Once you have chickens you can never go back! You want more. You need more! Whats not to love about a back yard flock?
- Fresh eggs to eat
- Fresh organic meat
- Hatching eggs
- Fuzzy Chicks
- Organic pest control
Safety? Yes. Do you really know what you’re feeding your family when you buy those store bought eggs?
We just witnessed a massive nation wide egg recall for salmonella yet 1% of the population raises their own chickens for eggs. And that number includes the owners of the massive production houses.
And if you think paying extra for “organic” “free range” or “hormone free” eggs is a safer bet…think again.
Organic simply means the feed the chickens were fed was certified by the government as containing no unatural fertilizers or pesticides. Well then what natural fertilizers are used? Animal by-products from slaughter houses and human waste known as “slurry” or “treated sewage sludge”. Store bought organic isn’t sounding so great now is it?
“Free range” is also a misleading term. In order to lable that carton as free range (and jack up the price) all a production house has to do is provide the option to the chickens to go outside. Meaning a small hole in the wall of a building housing tens of thousands of birds is sufficient to make the term free range legal. It doesn’t matter if the building is surrounded by a water filled moat or a deep ditch that prevents exit.
“Hormone free” is yet another misleading selling point. It’s actually illegal in the US to use hormones on chickens. So why then do commercial egg producers put it on the package? To charge you more of course. Because making the consumer feel safe is worth money.
“Antibiotic Free” shouldn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy either. It just means that the chicken that contributed to your morning ommlet was part of a HUGE flock. Huge flocks have illnesses. Untreated illnesses. Disease can crop up in any size flock but it’s much more likely to occur in an industrial sized flock than a back yard flock. Not exactly comforting when you think about it.
Raising your own healthy birds, knowing exactly what they are eating, and knowing exactly what YOU are eating is motivation enough for most.
And I haven’t even gotten to the meat production aspect of commercial versus home production. I’ll save that for another day.