raising chickens

My Top 5 Reasons for Raising My Own Chickens…

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Today I thought I’d list some of the top reasons I personally think just about anyone should consider raising their own chickens…

(after reading the article, please share your own reasons for raising chickens by posting a comment at the bottom of this page! πŸ˜‰ )

1. The eggs are healthier!

healthy eggs











Photo by artbystevejohnson

Eggs from properly raised “backyard chickens” are sooo much healthier than store-bought ones.

Chicken factory farms has one single goal: to make the chickens produce eggs as quickly and cheaply as possible. This results in an unvaried and unnatural diet and in many cases they will be given various hormones and antibiotics.

On the other hand, chickens that are allowed to forage freely, peck for insects and engage in their natural behavior will provide you with considerably healthier eggs, free from hormones or other unnatural substances and are brimming with nutrition!

2. The Taste!

Chickens eating a varied, nutritious diet will result in more flavorful eggs.

Many people who eat an egg from a properly raised “backyard chicken” will be surprised by theΒ the strong flavors as well as the intense, almost orange color of the yolk compared to their store counterparts.

3. Garden Benefits!

plants in garden











Photo by celesteh

Chicken droppings enrich your compost. Chicken droppings are high in nitrogen. Added to the compost bin they add more nitrogen and improve your compost.

Chickens provide natural insect control. As they hunt and peck around the yard, chickens gobble up grubs, earwigs and other bugs, treating our garden pests as tasty, nutritious treats.

Even their scratching for bugs will benefit your garden by aerating the soil and breaking down larger pieces resulting in an accelerated decomposition process!

4. Chickens Are Fun & Educational

Chickens are extremely easy to raise. Essentially, all they need is space, food and shelter.

Believe it or not, raising chickens can also be a lot of FUN! Just like dogs or cats, every chicken has its own personality traits and just sitting down on your lawn watching them can provide a lot of entertainment πŸ™‚

Lastly, raising chickens provides a great learning experience, for children and adults alike! You’ll also quickly notice how your values towards animals and the value of the quality of food and where it comes from change.

5. Freedom From the Industrial Food Industry

grocery shopping cart











Photo by qmnonic

In these uncertain times, moving towards self-sufficiency is a great goal and producing your own eggs is a great step in the right direction. If you’re into gardening, that can take care of a lot of your fruit and vegetables needs. Cows, sheep, and goats are too big and cumbersome for most yards, while chickens are small, relatively quiet, willing to eat just about anything, and they can produce a steady stream of eggs.

These are my own personal top reasons I love keeping my own chickens…

All the best,
John White

PS. Do you have your own top list? Share it here below by leaving a comment!


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44 thoughts on “My Top 5 Reasons for Raising My Own Chickens…

  1. Awesome article! I just checked out your chicken coop plans and I’ll be joining tonight as soon as I get home from work, can’t wait!

  2. I have 3 lovely hens that lay every other day and produce enough eggs to feed me and allow me to bake. My girls know me and eat out of my hand and would come in my house if I let them. The calm when I sit and watch them in my yard eases a days stress and makes me laugh when a grasshoppper strays in their path.

  3. The birds are a great chance for our kids (biological and foster) to learn responsibilities and consequences (good and bad).
    Watching chickens in the brooders is more entertaining than television!
    The food chain explained in such detail.
    No scraps from the table will go to waste.
    and the #1 reason ….. The Jelly beans as “baby chicken eggs” just doesn’t get old with small children !

  4. I was debating weather or not to get chickens. After reading your articles, I was inspired to do research and get some chickens of my own. Thank you so much! I have 4 children and the money we saved alone well paid for the coop plans I bought from you. Thank you so much for making it so easy and fun!

  5. I have had chickens for years and can agree as I read your articles. It’s great to see someone else has same results as I. Love your column keep it coming. Thanks

  6. The outcome of your wonderful messages have given me support and valuable information. My hens are very happy and healthy, and so is my garden. Aloha and mahalo from Hawaii.

