Why Raising Chicken Hens Makes Sense
1) Self-sufficiency and self reliance
This can be summed up in the phrase, “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for life”. The same can be said of chicken hens; “Give a man an egg, he eats for a day, give a man a chicken hen and teach him to raise chickens, and he eats for life!”
2) Food security
The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. Commonly, the concept of food security is defined as including both physical and economic access to food that meets people’s dietary needs as well as their food preferences. Raising chickens for their eggs helps to promote food security in our community.
3) Healthy lifestyles and local food production (and food safety!)
Not only does raising chicken hens make sense from a global perspective to control and decentralize our food sources and reduce outside threats to our food, but fresh foods simply taste better! When you raise your own eggs (or meat), you know what the animal ate, its living conditions, and how it was treated. No need to worry about whether antibiotics, hormones or other chemicals were involved–you control all of that. Additionally, it promotes a now often lost part of our education: understanding and appreciating our food and its origins.
Some studies even show that eggs from chickens left to roam a yard to eat bugs, greens and feed have higher vitamin content, a healthier omega-3 ratio than traditional commercial eggs and less cholesterol!
4) Responsible pet ownership
We are animal lovers at heart. We value responsible pet ownership and want to raise our chicken hens with as much love and care as we give our other pets including access to fresh food and water, protection from elements and predators, a clean living space, adequate space to exercise and use their natural talents. All of the animal control codes for other pets should (and do) apply to our chicken hens.
5) Protecting property rights
When did we lose the right to utilize our property and land in such a way as to be able to care for and feed our families or raise pets? We simply wish to raise pet chicken hens and be given the same treatment as other pet owners. As long as the animals do not cause any problems for others (as listed in existing animal control codes), we believe people should have the right to utilize their property in responsible, productive manner without hassle, just as we should have the right to garden on our property to produce food without interference.
6) Economic sustainability
The more people who are self-sufficient and self-reliant, the less we will need to be dependent on outside economic support. This creates a culture that is economically sustainable. It also fosters better neighbor relations as neighbors visit and trade a backyard egg for some homegrown lettuce for instance. During times of economic hardship, such as those we are facing now, these values become even more important.
7) Environmental sustainability
We also value environmental sustainability. Because chickens eat table scraps and owners do not need to buy and therefore throw away egg cartons, this means less goes into the waste stream. Additionally, chicken droppings are a great source of fertilizer without artificial chemicals. It is easily broken down and composted as can the egg shells. Similarly, with backyard chickens, fewer chemical insecticides will be needed because chickens are the world’s greatest form of natural insect abatement. And finally, backyard chickens create very LOCAL food (eggs) with very little carbon footprint (no transportation of eggs or of waste out of huge facilities means no oil used).