Many people have asked me why I got chickens. I tell them the three reasons why I wanted chickens.
#1 Chicken manure.
I am a gardener and a frugal yankee (one step up from cheap mother of a person). I garden as organically as I can, using compost and manure to replenish my garden soil. I can get all of the free horse manure I want. Horses never stop making the stuff so most horse owners have an abundance that they are happy to give away. Horse manure is the least nutritious of the 3 most available manures, one of the reasons you can get it for free.Cow manure is the next nutritious and chicken manure is the best. Chicken farmers know this and sell the manure. Being frugal, I don’t buy it or any chemical fertilizers. But, I needed a better fertilizer for my garden, so I started thinking about getting chickens.
#2 They eat bugs
Specifically, they eat ticks.I have fences to keep the deer out of my garden, but the ticks they host are in my grass and woods. The two previous years I have had 4-5 ticks on me each year from doing yard work. The U.S. also has been invaded by a Chinese insect called a stink bug. Actually there are more than one type of this bug, once you squish one you will know how it got it’s name. I read an article on backyard chickens and the line I liked most was “chickens eat anything that moves slower than they do”. I’m fighting back against the bugs, I got chickens.
Now that my garden is done for the season, I’m letting my chickens into it and they are scratching up and eating cutworms, grubs and other little creatures. Plus, they are adding fertilizer as they go.
#3 Fresh eggs
I think this might be the first reason most people get chickens, but I’m not that fond of eggs. I really hated them as a kid. I’m more mature now.
So, after going to backyardchicken.com 2-3 times a week for the last few years (I wanted to see what I was getting into), I decided to get chicks. I wanted 4 chicks, 2 different breeds and all hens. The Franklin Agway store will order you day-old chicks, so I went down to place my order. Well they have a minimum order of 5 and they had to be the same breed, OK
I ordered 5 Rhode Island Reds. The following week I swapped my order of RI reds to Golden Reds and brought home 6 baby chicks April 4th 2012. They had an extra chick. Backyardchicken.com calls this chicken math. Wanted four, ordered five and came home with six.
And so the adventure began.