  7. I recently built a chicken coop,( sorry my own plan) I have two red hens 1 year old, Queenie and Little Red I get two eggs a day, More than enough for my self
    and even to share. I really like your sight and the information you share. Thank you.

    Keep up the good work. I also have a small

  8. My husband and I have had a very steep learning curve. He likes to hunt ducks, geese and pheasant so we have several bird dogs. Between us and our pet nanny, we have had to replace several members of our flock for the last 5 years. Finally, our dogs have come to understand that the chickens are not game. The only other headache I have is that my spouse does not know how to build a proper fence, so having a garden–flowers or produce–is impossible. I have borne witness to my hens jumping into our blueberry bushes, breaking limbs off, just to annihilate the fruit. My friends rave about the eggs. But I can’t help but think it would be far cheaper to buy them at the farmers market than to feed them.

  9. @ Barbara. Here’s one way to keep your chickens up. That way they don’t tear up the blue berry bushes. Find/buy a 10×10 dog kennel. Get your husband to build you a cover, certainly he can do since he hunts(duck blinds, etc). Put a 5 gallon waterer in there, feed ’em once/twice a day. Have fun with it. Chicken raising shouldn’t be a chore, it used to be. But nowadays it has to be a hobby with some benefits!

  10. I love your newsletters. I had no idea chickens cannot eat certain things and without that list you provided I would have given them just that. I usually don’t read alot of my newsletters sent me and decided to read yours and it was one of the best things I did, Thank You!!

      • hi i agree whole heartedly with your top 5 reasons as they are similar to mine. we live in South Africa and got into chickens almost by mistake. we now have over 500 hens and 19 roosters after starting to sell eggs to co-workers at the office. this demand just grew amd grew until we now supply almost 100 dozen eggs to the local market and need to expand even more as the demand far exceeds our current supply. we recently bought another 200 week old hens from a local producer and look forward to increasing our egg supply by another 70-100 eggs per day. i built our own coops and they are not too dis-sinilar to your larger one for 100 chicks. normally we do not use timber here but i like the ideas given by you and hope to build some more coops for the new arrivals as i expand more and more.
        . thanks for all the information it is a great stimulas for our thoughts of expansion.

  11. First of all, thank you for all your knowledge about chickens. The love of my life was uncertain at first about me having so many chickens, but she has really come to love them like I do. She rides me hard sometimes about them, but if she did’nt, I would think something was wrong. Without eggs there would not be a real brekfast. If everyone had a few chickens, the world would be more at peace. thanks John! truly Rod & Barbie

  12. I have3beauiful laying hens. I got chickens after I lost my Germanshepard, I wanted something that I would not get so close too was I wrong they follow me every where I go and mind like my Shepard did , I can clap my hands and tell them to run to me and they fun as fast as they can to me. So funny they get on the window and peck for me to come out. I love my girls plus I get an egg from each one every day

  13. I’ve been badly bitten by the chicken bug as well after purchasing 6 pullets last Easter for my then 5 year old daughter to learn a little responsibility. The six turned to twelve by the end of last April and I just got 34 more this May. I’ve also purchased 4 more since then. My son calls me the “chicken lady”. Having so many different age groups is proving to be a challenge but those chain link dog pens have been my saving grace!! I have 3 runs separated by chicken coops with the idea that once all three generations are of equal size I will open the entire span for them to roam closing off sections to allow them to regenerate foliage. Wish me luck!!!

  14. for the first time ever I have raised chickens, I was given 5 chicks at 5 days old, fell in love with them, they are very good at stress relief, they are now 4mths old and are very much part of my life. but my have 3 rosters and 2 hens.

  15. I like and agree with your 5 top reasons for having chickens!!
    I had them as a child and my father had a big garden and fished, hunted and we had our eggs all the time. Great memories and I have chickens again! Very entertaining too! LOL

  16. Thanks for your post 5 great reasons to raise your own and have fresh eggs. I enjoy have the girls around when I’m working they enjoy being around me as much as I enjoy them. In the morning I let them out around 6:30am and they go back in around dark they free range all day and when they get to far from the area all I have to do is whistle and the Rooster calls back and they come running I trained them to a whistle to come and eat so thats there call to come home and feed up. I call the rooster foghorn and he seem to know his name when I feed them and I talk to him he turns his head and looks as if he understands everything I’m saying. We just had 12 chicks hatched out and are doing well there about 2 weeks old and they enjoy running around with momma getting bugs or trying to get them.

