A Car in Every Garage, a Chicken in Every Garden?

Having live chickens in your garden can really help to keep your fruits and veggies healthy, according to a company that sells “chicken treats.” Just be sure to check with your local laws and regulations before you start clucking too loud.

Happy Hen Treats – which provides all natural treats designed to help with chicken “interaction and training” — said that the benefits of raising chickens go beyond free eggs and free range meat.

According to the company, chickens are natures little recycling bins, with a single one capable of bio recycling about seven pounds of food waste each month. The company said that 2,000 three-hen households could result in landfills getting 252 fewer tons of waste each year.

Once the chicken digests your food waste, the resulting manure can provide vital nutrients for growing crops in your garden. With a statistic that is both alarming and inspiring, Happy Hen points out that a single hen produces around 90 pounds of manure each year.

Chickens also eat common garden pests such as crickets, grasshoppers, snails, slugs – even small snakes. Happy Hen calls chickens, “…a great organic pest control option.”

Then there are the eggs: the company cites a Mother Earth News claim that eggs from pasture-raised hens can be much healthier than official USDA nutrient data for commercial eggs calls for.

In fact, backyard eggs may contain 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, two times more omega-3 fatty acids, three times more vitamin E, and seven times more beta carotene, the company said.

So, there you have it. There are lots of good reasons to raise chickens for your garden and table. However, not all municipalities and homeowner associations will allow you to become a backyard chicken rancher, so check with local regulations before taking the plunge.


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