5 Great Reasons to Raise Meat Chickens

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Many homesteaders and urban backyard farmers choose to raise meat chickens for food as well as these other unique benefits…

Whether you have a small homestead or are just looking to raise a few meat chickens in your backyard, they can provide you with several benefits beyond just a tasty and healthy source of clean meat.

Chickens are relatively cheap to raise, and many municipalities will allow you to keep a limited number even inside city limits. Besides meat, chickens can also provide some other wonderful benefits to your yard and homestead including fertilizer, pest control, and more.

Below are 5 reasons that you may want to consider raising meat chickens for yourself and your family:

Benefit No. 1:  Eggs, Meat, Manure, and More!

Eggs, meat, manure, pest control, and the joy of keeping them are some of the biggest reasons folks raise backyard chickens.

For instance, did you know that your average dual-purpose backyard hen can produce more than 180 eggs a year—and about one cubic foot of highly prized manure every six months?

if you’re looking to put meat on the table, you’ll be glad to know that same chicken can achieve a slaughter weight of up to eight pounds in as few as six weeks.

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As omnivores with a strong preference for live insects and sometimes small critters, chickens can help with overpopulations of grasshoppers, wireworms, cutworms, Japanese beetles, brown marmorated stink bugs, small mice, and more.

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Benefit No. 2: Eliminating Waste

…According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture 31 percent (or 133 billion pounds!) of our available food supply is wasted by retailers and consumers annually.

Most of this waste occurs because consumers—that’s us—just don’t want to eat it for whatever reason…

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If every household or community had backyard chickens, we could potentially eliminate 21 percent of the post-recycling waste overwhelming our landfills…

Benefit No. 3: Garden Helpers

Backyard chickens are also great workers if managed in a manner that respects their inherent behaviors.

  • For example, with their powerful scratching abilities, backyard chickens can be used to help break down a compost pile.
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  • In winter, backyard chickens can help prepare your garden beds for spring… And, of course, they’ll be fertilizing your soil along the way!

Benefit No. 4:  Healthy Chickens Means Healthy Meat and Eggs

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We all know factory-farmed broiler chickens and egg layers are not raised using ideal methods when it comes to chicken well-being. But these conditions also contribute to potentially problematic effects related to human well-being.

For example, from 1944 until 2015, arsenic was an FDA-approved feed additive used frequently for speeding chicken growth, enhancing skin pigmentation, and preventing parasite infestations.

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However, new scientific testing proved that inorganic arsenic—the kind that causes lung, bladder, and skin cancers and contributes to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive deficits, and adverse pregnancy outcomes—did build up at greater levels in chickens fed arsenic and was likely transmitted to humans during this period.

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Benefit No. 5: You’re In Control

When you raise your own backyard chickens, you get to choose what they eat, how they live, and how they are treated if processed for meat.

You also control the cleanliness of your chicken coop and can play a direct role in ensuring your chickens’ health as a means of contributing to your own good health.

Read the full article at TheGrowNetwork.com

 

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