The need for fresh meat and eggs is the main reason why most people raise chickens. Raising chickens, especially in the city comes with its challenges. What they eat ultimately determines the meat’s quality and nutritional content of the eggs.
Therefore, it’s important that you know how to raise chickens to get the best quality of meat and eggs. But why would you really want to raise chickens in the city? While there are many reasons let’s have a comprehensive look at six of them.
1. You get a good supply of meat and eggs… This is the most obvious reason for raising chickens in the city. You don’t need to raise a large flock to realize this. Having a flock of about 10 – 20 chickens will ensure your family has a good supply of eggs and meat. You may even have surplus eggs to sell of give to your neighbors.
2. They’re easy to feed… People who know how to raise chickens will tell you that feeding them is perhaps the easiest part. Your chickens will eat almost anything, from grass to worms to green vegetables to leftovers from your kitchen. Once in a while, give them some commercial feed that has special nutrients to make sure they stay healthy.
3. Their waste can be used as manure… What goes in your compost pile can be used to make incredible liquid fertilizer if steeped with chicken manure or water. Chicken waste has a very high nitrogen content, piles up relatively fast and can be a great source of nutrients for your plants.
4. They get rid of bugs and control pests… Chickens can eat a large variety of insects such as aphids, ticks, slugs and cabbage worms. This means that your plants remain healthy throughout the year. Also, the population of damaging insects is kept to the minimum. They are also good weed suppressors. Besides eating weeds, they eat thousands of seeds as they scratch and claw for food. This in turn keeps your garden looking nice and tidy.
5. They don’t make a lot of noise… Many people who don’t know how to raise chickens think that they are some of the noisiest animals you can ever raise in the city. However, the truth is that hens don’t make noise; roosters do. Therefore, it’s only logical that you keep the rooster population at its bare minimum. Note that you don’t need to have roosters in your flock for the hens to lay.
6. They’re easy to own… If you know how to raise chickens, you will be quick to notice that it doesn’t take a lot to have your own flock. They are relatively easy to care for. You will probably spend an average of five minutes a day to keep the feeder full; water full and collect the eggs. A thorough cleaning once a week and will only take you about fifteen minutes.
You also have an option of choosing from the many breeds depending on your needs. There are breeds that provide both meat and eggs. Some breeds are small and lay very small eggs. Others lay brown eggs or white while others lay specked eggs.
Owning chickens in the city also means you can have a chance to preserve an endangered breed. There are a number of heritage breeds that have been reduced in number because commercial growers mainly concentrate on the breeds that grow a little bit faster.