Backyard chickens rock. Amanda and Ryan, the brains and muscle behind Bee Organic, have kept hens for several years in their backyard. Their feathery friends are hilarious to watch and interact with. I mean, birds do the strangest things! There have been countless times someone has been chased across the yard by a hen on the loose, and it’s always ended with laughter and respect for the speed at which a chicken can run.
But there are greater reasons behind the Bee Organic family’s decision to keep backyard chickens. Amanda talked to me about the three BIGGEST reasons—listed below—which center around animal ethics, food sustainability, and children education.
1. Animal ethics. Amanda puts it this way: I can be one hundred percent sure the eggs I’m getting are coming from chickens that are treated humanely and live good lives. It may sound strange to some, but our chickens are like members of our family. They’re on the same level as our other family pet, Axel the chihuahua. We love them and care for them in the same way. They get to run around the yard (a.k.a are free range), eat a natural diet, and enjoy a hormone free life.
2. Food sustainability. We have a reliable food source. Our chickens provide us with a year round supply of eggs. And we go through a TON of eggs on a weekly basis. What we don’t end up using we give to family and friends. It’s a great feeling to be able to share an organic food source with others.
3. Children Education. Our daughters are involved in caring for the chickens, which has given them hands on experience. We get to show them where their food comes from, how to feed and care for an animal, and the importance of treating animals with love and respect. As a result, they’re curious about our other food sources and want to learn more. And on top of that, they’ve learned there are daily responsibilities that you HAVE to do if you want to have eggs, which is ensuring the wellbeing of their chickens.
If you’re interested in keeping backyard chickens we encourage you to check with your town or city, because some have rules about it. Check it out, though. There’s an interesting site that might be helpful too in learning more about how to get started. Go to Backyard Chickens Learning Center and browse through some of the articles. Reddit also has a backyard chicken forum to share pics and learn more.