Raising Chickens- Pros and Cons

Raising Chickens- Pros and Cons


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Ever had the idea of raising your own chickens? Read about the reasons why we raise chickens, and raising chickens pros and cons
Photo Credit: Freeimages.com/ Elly Kellne

Ever had the idea of raising your own chickens?  Or wondered WHY others did it?  Read about the reasons why we raise chickens, and the Pros and Cons of having chickens.

Here’s the reason we raise chickens:

  1. I grew up with them, and they make great eggs and meat to support the family for cheap (when buying organic
  2. Wanted a “chore” for my boys to do where they can earn their own money ( by selling the eggs) so I don’t have to provide for them an allowance.
  3. Needed to get rid of my food scraps.

Our first year with chickens, was a last minute decision.  My brother helped my husband build a quick chicken coop using extra wood.  Then we used some old chain link fence found in the yard and made a run.  We squeezed the coop and run between the neighbors fence and our garage. It was perfect because it was out of site, especially because it wasn’t the prettiest thing.

We started off with 12 baby female (pullet) chicks. Only one casualty the first week, gave us a total of 11 chickens.  They brought us in 8-11 eggs a day. In the summer it was 10-11, but winter is 8-9. We only use about 1 dozen a week, and end up selling the 4-6 dozen that we didn’t use to family or friends. We do not let them “free Range” But they do roam in a portion of our yard.

THIS past year, we built a bigger and better coop, which allows the chickens to walk around under the coop.  It has helped with smell, easy clean out, and more “room” snow-free in the winter.  It’s been working great!

Raising Chickens Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Like I mentioned before, you can sell the eggs. We sell them for $2 a dozen. Since my boys are still little and aren’t earning the money, we use the money to buy food for the chickens.  I’ve heard though, that we sell them for REALLY cheap compared to others… and have known others who sale a dozen for $3-5.
  2. Fresh “Organic” Eggs whenever you need for a cheaper price…a great way to live frugally.
  3. Farm Fresh eggs TASTE better!  Ask your friends… it’s true
  4. Great way to get rid of your food scraps. I throw all food to my chickens except left over eggs. We cook dinner one night and eat it, then eat left overs for one day.  Whatever is left goes to the chickens. It’s really nice to not feel “guilty” for throwing out the food or not having to eat it to save money. My refrigerator is SO clean of left overs!
  5. If you have young kids that never eat everything on their plate, give it to the chickens.  There are items your chickens SHOULDN’T be eating though, so make sure you check it out.
  6. Since I’m not throwing as much food in to the garbage, I don’t have to empty it as much!  My kitchen smells more fresh because of this!  AND I save money on trash bags!
  7. When the chickens stop laying eggs, you can butcher/recycle/sell or another term “send them to freezer camp” for food storage.  This is great “organic” chicken at a discounted price with just a little extra work.  Make sure you wrap them up good to prevent freezer burn.  Backyard chickens tend to have a tough-er meat.  If you cook it with an Instant Pot, it softens up the meat well.
  8. The poop makes good fertilizer for your garden… (just make sure you don’t use too much!)
  9.  You can freeze the extra eggs if you choose to keep them.
  10.  I LOVE how bright and big the yolk is!


Cons:

  1. They smell. You need to make sure you keep the pen somewhat clean.  Typically, every 2—3 weeks we (aka my husband) wash out the pen and shovel out piles of poop.
  2. Flies. But, if you find a good Fly Trap they fill up quick and help to keep the flies away.
  3. Where ever chickens are, they will kill EVERYTHING. Chickens EAT everything green, so if you have pretty flowers (even roses) or a garden, they will EAT it. If they DON’T happen to eat it, then all of their poop will kill every living thing (since it’s such a strong fertilizer). So, if you have chickens, make sure you put them in a place you don’t mind having no grass.
  4. You have to collect the eggs… sometimes more than once a day if they start eating them (rumor has, if you put a golf ball in their nest they’ll stop eating eggs). And yes late at night, in the rain, cold and snow, and when you are sick and you really don’t want to… collect the eggs EVERY day… so you’ll need to find someone to help out while on vacation too.
  5. Washing the eggs can occasionally be disgusting…mostly on rainy days.   Sometimes they get muddy and pooped on… yes it’s as gross as it sounds. Although, if they ARE clean, they’ll sit on your counter top for up to 2 weeks!  (place an egg in water, if it sinks it’s still good).  OR buy a cute Egg Run like ours!  I LOVE IT!  It keeps them in order and saves room in my fridge!  Or.. have your kids wash them if they are old enough and won’t crack them.
  6. Getting rid of the chickens when they stop laying… in the 2 falls ago we sent our first batch of chickens to “Freezer Camp”.  It was my husbands job… and he did a great job!  Some of the meat seems a little more tough than the store (even using a crockpot), and we have to de-bone it… but it tastes great!  I did find that using an Instant Pot helps soften the meat.  This is also something you don’t have to do either… you can just send your friendly pets to a friend, or find a hunting friend that would gladly take them off your hands.

Those are our pros and cons of raising chickens.

We have almost had our 2nd batch of chickens for a year, and it is going MUCH better than the first.  Looks like they will be staying around a little bit longer before heading to “freezer camp”.

What do you think?  Is it worth having chickens? Comment Below

Further Reading:

Ultimate List of Frugal Living Websites

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