  17. Thanks for your post 5 great reasons to raise your own and have fresh eggs. I enjoy have the girls around when I’m working they enjoy being around me as much as I enjoy them. In the morning I let them out around 6:30am and they go back in around dark they free range all day and when they get to far from the area all I have to do is whistle and the Rooster calls back and they come running I trained them to a whistle to come and eat so thats there call to come home and feed up. I call the rooster foghorn and he seem to know his name when I feed them and I talk to him he turns his head and looks as if he understands everything I’m saying. We just had 12 chicks hatched out and are doing well there about 2 weeks old and they enjoy running around with momma getting bugs or trying to get them. I have enjoyed haveing then around I have seen them get really upset over a black snake in the area they sure let me know when there is a dog or cat in the area Foghorn keeps the local cats and dogs in line. He go’es right after them puffes up and does his little strut and they go away. So Far.

  18. I am looking forward to having hens in our yard this year! It’s gonna be company for me while I care for the organic garden and fruit trees and they can run the yard and get rid of the bugs. BONUS!
    I do my best to eat all natural and organic as much as I can grow or afford to get at the store, so my hens will be organic fed and live long happy lives just laying eggs and being allowed to do what chickens do..:)

  19. This is my first time having chickens. I would like to start with three chicks.
    What would be the best coop for three chicks. I would like to move it
    around the yard. About the chickens, do you think I should buy them
    at six months old or when there small.

  20. Thank you for all of your information but we have decided to use part of the barn where there is a stall that has not been used for some time now we will be putting chicken wire down on the ground and covering it up my man’s son has built the part that will be used outside so the chickens can go out during the day we will be putting some wire under it as well. We are doing this because we have many critters around here that can burrow as well as having Coyotes. I know that we will be able to enjoy the chickens and there eggs I have raised them before and really did like it. When I was around 5 and 6 we had a big long chicken house my dad raised them for there eggs&meat an he raised rabbits for there fur and meat. That is where I got my taste or raising chickens and it stuck with me for many years and I have a couple back yard chicken houses in the past as well since then,.

  21. Thank you for the news letter I know that I will enjoy reading them will look forward to getting more. Thanks Pat

  22. I have got 3 rescued ex battery hens they are doing great.
    Never had befor so am learning as I go, but they have turned the soil which is great as I’ve also started big vegie garden.
    No sure when will get eggs but not in a hurry as long as they are not farmed

  23. John,
    I have made inquiries about your Chicken house plans and all I get is vague references and an invitation to “join”. I would like to build a replacement Chicken Coop and your plans are interesting but I don’t enter into anything “blind”. What’s the bottom line stripped of the hype. $$$$$ wise, I mean? Is this a membership you are offering? If so, what’s the dollars involved.

  24. I would love to start raising my own chickens. What is a good chicken breed that could roam an acre chain link fenced yard. The fence is 4 feet high and I don’t want them to fly over. Plus I have a Yorkie and I’m afraid he would chase them. Any ideas before I start this adventure?

  25. g`day i love my chooks (aussie for chickens) it is interesting, i give them the weeds out of the garden any others go in my aerobin for compost. l would like to look up what not to
    give my chooks i am going to give them a pecka block (from australia) it has lots of minerals, omega3,grit, and give them something to do.i let my chooks out an hour or so before sunset (so they dont wreck the lawn and then they put themselves to bed and i just go out and close the gates. thats it for now carol f

