Why do people raise poultry? Poultry is Practical!
There is a movement afoot with people going back to their roots – to making things by hand – to growing their own food – and to being sustainable. Poultry fits into this model very well. A flock of chickens or other birds can be a very practical part of any size farm and even lends itself to backyards and small urban gardens. No homestead can be without poultry!
Chickens and other types of poultry are great providers of two different protein sources – eggs and meat. The physical size of poultry fits many operations and homesteads and provides a lot of options. Chickens do not demand the space of cows or goats. Birds eat less and produce less manure.
When you taste eggs or meat that you raised yourself, you notice a tremendous difference in flavor and freshness. Studies have shown over and over that the eggs and meat of birds raised naturally on pasture and in small farm environments are higher in nutrients and are safer to eat. By raising a flock of poultry, you are creating a nutrient dense source of food for your family.
This appreciation of small farm raised or locally raised eggs and chickens also makes a poultry enterprise quite profitable. Raising poultry as a business or as a part of a more diverse farm business is a solid revenue generator. There are also more and more people looking to buy chicks or hatching eggs and so selling birds for raising can also play a part in one’s farm business.
Poultry is also practical for vegetable gardeners. Poultry manure can be made into truly fabulous compost which can make your garden grow better. Chickens and other birds can be used to eat bugs out of the garden or clear yards of ticks. Many geese are good at weeding. A flock of birds can be a prime element in successful soil building. They are great for the environment.
When you raise your own chickens, you can be sure that the eggs or meat that you are consuming has been treated humanely and respectfully. You can also raise poultry organically, or GMO-free, or soy-free depending on your health concerns and priorities.
Chickens are known as the permaculture mascot – and that is because they are so easy and undemanding to keep but provide so much!