The Hidden Benefits of Backyard Chickens

Michael Nolan
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Chickens pecking the grass

 

There are more benefits to raising backyard chickens than most people ever consider. Sure, they are a good source of high quality eggs — and they can even be a source of meat if you want to go that route. But what about the other benefits that come from having chickens in your garden? Let’s take a look at a few:

Natural Pest Control

When it comes to pest control, it doesn’t get much more natural than this. Chickens absolutely love to eat bugs! From grasshoppers to ticks and everything in between, your backyard hens will happily keep your yard virtually insect-free without the use of any pesticides.

Composting

Don’t want to bother with a traditional compost bin? Don’t worry; your backyard chickens will gladly take those kitchen and garden scraps off your hands, as well as those weeds you just pulled out of the garden. They are living, breathing composters that will make quick work of cleaning up all of that plant-based waste.

Natural Fertilizer

You may have used cow manure in your gardens, but did you know that chicken manure is a great free source of natural fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen? Chicken manure, along with the straw or hay bedding, can be composted along with other compostable materials and then added to your garden as you would with any other compost or amendment.

In addition to chicken manure, you can also save your eggshells and add them back to the garden as well. Adding a crushed eggshell to the planting hole for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant enriches the soil and the plant with calcium and can help to ward off blossom end rot. Just be sure to rinse the eggshells and let them dry out well before using.

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