  26. I have allergies and can not handle cleaning out coops, have had several batches in the past, biggest 50, smallest 3, most amusing a group of 7 bantams named after the castaways of the ss minnow. Taking the plunge again with a 5 ft wide, ten ft long, 5 ft tall double decker, chicken tractor, building as light as possible, hoping to be mobile, using two mounted buckets with a five ft gutter draining thru a screen into them for the water system. the top three ft covered mostly and the bottom two ft open for air flow, getting 15 per murray minimums, this time did a lot more research on breeds with the chart in murrays, placed emphasis on free range, heat tolerance and egg production, lesser emphasis on egg color and size. the winners were 3 black austrolop, 3 pearl leghorns, 3 brown leghorns, 3 cuckoo marans, 3 lakenvelder. We have woods on two sides of us, was thinking privacy 30 yrs ago when I bought here, not chickens. we have had problem with bobcats (bigtime, once at 2 in afternoon came up and got one while wife at kitchen window inches away and golden retriever asleep less than 24 inches away in screened porch) also problems with coyotes and eastern spotted skunks, have had panthers and a bear family in the subdivision also. but I personally have not had problem with those two species. I have my 2.5 acres fenced to keep the wild hogs out, a huge problem in florida. and here locally. in the past, my two worst enemies were the spotted skunks (tiny but deadly, only eat the head and can never get the chicken out the TINY hole that they come in ) and the bobcats, they have a den on a creek about 3/4 of a mile west of us, I gave up on goats yrs ago because of that den. MY QUESTION is , can you recommend anything to read concerning predators and do those solar powered red flashing lights (led) that are supposed to discourage predators actually work??? if those lights work, thought i might invest in four, one for each side. thank you for your time…..

  27. hi john
    i am new to keeping hens so new in fact i am still building the girls home
    my reason for doing so is i lost my job and became ill really down found a web site
    liked what i read only wished i lived in usa seems so much more going on regarding the fun side of hen keeping but i do enjoy reading what folks in the know have to say
    so i can learn and give my girls the best

    • Hey Michael – thanks for taking the time to comment. We wish you the best of luck. I’ve always felt my girls boosted my spirits. I hope yours will do the same! Perhaps you can spread the message of the fun side of hen keeping there in the UK.

  28. Bought your books, looking forward to building a coop and getting me some of this fun you all are talking about. I’m a city girl but moving to the country and looking forward to chickens.

    • Hey Barbara! Welcome – you will love it! And it’s easier than you’d think. Please don’t let anyone scare you off. Keep us posted on your move and keep an eye out because we’re getting ready to start a site all about living more independently, in lots of different ways, including chickens. Take care!

  29. Wish I could see/read your answers . We just got 11 chicks and are enjoying seeing the daily changes in them. Still too cool to put them out and I am concerned about preditors so trying to plan for their safety.

    • Hi there, Gretchen! We’re so excited for you – I hope you love the experience. Please check out some of our other blog posts for helpful advice and check out a new site we’re launching which will soon have more info: https://www.selfsufficient.com/

      And keep us posted – we love hearing about people’s experiences. Send pics!

      Take care and let us know if you have any questions.

  30. In addition to the wonderful eggs and entertainment benefit, I consider my chickens (“chooks” in Oz) an important part of home security. I live on the edge of swampland and deal with snakes every summer. I discovered years ago that movement in and around the yard, animal or human, discourages them from coming too close.
    Early in 2000 my chickens had a 4 ft tiger snake bailed up at the back door. They were all pecking at it (must have thought they hit the worm jackpot!) and my husband dispatched it quickly. It would have died from infection of the peck wounds, anyway.
    I’m very wary of snakes as, except for some species of python in the far northern states, they are all venomous here. We have red-bellied black snakes, tiger snakes and copperheads at our place… all are protected in Australia. Now we have 2 small flocks of Australorps clucking and scratching in and around the property to keep them at bay. Go chooks!

    • Hi Emmie,

      Thanks for taking the time to write. I had no idea that snakes were so prevalent – and so poisonous! – in Australia. That’s wonderful that your chooks can help keep them away. The worm jackpot image made me laugh!
      I’ve had guinea hens and they also do a good job of going after snakes. Both the chickens and the guineas make some noise whenever something is not right out there too.
      Keep us posted and good luck!

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