Sustainable Living & Keeping Backyard Chickens

sustainable living and keeping chickens

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that reduces excess waste and conserves Earth’s natural resources. You can greatly reduce your carbon footprint by prioritizing renewable and natural resources, recycling, and minimizing and properly disposing waste. Keeping backyard chickens and sustainable living go hand-in-hand in many ways. In raising your own chickens, you’ll benefit from fresh eggs and meat while giving the cold shoulder to industrial or factory farming, which harms the environment. 

When keeping backyard chickens, you can be sure that your eggs and meat are organic and that your chickens are cared for and kept humanely. Keeping chickens can help reduce a lot of food waste as well. Chickens are omnivores and will gladly eat up many types of kitchen scraps that may have been thrown in the trash. Raising and keeping chickens can be a great way to start and maintain a sustainable lifestyle. Keeping chickens in your backyard can help reduce the horrible impact of factory farming by providing you with fresh, healthy eggs and meat, as well as fresh fertilizer that you can use or compost, introducing it back into the environment naturally. Keeping chickens with the mindset of sustainability can be beneficial to both you and the environment.

Environmental Benefits of Keeping Chickens

Chickens can be raised for their eggs, meat, and, oftentimes, companionship, but have you ever considered the environmental benefits of keeping backyard chickens? When you’re raising chickens, you’ll come to find several ways that you can benefit. They’ll provide you with fresh eggs, meat, and an alarm clock all in one. But raising chickens in your backyard can also have many environmental benefits, including using chicken manure as fertilizer or compost. Keeping backyard chickens can also help you reduce kitchen and food waste. They are a great help in the garden, and keeping backyard chickens can help your community avoid supporting industrial-scale farms.

1. Eggs

Receiving fresh, local eggs is one of the first benefits that come to mind when keeping backyard chickens. You’ll be rewarded daily with fresh eggs, but you could also have a big impact on your community if you have extra eggs to spare. Selling or giving away your eggs will help your community avoid supporting industrial-scale chicken farming, which contributes to the mistreatment of millions of chickens. Factory farming also contributes to water, air, and land pollution. When you collect your own eggs, it gives you peace of mind knowing that there are no harsh chemicals or hormones and that the eggs come from happy, healthy chickens. 

Follow these 7 tips to help your chickens lay more eggs.

2. Fertilizer

A lot of people don’t want to think about it, but chickens offer so much more than eggs and meat. Their manure is super beneficial to anyone who’s trying to live a sustainable lifestyle. Chicken manure is high in nitrogen and potassium and can be used as a fertilizer right away or added to your compost pile for the next season. Composting or using your manure as fertilizer also gives you the added benefit of knowing that there are no harsh chemicals or solutions used in your fertilizer because it is, as they say, all-natural. Utilizing your chicken manure as fertilizer helps the environment in a big way. You are incorporating the waste back into the environment in an eco-friendly way versus the pollution that factory farming produces.

3. Help in the Garden

Keeping chickens can also contribute to your sustainable living by being of use in the garden. Yes, you can use your chickens like garden tools. Instead of weeding, tilling, and turning the soil of your leftover vegetable patch or garden bed yourself, you can let your chickens do the work for you. They’ll spend hours pecking, scratching, and weeding to leave you with a ready-to-plant bed. This is very beneficial to you because not only do you have cute, feathered garden tools, but they will fertilize the soil and mix it in for you as well. When using chickens to till your garden, note that they won’t dig up all of the roots in the ground, which will help you maintain well-draining soil. Chicken tillers are some of the best garden tools that you can have!

Read more tips and hacks on using chickens in the garden or backyard.

4. Pest Control

Speaking of using your chickens in the garden, did you know they are also one of the best natural forms of pest control? As dinosaurs’ descendants, chickens are avid little hunters who will go after almost any bug that moves. If you let them free-range, you’ll have little to no problems with common garden pests such as crickets, grasshoppers, mealworms, caterpillars, snails, slugs, and beetles. Another great thing is they will destroy ant beds, including fire ant beds, so you’ll never have to worry about them again.  

5. Beneficial to Your Compost

Almost anyone who is trying to live a sustainable lifestyle will cue you in on the importance of composting. Along with kitchen and garden scraps, you can add your chicken manure and the old straw from your coop to your compost as well. Chicken manure is very high in nutrients like potassium and nitrogen. When it’s added to your compost, it can help revitalize the soil after your garden has depleted it. Your chickens will produce far less waste than factory chicken farms, making it easy for you to properly re-introduce the waste back into the environment in an eco-friendly way. 

There is often a misconception that it is time-consuming and it takes a lot of work to raise chickens, but there are many different things you can utilize, such as an automatic chicken coop door, to fit them into any lifestyle. For sustainable chicken farming, your chickens need to be cared for properly, and many options can help make it easy. 

Upscale Your Coop and Run 

If you want to maximize the use of your feathery backyard buddies, all while helping the environment, then a good place to start is with your chicken coop. Your chicken coop is where your chickens will lay eggs, roost at night, and sometimes eat and drink. This means that they will inevitably poop in the coop, too. When you’re building your coop, it’s a good idea to optimize it so that it’s easy and efficient to collect eggs, clean the coop, and collect manure for your fertilizer or compost. You also want to ensure your chicken coop is safe and secure, so a sturdy Run-Chicken automatic chicken coop door is a good option. Choose from different colors to best match your coop!

Ideally, the coop should be built off the ground and include nesting boxes, roosts, and sometimes food and water. To be able to gather eggs, clean the coop, and collect the manure easily, you want to make sure it’s large enough that it is easily accessible to you when need be. Many coops are built with nesting boxes that are accessible from the outside for easier egg collecting. Make sure you have enough room to maneuver around to clean and collect manure from your coop.

Keeping chickens can seem like a lot of work when you think about having to rise at dawn to let them out, feeding and watering them throughout the day, and making sure they’re all safely closed in at night. Many options can automate your daily chicken-keeping routine to make it easier and more efficient for you. One of the best things to invest in is an automatic chicken coop door. An automatic chicken coop door is a door for your chicken coop that automatically opens and closes on its own. Run-Chicken automatic chicken coop door features a light sensor that automatically opens the door at sunrise and closes at sunset, which will make chicken keeping a breeze. It can also run off of a timer if the sunlight in your area isn’t efficient. Your chickens will be able to rise at dawn and immediately start their day, and with the automatic chicken coop door closing at the last ray of light, you can rest assured your chickens are safely penned up no matter where you are. 

Another way to optimize your coop for maximum sustainability is by adding an automatic feeder and waterer. Installing a system that utilizes rainwater for your chickens is a concept that can help you live a more sustainable lifestyle. If you are keeping backyard chickens, then you know that it can be very time-consuming to fill their food and water every day. Installing a gravity-fed system that is filled with rainwater will save valuable time when keeping chickens on your homestead. There are many types of automatic feeding systems, and in living a sustainable lifestyle, it’s a common practice to build one from scrap parts that would otherwise go to the landfill. Many people use PVC pipes, tires, and old barrels to create an automatic feeding system.

 Summary of Sustainable Living with chickens

Sustainable living is rising in popularity because of the many benefits it offers. Keeping backyard chickens has proven to be an important activity that can help communities avoid supporting factory farming. People keep chickens for many reasons, including keeping them as a hobby, for companionship, or fresh eggs daily. But did you know that you could reap many more benefits from your feathery friends when you optimize your backyard flock for sustainability? They’ll take care of kitchen scraps and garden waste while providing you with healthy eggs, meat, and all-natural fertilizer. 

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