Chickens chickens everywhere! The world’s most popular domestic bird has moved from the rural farms of past, to the urban backyards of the future. As the country becomes more educated on the environmental and health impacts of industrial farming, chicken keeping has become a fun, cost saving venture for urban dwellers across the country. While most urban chicken keepers flaunt the environmental benefits of free range-organic-local eggs, chickens offer unspoken environmental rewards.
Top 5 reasons chicken keeping helps the environment:
- Chickens are nature’s lawn mowers – although chickens eat everything (literally everything) growing in your backyard, they also eat a healthy supply of grass if you let them. Allowing chickens to openly graze means little-to-no need for a lawn mower.
- Chickens love bugs – chickens receive a large amount of their protein from the insects they eat living in grass and bushes. Chickens will spend hours making sure your backyard is free from pests that would normally require harsh pesticides to get rid of.
- Chicken-scaping means no chemicals – because chickens have highly sensitive systems, it’s important not to use fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides around them. The great news is chicken manure is the perfect fertilizer, which can be collected and used in compost and gardening.
- Chickens require little food and water – chickens were bread as domestic animals for food and eggs, so obviously you have to feed them. They have a grain based diet and many chicken keepers prefer organic-corn and soy free grain which is better for the environment. They only require 1 scoop of food per day because the rest of their day is spent eating bugs, grass, and left over fruits and vegetable scraps. They do require clean water, but inexpensive chicken watering systems can be purchased which allow for more water conservation.
- Chickens can be raised for food and pets – most urban chicken farmers are more interested in egg-laying pets, but chickens can also be raised as food birds. Not only does this cut down on grocery costs, but it has allowed urban dwellers to take a more active interest in where their food comes from, and the dangers of factory farming for our health and the environment.