Let’s say you’re convinced. You want chickens. You think they’re super cute, fun, and you’re up for this new project. And maybe you’re married to someone who does not feel the same as you when it comes to the idea of getting chickens. How do you convince this person that getting chickens would benefit your life?
This is a tricky issue. There are several points you can make in order to convince another person that raising chickens for eggs is a good idea:
- Commercial egg layers are treated horribly. They are kept in pens tightly together. To prevent the birds from pecking each other, most egg layers have the top of their beak removed when they are a chick. They live in buildings and they never see sunlight. In fact, they never leave their tiny little cage.
- Eggs from chickens that get to live in the sun are healthier. They have more Vitamin D.
- Eggs from chickens that roam on grass under the sky taste different (in a good way). 🙂
- Eggs raised at home are super fresh. Eggs in the grocery store are at minimum 1 week old, and up to about 2 months old.
- When you raise your own hens, you get to control their feed source. If you don’t want genetically modified organisms in your feed, for example, you can choose a non-GMO feed.
- If you have a variety of chicken breeds, you will get different colored eggs. Imagine a 1 dozen box filled with tan eggs, white eggs, speckled brown eggs, chocolate brown eggs and green eggs. You can only get this by raising your own birds (or by buying farm fresh eggs).
- Chickens are fun to watch. Staring out the kitchen window at a chicken scratching and doing the “chicken dance” is a wonderful experience. There is nothing quite like it.
- Chickens make people happy. Truly, they do!
If your loved one is still not convinced, consider their point of view and think through the cons of raising chickens for eggs:
- Chickens are messy. They stir up dirt. They rip up flower and vegetable gardens. They poop everywhere they go.
- Chicken poop stinks. If you don’t have your chickens in a large enough space or clean their coop regularly, you will smell the odor in your backyard.
- Getting started with a small flock can be expensive. You’ve got to buy the coop, the chickens, the feed, the fencing, the feeders, waterers, and a brooder set-up.
- Raising a few hens for eggs is not cost efficient. It just isn’t. Your home-grown eggs are going to cost more than the white eggs you can buy from commercial producers in the grocery store.
- Raising chickens takes time. Not a lot of time, but still, it’s time that you wouldn’t have to spend if you did not get chickens. You’ve got to make sure the chickens have food and water every day, clean their coop about once per week or so, collect and wash the eggs (if you choose to wash them), and close in your chickens at night time to protect them from predators. You’ll have to take time to purchase feed and other supplies. You’ll need to spend time researching chicken diseases and care.
- It’s more difficult to go on vacation when you have chickens. It’s not impossible, because chickens are not difficult to care for, but you will have to find someone to manage their daily requirements. This might mean that you’ll have to pay someone, which would make your vacation more costly.
If not getting chickens is going to keep your life more peaceful with the person you choose to live with, I say, give it up. Buy eggs from a local farmer and offer to “chicken sit” your neighbor’s chickens. You’ll get your “chicken fill” without the added expense, labor, or stress on your relationship. 🙂
Do you think you’ll be getting chickens now?