There’s a lot to like about raising your own chickens. In fact, here at Sophie Allport, many of us have a hen or two strutting around our back gardens - and we love them! If you have enough space and there are no restrictions on keeping them where you live, here are five reasons we think you might enjoy raising them too…
- High quality, tasty, fresh eggs - every day! There’s nothing better than pulling on our wellies, meandering down to the bottom of the garden and reaching inside a warm chicken coop to find a collection of delicious eggs for your family breakfast. Whether we’re making pancakes, an omelette or a sponge cake, our eggs truly couldn’t be fresher, cheaper, or of higher quality!
- Chickens are cheap gardeners Not only are the eggs from our own chickens much cheaper than those available in the shops, but hens also double up as handy little gardeners. They’re great at de-weeding our gardens and gobbling up pesky bugs. And, they even leave us a little fertiliser to make our gardens grow.
- They teach our children where food comes from With so much of what we eat for dinner coming from a supermarket, we like the fact that raising our own chickens helps our kids to get a hands-on understanding of the food chain. Because our children help us to care for our hens, they really understand that an egg comes from the underside of a warm hen - not from the inside of a cardboard box. And, they also appreciate that if you give an animal the right kind of diet and the best living conditions, they’ll give you the best produce in return: our family-reared eggs are nutritious and tasty.
- They teach responsibility and ethical ownership Raising our own chickens helps our families at Sophie Allport to understand about responsibility for animals. We keep their home clean and tidy, make sure they’re warm in winter, and tuck them up safely in their henhouse every night. We make sure that the chickens are fed and watered every morning before we make our way to work and school, and like the fact that our birds are free to roam and stretch their wings all day!
- Chickens are great entertainment! Of course, conventional pets like dogs and cats are great fun, but we shouldn’t underestimate the comedy value of keeping birds like these. Some of the Sophie Allport kids think that hens look a little bit like feathery dinosaurs…and we’re inclined to agree! It’s funny to see the chickens squabbling over scraps of food in the garden. Don’t you think they look a little like fluffy T-Rexs!?
Our chickens are really pulling their weight in our homes here at Sophie Allport; they’re happy to devour the kitchen scraps and peelings (so very little waste makes it into our landfill bin nowadays) and they give us extra golden yolks, strong shells and more eggs than we often know what do with! Whether we’re whisking meringues or serving the kids toast and soldiers for breakfast, raising our own hens is a real treat. Would you ever consider keeping a few of your own? Let us know!