Raising Backyard Chickens, a lovely farming hobby at our backyards.
If you are in Ghana, you will notice the raising of backyard chickens as a common trend in most households. Almost all farm households keep one type of animal basically for subsistence and chicken is the commonest of them. The practice of raising chickens in backyards hold some tremendous benefits beyond the obvious.
Why raise chickens in the backyard?
Now lets us look at the reasons that will compel you to start raising chickens on your own in your backyard.
Ready source of fresh, tasty free range eggs
Chickens raised in a free range system produce eggs that are relatively tastier. This is probably because they have access to a wider variety of vegetation and organism to feed on. Free range chicken eggs contain less cholesterol and saturated fat, and more vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and beta carotene. Eggs can be collected fresh and consumed.
Eliminate food waste
To supplement the feed for the chickens, you can add food left-over and other kitchen waste to feed them. Therefore, instead of dumping left-overs, you can convert that to good food again by feeding it to the chicken.
Source of manure
The droppings of the birds serve as good manure for your gardens. Make good use of it by collecting it from their coops and spreading on your gardens. Chicken manure contains high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and is more economically valuable than synthetic fertilizers.
A ready source of fresh, tasty, organic meat for the family.
It is always a delight when we are asked to grab a chicken for weekend supper. The excitement and all besides a meal prepared with fresh, tasty, organic meat of a chicken. It is surely a family delight. For that alone, I made sure the birds are well catered for.
Chickens love to eat protein-packed insects, and so helps to control a wide range of insects around the house. They will take care of the crickets, grass hoppers, snails and other pests in the garden. They love to eat many weeds too, and serve as post-harvest garden bed gleaners, helping you with work on your gardener.
The benefit of good health and long life.
Heard of oxytocin?. It’s a stress-lowering chemical in your body that’s released when you hug someone you love or even pet your dog or cat. Anyone who has raised backyard chickens can probably say the same about the hen. Studies have shown that those of us with pets live happier, healthier and longer lives. Activities on chickens like picking of eggs, cleaning coop or feeding come with some excitement. You will usually find me talking to the hen whiles I do all that. It is an awesome experience.
Learning opportunity for children
Children learn a lot from the experience of raising chickens. The biology of chicken development and qualities of caring are among the lessons a child picks up as they raise their chickens.
Source of income
There is quite a demand for organic chickens and the sources are mostly those raised in backyards. They are, however, not always available. Families take advantage of that to make some money by selling some of the chickens or their fresh eggs. The money goes into supplementing the families budget.