Raising chickens might just be one of the smartest hobbies you can take up this year. Not only do chickens provide fresh eggs daily, but they also contribute to your garden’s health and keep those pesky bugs away. Whether you’re looking to cut down on grocery bills or simply enjoy some fluffy, feathered company, there’s plenty to gain from making these birds a part of your backyard. Here’s why everyone (who can) should keep chickens.

Wooden chicken coop in a garden with flowering bushes, featuring chickens inside and around the enclosure.
Photo credit: YayImages.
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Access to Fresh Eggs Every Day

A variety of eggs in different colors arranged in a cardboard egg carton.
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Let’s start with the obvious. Keeping chickens means you get to enjoy the unbeatable taste of fresh eggs every morning. Chickens provide a steady supply, reducing your grocery bills and giving you complete control over your breakfast’s freshness and nutrition.

Natural Pest Control

Slugs eating lettuce in the garden.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

I have to laugh when I see egg cartons boasting “100% vegetarian fed” as if that’s something to strive for in a chicken’s diet. Chickens are meant to scratch and peck and they love eating bugs. They’re like nature’s own pest service, eagerly hunting down bugs and insects across your yard including ticks. This not only keeps your garden healthy but also reduces the need for chemical pesticides.

Garden Fertilizer

A small, circular garden bed with a variety of vegetables, including leafy greens and tomatoes, bordered by a wooden fence.
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Rich in nutrients, chicken droppings can be composted and turned into excellent fertilizer and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than buying bags of chemical fertilizer from a big box store.


A flock of chickens foraging in a green field.
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You probably won’t realize this until you actually have chickens, but they’re a great source of entertainment. They’re basically little personalities on legs. Watching their daily antics and interacting with them can and will bring joy and amusement to your family.

Keep Food Waste to a Minimum

A variety of vegetable peels and scraps, including cucumbers, carrots, and peppers, scattered on a wooden surface.
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Chickens are not picky eaters; they’ll happily consume most of your kitchen scraps, which not only reduces the waste going to the landfill but also helps in maintaining a sustainable lifestyle.

Small Side Hustle

A person holding a basket full of fresh eggs with assorted vegetables in the background.
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Selling extra eggs or even chickens to your local community can become a modest source of additional income. This little side hustle can help cover feed costs or fund other household needs.


Chicken leg on a cutting board with tomatoes and onions.
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If you’re inclined, raising chickens for meat can ensure you have a regular supply of fresh, ethically-raised poultry, knowing exactly where your food comes from. Even if you don’t set out with the intention to raise meat chickens, they day will come when you have to make a decision about a non-layer. Your options include, giving it away or eating it yourself.
Get the Recipe: How to Cook a Stewing Hen

Connection with Your Community

A multigenerational family volunteering together, packing food donations into boxes at a park table.
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Sharing or trading your chickens’ bounty can strengthen bonds with neighbors, creating a sense of community and mutual reliance. It’s a social plus that tastes good too!

Excellent Educational Opportunity for Kids

A girl joyfully holding two eggs in a chicken coop, with a chicken visible in the background.
Photo credit: YayImages.

Raising chickens can teach children responsibility and give them firsthand insight into the origins of their food, which is an invaluable lesson in today’s disconnected world.

Encourages Physical Activity

Human hands feeding grains to chickens.
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Caring for chickens requires a bit of elbow grease, from cleaning coops to refilling feeders and waterers. It’s a great way to stay active and engage with the natural environment. It’s also a great way to get kids off screens and outside.

They’re Easy “Pets”

A group of white chickens roaming freely in a farmyard, with grass underfoot and a wooden fence and red brick building in the background.
Photo credit: YayImages.

While they won’t offer the same type of companionship as a dog or cat, chickens require much less maintenance than traditional pets too. They need no walking, minimal grooming, and are relatively easy to care for, making them ideal for those new to keeping animals. Plus, they’re a pet that actually gives back!

Stress Relief

A colorful rooster and a black hen walk on a grassy field with a dark green fence in the background.
Photo credit: YayImages.

The simple routines of chicken care and the presence of chickens can offer stress relief and mental health benefits. Their peculiar presence is grounding and calming. It may sound odd but try de-stressing after a long day at work in the coop instead of with a bottle.

Experiencing Connection With Your Food Source

A young girl in a pink hat and plaid shirt feeds a group of chickens from a basket in a garden.
Photo credit: YayImages.

Raising chickens closes the gap between farm and table, giving you a deeper appreciation and connection to your food. Food tastes better and different when you know where it came from and had a part in creating it.

Are Pastured Eggs Really Worth The Splurge? Here’s The Complete Low-Down

Hands holding a basket of eggs on a wooden surface.
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Ever wondered if shelling out extra for pastured eggs is really worth it? You’re not alone, the marketing on a carton of eggs can be confusing and nuts at times. With all the buzz around different egg types, it’s easy to get scrambled trying to make the healthiest, most ethical choice. Before you make your next grocery run, we’ve got the complete low-down on pastured eggs to help you decide if they’re the right pick for your cart—and your conscience.

Read it Here: Are Pastured Eggs Really Worth The Splurge? Here’s The Complete Low-Down

5 Labels On Chicken That Mean Nothing & 6 To Pay Attention To

Packaged organic boneless and skinless chicken thighs with nutrition facts visible.
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Navigating the grocery store’s poultry aisle can feel like decoding a secret language. “Organic,” “air-chilled,” and “non-GMO” are just a few buzzwords you’ll encounter, each promising a better bird. But which labels actually mean something for the welfare of the chickens and the quality of your dinner? We’re here to cut through the clutter and tell you which chicken labels are worth paying attention to and which ones you can safely ignore.

Read it Here: 5 Labels On Chicken That Mean Nothing & 6 To Pay Attention To

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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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