Let us begin at the beginning.
Reason 1: Chickens are WAAAY easier to take care of than dogs/cats.
Chickens live outside. You fill up a giant food dispenser and let them have at it. You fill their giant water thingy (technical word for it) and they're good to go for a few days. If you want to let them roam wild for a bit, they're good to go with that. (I do. Gotta love that free-ranging.) If you won't be home for a while, they are good with hanging in their coop and their run. It's kind of brainless. No sweeping up fur, no potty training, no sniffing crotches.
|Moment of silence - one of the girls in this picture is no longer with us.|
Reason 2: You never have to waste an iota of food again.
If you have some baby spinach that got all soggy wilty, chickens will gobble it up like a pit bull on a steak. Strawberries with just a hint of ick? The hens are on it. Leftover spaghetti that you can't bear to eat 3 days in a row? They're like mad Italians! Carrot peels, your toddler's leftovers, the whole 9 - they'll pretty much eat it all. I know some of you don't have a compost bin/pile, and you're just being total wasters - THIS is your easy way out. It's easy being green with chickens. (*I don't feed my chickens citrus or weird stuff that I wouldn't eat - i.e., Jet Puffed Marshmallows, Zebra Cakes, Miracle Whip, Doritos, etc. - and I don't feed them chicken. Let's not promote cannibalism. Other than that, I think it's fairly open season on whatever.) And speaking of compost...chicken poop is one of the best fertilizers out there, just saying. Comes free with each chicken.
Reason 3: Chickens are entertaining.
They just are. Have you ever seen a chicken run? Seriously. You won't see how this could be until you get them, but they are better than TV. They're also weirdly relaxing to watch. You go out there thinking you're going to check for eggs, and you're caught up watching "Days of Our Lives: Chicken Edition" for like 30 minutes straight. It's like you got sucked into a youtube black hole of videos and you can't stop clicking the next weird recommendation (I'm not the only one who has done that, right? Wait, what? A bear fighting a lion? What does this even have to do with the guy who can multiply 7 digit numbers in his head? I am not sure, but I just have to watch one more...Hold on, is that an adorable Chinese boy playing Beethoven on the piano? That one first.) Not all of my chickens have names (4 are named "Betty"), but some do, and it is not necessary for them to be named in order for them to entertain the masses.
Reason 4: You get AWESOME EGGS!
I do have food snobbery issues (black tea, butter, flour, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, chocolate, bread...I could keep going but I'll stop), and this could be a pro or a con. Owning chickens has increased my food snobbery exponentially in the realm of eggs. Let me put it to you like this - if I can't see the chickens running around and the yolk is not nearly orange and vibrant, I am not going to eat that egg. It's like it's not even an egg. The difference is so outrageous that it is like eating McDonald's all your life and then someone serving you a delicious, grass-fed, Big Green-Egged burger cooked over lump charcoal with a box of hickory. It's like two entirely different categories of food. It's iceberg salad with orange cheddar cheese on it, drowned in Hidden Valley Ranch (please tell me you do not eat that) compared to that amazing house salad at Zingerman's with fresh sprouts, arugula, homemade croutons, and homemade dressing (I'm drooling thinking about their salad. Is that weird? If you have had it, you know it's not.)
Reason 5: It gives you a reason to connect with being outside and the cycle of life.
Yeah, you do have to go out there and shovel up the coop floor from time to time, but the shrinking back of doing such things speaks to the increasing wimpiness of our pansy society. I think it would be good for everyone if they had to take a break from their wired world to put on their poop boots, tromp on out to the coop, get the shovel, and go to town on making a lovely compost pile. If you raise those babies from the time they are little fuzzballs who fit inside your one hand, you watch a miracle of (relatively) fast growth in front of your very eyes. You watch the curiosity of little creatures, and it is endearing. I can call my girls and they answer me with funny clucks and coos. Yes, I will still eat them when the time comes, don't get me wrong, but they are wonderful and connect you to appreciating where your food comes from. They're not a plastic-wrapped foreign object from the grocery store refrigerated section. They mean something and you are thankful for what they give. (So stop being a pansy, city boy.)
Reason 6: You can get a fake chicken tattoo to celebrate them.
Yeah, pretty much self-explanatory.
So what are you waiting for? Don't even tell me your town/city won't let you have them. In that case, I say, start a revolt. It's really the most reasonable thing to do considering...
Peace, love, and chicken power!