I realize that many people think we’re nuts for deciding to raise a half dozen chickens on our 3-acre plot in the city limits. For that reason, I wanted to explain the reasoning behind our decision.
I had wanted to explore the idea of raising chickens for eggs and for the manure (which is a great natural fertilizer for the garden), but Matt thought I was crazy and said no way. Then just this week he came home and had changed his mind completely. Apparently some coworkers raise them and told him that chickens also have another benefit – eating bad bugs like ticks and even garden pests. They also gave him a realistic idea of what it would take to build the coop and take care of them.
I had to hold my excitement. And my excitement got even bigger when I saw the cute little baby chicks at the store.
For those who know me, I’ve always been a city girl. Well, as much of a city girl as you can be in rural Arkansas. 🙂 Growing up, my friends’ families had farms. Just about everyone raised cows or chickens. But that was NOT for me. I still have to hold my breath at the county fair.
But the idea of enjoying God’s gift of nature and becoming more self-sustaining is growing on me and hopefully I’ll get used to the not-so-clean aspect of raising chickens. Hopefully. But when I start having to clean the coop I’ll think of the main reasons behind our new adventure.
1. Appreciating God’s Creation
Through beginning my large garden, I’m growing more aware of how beautiful God’s intricate creation is. He created the growth of plant life to sustain us physically but also to point to Him. A beautiful, orderly creation is only possible by a beautiful, orderly Creator.
2. Becoming More Self-Sustaining
No, I’m not a doomsday prepper. And I’m not a conspiracy theorist. But I do have some serious concerns about life as we know it in these United States of America. I feel that it would be unwise to assume that we will have all the food we’ll ever need at the grocery store. There’s too many alarming signs in the world and in our nation. (not to mention prophesy)
Eggs are very healthy despite the bad rap they get occasionally, but eggs that are raised from free-range chickens without use of antibiotics and other chemicals are even better. The manure will also help our garden grow and produce better, enabling us to eat healthier versions of the vegetables we would normally buy at the grocery store. And if the chickens turn out to be as good at pest control around our property and the garden as we think, we would be less likely to have to resort to chemical pesticides either on the garden or on the grass (whose cuttings we use in the compost pile to eventually go on the garden).
At almost $2 per dozen of eggs, this is one cost that we won’t have in our grocery bill once our hens start laying. And if they’re really good layers, we hope to be able to sell them to people who want a healthier alternative. We realize that the initial cost may take awhile to make up, but eventually we’re hoping it will.
5. Fun and Educational for the Kids
Drew and Alyssa each picked out three chicks today, and they are already really excited about it. Drew has already named his three (Zebra, Blackie, and Roadrunner.) As they watch them grow and they watch them lay eggs, they’ll be able to see another aspect of creation up close instead of just reading about it in books or seeing it on TV.
Yes, it all sounds great, doesn’t it? I have a feeling that those who know me best are chuckling and waiting for my response after I have to clean the coop for the first time. 🙂