Having free eggs at your disposal is a dream, but how good are chickens for your garden? Is the mess and hassle worth the effort? Aren’t chickens considered an intruder in your garden?
We’ve put together a list of pros and cons for you to consider before getting chickens!
Having chickens in your garden can have both advantages and disadvantages. Here are seven pros and seven cons to consider:
One of the most obvious benefits is the availability of fresh, homegrown eggs. Chickens can provide you with a regular supply of delicious eggs. Chickens usually lay 1 egg per day. If you have 3 eggs, you get more than a dozen eggs per week! Additionally, chickens that reach maturity or reduce their egg production can be used as meat.
Natural Pest Control
Chickens are excellent at foraging and eating insects, pests, and weeds in your garden. They can help control populations of pests like slugs, snails, beetles, and even small rodents.
Chicken manure is a rich source of organic fertilizer. Chicken droppings can be composted to enrich your garden soil, providing essential nutrients for plant growth.
Chickens scratch and peck at the ground, which helps aerate the soil. Their foraging behavior can improve soil structure, allowing better water penetration and root growth.
Chickens make affectionate pets and even bond with their owners. Plus, they are adorable!
Raising your own chickens promotes self-sufficiency and sustainability. You can reduce your reliance on store-bought eggs, learn how to preserve eggs, and incorporate them into your diet!
Keeping chickens in your garden is a valuable learning experience for children and adults. It offers an opportunity to understand the natural life cycle of birds, responsibility, and animal care.
While roosters are the ones that crow at ungodly hours of the day, chickens can be noisy, especially when they lay eggs or feel threatened. Overall, chickens are not considered loud animals, but they are certainly not quiet.
Chicken manure can have a strong smell, especially if not properly managed. If not cleaned regularly, the accumulation of droppings can generate unpleasant odors. So really, if your chickens, chicken coop, and chicken run smell are because you are doing a poor job cleaning up their environment. This is more of a “you-problem” than a “chicken-problem”. Nevertheless, since the smell might be a problem, we added it to the cons section.
Intruders and Pests
Chickens are vulnerable to predators such as foxes, raccoons, and hawks. You'll need to take precautions to secure their coop and run to protect them from potential attacks. Chicken food and kitchen scraps are tantalizing for rodents and other intruders. As long as you have a well-kept chicken run and coop and are properly contained from intruders, you should not have any issues with pests.Space Requirements
Chickens need adequate space to roam, scratch, and explore. There are space requirements for keeping chickens that you must follow. Don't sacrifice chickens' well-being for your gain because, at the end of the day, if chickens are uncomfortable, they will develop diseases and behavioral problems.Maintenance and Cleaning
Keeping chickens requires regular maintenance and cleaning of their coop and run. This can be time-consuming and may involve unpleasant tasks, such as removing droppings or replacing bedding.Health and Hygiene
Chickens can carry diseases and parasites, such as salmonella or mites, which can risk human health. Proper hygiene practices and regular veterinary care are necessary to minimize these risks.
3. Final thoughts
Now that you know how the pros far outweigh the cons of having chickens in your garden, it's time to dust off all your egg-based recipes and line them up because you are about to be busy in the kitchen!