fan of much drama in my life, but I love the fact that I have a mini drama going on in my backyard with my chickens. Sometimes Scott and I go out there and basically sportscast what is going on with the girls, what they’re probably saying (because we’re obviously chicken whisperers), and what’ll happen next.

It’s definitely a different — and unusual — type of fun, but in our crazy world, it’s nice to leave the drama to chickens and not reality TV shows.

6. I get to call myself a chicken lady and people associate me with that title

I know have officially arrived in life because people now associate anything chicken related to me. They — meaning 4-5 people simultaneously —  send me photos of chicken harnesses, chicken feet high heels, chicken swings, and all the other chicken stuff.

What more could I want in life than to be the Crazy Chicken Lady? Nothing really, besides more space so I can have more chickens…

For a good laugh, and to flock with your own kind, you’ll want to read my popular post: You Might Be A Crazy Chicken Lady If...

7. (Almost) Free chicken poo

I say almost because raising chickens costs a little (or a lot depending on your situation and methods) money but aside from giving you eggs, chickens also give you poo. And a lot of it.

Why is this a good thing you may wondering? Well, because lots of chicken poo means a lot of opportunity to turn that chicken poo into black gold — aka the best fertilizer in the world for your garden! It takes a little time and patience to make chicken poop into fertilizer but it’s worth it and will help you save money when growing a garden.

To be honest, we still haven’t done this but I’m hoping by the end of June, Scott will build a compost bin in our extended chicken run. This way, I can shovel the poop and pine shavings into the compost bin (along with other food scraps) and have the ladies scratch in it when it needs to be turned. If the plan goes accordingly, I’ll have black gold ready in time for our fall garden!

Do you have any more reasons why you raise chickens? I’d love to hear your comments below!

P.s. If you’re looking for chicken resources, I love this book by Fresh Eggs Dailly and this e-guide to raising backyard chickens from Oh Lardy.

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  1. I really enjoyed your post! I so admire what you are doing and why. It makes me want to be young again and start all over…….with chickens! And a nice garden. 🙂

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