The Chicken Whispererby Andy Schneider (the Chicken Whisperer)

There are many advantages of keeping a backyard flock of chickens, and you no longer have to live on a farm to benefit from these advantages.

For starters, backyard chickens can provide your family with fresh nutritious eggs. Many people today want to know where their food comes from and what they are putting into their bodies. Knowing what goes into your chickens will allow you know what comes out of your chickens.

Chickens are great composters! Chickens love to eat leftover table scraps and any extras out of the refrigerator. According to Pat Foreman’s book, City Chicks, one chicken can biorecycle about 7 lbs. of food waste each month. That’s about 84 lbs. of food waste per year. If 2,000 residents in your city or town kept 6 chickens each, that would total about 500 tons of biomass diverted from your local landfill. Now that’s amazing!

Chickens will provide you with an endless amount of fertilizer for your backyard vegetable garden. Just add it to your compost bin along with other yard waste, and eventually, out comes a wonderful composted mulch to add around your plants and vegetables.

Chickens are great for backyard insect control because that eat all kinds of unwanted insects and garden pests such as slugs, grubs, ticks, beetles, and other harmful insects. Eating insects is a big part of the chicken’s natural foraging behavior.

Chickens can provide a great educational opportunity for children. Many children today don’t even know that brown eggs exist, let alone know where they come from. Many children think that vegetables simply come from the local grocery store. Having chickens in your backyard can open the eyes and minds of your children, not to mention teach them responsibility.

It may be surprising to some, but chickens make great pets. They are very entertaining to watch and bring enjoyment to the whole family. Some backyard chicken keepers say that watching their chickens scratch around in the backyard is quite therapeutic.

With all of these great advantages it’s not surprising that backyard chickens will be coming to a neighborhood near you.

Chicken Whisperer™

This article appeared in the June 4, 2010 Murray McMurray Newsletter.