Pets: Why to raise chickens

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Urban homesteaders are raising chickens in small plots across the country. Here are a few reasons people are keeping backyard birds.

• More nutritious, colorful eggs are the primary boon. Hens in their prime can lay up to an egg per day during the summer, though production drops during colder months. Also, chickens can be butchered after their peak years.

• Chickens will devour weeds, clip grass and control insect pests. They can even turn over your garden beds with their bizarre habit of kicking up dirt as they strut their stuff.

• Raising chickens decreases the need for large-scale chicken farms and adds another element to the eat-local movement.

• Chickens are personable and delightfully odd. Little kids will watch them for hours in what's essentially an Animal Planet program come to life. They are most definitely pets.

Sources: Rachel Tayse Baillieul, backyardchickens.com, urbanchickens.org