Backyard chickens are a super-pet that give back way more than they take. They each have their own personalities, are cute and entertaining and great for kids. They are also the most useful pet around, turning bugs, weeds and kitchen scraps into highly nutritious eggs.
To get started you don’t need to be a farmer, have a large property or special equipment. With a small urban backyard and 10 minutes a day, you can enjoy a taste of the country life while living in the city. And if you want to grow your own food, chicken manure will bring your soil to life. Soil is the foundation of a healthy garden and healthy food. What more can you ask for from a pet!
I’m Marcus, the founder of patchtotable.com - which teaches busy people how to grow and cook Real Food at home - from Vegetable Patch to kitchen Table. Food that is free of chemicals, full of nutrients and super tasty! This brings together my passion for food and over 10 years experience as a sustainability consultant.
To start with, I’m sharing my system for happy, healthy Backyard Chickens made easy. For the past year, I’ve been developing and refining practical approaches to backyard chickens and sharing my journey with the world through Patch to Table. All my material has been tested in my own backyard, and is designed to be practical and super simple. I don't talk about "ecological design" and instead focus on providing information that gets results.
There's so much information out there, its overwhelming. And information by itself is simply not enough. From my own experience and a ton of research, I've identified 3 key things that make it easy to get started with backyard chickens. You need to be:
It can be hard to get started when you don’t know what you're in for. Learn the basics and be inspired to get started straight away.
There's so much vague and conflicting information around, that'll leave you feeling confused and uncertain. Get started with clear, step by step instructions that are tailored to you and your situation.
Getting setup is often the hardest part. If you don’t know what you're doing it can take forever, you’ll end up with the wrong coop and it’ll cost you a bomb. The right advice will help you get setup quickly and avoid lots of hassles down the track.
I created patchtotable.com to share what I've learnt and make it easier for more people to get started with backyard chickens. I’m doing this to make a dent on the food industry and have a real impact. An impact on the lives of each and every reader and their families. And I’m certain that this impact will flow over to our community and our world.
Backyard chickens are gaining a huge momentum as part of the organic and urban food movements.
If we look back to the 1940s during World War II, half of the US population depended on home gardens for fruit and vegetables. This came to 18 million gardens. And many of these gardens included backyard chickens, which made up the majority of egg production at the time.
But with the Industrial revolution in the 1950’s, there was a massive shift from family farming to large scale factory farms. Commercial eggs became cheap and convenient to buy from supermarkets. At the same time, creative advertising and packaging kept alive the perception that these eggs were coming from family owned farms. The realities of factory farming were kept out of sight and out of mind. Chicken keeping even became illegal in many parts of the US, because of ‘health reasons’ or some may say to protect the poultry industry.
People are becoming more aware of the realities of factory farming. Aware that large corporations have manipulated our food to make the largest profit possible. Even though these profits inflict a great deal of suffering on chickens and come at the expense of our health and the health of our environment.
More and more people are responding to this which has resulted in a massive resurgence in backyard chickens. Its gained enough momentum to force dozens of major cities to legalise urban chicken keeping. More than 90% of US cities now allow urban backyard chickens. In Australia, backyard chickens are taking a chunk out of supermarket sales. Eggs laid in backyards across Australia are estimated to make up around 12 percent of total egg production.
Its a trend thats gathering huge momentum and I believe its part of a big shift in our relationship with food. Healthy food is the foundation of our health, the health of our families, the health of our communities and the health of our environment. Food is love!
Getting started with backyard chickens can be overwhelming. There's so much information out there and so many options. Here you'll learn about everything chickens have to offer, so you can get clear on what you want to achieve and the best way to go about it.
It can be hard to get started when you don’t know what you're in for. Learn about the practicalities of chicken keeping and get the confidence you need to get started straight away.
Before you get started with backyard chickens, you have to pick the approach you're going take. You have to decide if you're going to let your chickens roam free in your backyard, keep them contained in a Coop and Run or maybe a combination of both. I've tried them all, so I'll walk you through the pros and cons of each.
There are so many different breeds, it can be really hard to choose when you're starting out. And its an important decision, because the right breed and the right number of hens is key to getting the most from your backyard chickens, with the least amount of problems. I'll make this decision easy for you, by guiding you through the key factors you need to consider when choosing your flock.
Here I provide a step-by-step breakdown of how to get setup quickly with the right coop and equipment. This guide will make sure you get it right the first time and save you a ton of time and money down the track.