Sustainable practices and growing your own food can extend beyond cultivating fruits and vegetables in your garden. With the Chinese New Year here and in full swing, what better time to look into the idea of backyard chickens than the year of the Rooster? Inspired by the gorgeous new book recently released “Backyard Chickens: How to keep Happy Hens” by Dave Ingham (Murdoch Books RRP $35) with great photography by Cath Muscat, we have put together this backgrounder on the benefits of backyard chickens so you can start collecting fresh eggs from your own backyard!
This 239-page book is chock-full of information about how to get started. It answers questions as simple as what kind of hens you should get, to the more challenging questions of what to do about predators. It also delivers an array of stunning images featuring chickens looking as beautiful as can be.
Not convinced raising chickens is for you? Here is a list of benefits about this practice that is sure to entice you:
Low maintenance pet: Chickens only require approximately 10 minutes of your time a day. This breaks down into about 5 minutes in the morning (letting them out of their coop and providing them with more food and water) and about 2-3 minutes at night to round them back up. Raising backyard chickens is great if you have kids, providing a fun activity for them to participate in that can teach them responsibility and give them a unique pet alternative to a dog or cat.
Environmentally sustainable: Chickens are omnivores and can consume all sorts of food products, which includes your home food waste (including items that are difficult to compost, such as grains and meat products).
Ethical Farming: With a push for more natural products and less additives in our grocery stores, what better way to ensure that you are getting the freshest ingredients possible than to raise the food yourself? This also gives you the ability to raise the hens in a happier living situation with less stress.
Taste: Commercial hens are fed a consistent diet that allows them to consistently produce eggs, yet the eggs can lack richness and flavor. Backyard hens can have a wide range diet (from plants, bugs, meats, and weeds) resulting in eggs that have more taste and are richer in flavuor.
These benefits hook you in now? Stay tuned for our upcoming short series featuring all the basics to raising you own eggs.
Publisher: Murdoch Books and Allen & Unwin Book Publishers
Date Published: January 25, 2017
Suggested Retail: $35.00
All images from Backyard Chickens by Dave Ingham (Murdoch Books RRP $35) with photography by Cath Muscat.