Episode 1 – In this episode of the Online Chicken School Podcast, we explore the many benefits of keeping chickens.
Surviving the Easter Chick Madness
This year is the first Easter season we have been operating our tiny little micro-hatchery on Florida’s Suncoast. We were not mentally prepared for the phenomenon of people wanting to give live baby chicks as “Easter presents” to children. We rant on this for a little bit. Bottom line for us: don’t give baby chickens as a gift. Just don’t.
Suzy’s Eggsplendor Recipe [04:00]
Okay, it’s actually a frittata, but whenever I hear the word “frittata,” I do roll my eyes a little. That being said, this is the most amazing egg dish since Lemuel Benedict created the first Eggs Benedict. Full of sausage, cheese and spinach, this frittata is a must-try. See the recipe here.
Why Raise Chickens in Your Backyard? [07:40]
Backyard chicken raising has become a huge movement across the United States and worldwide. Chickens offer many benefits to anyone with even a tiny parcel of land.
I think it goes without saying that eggs are probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about chickens. A small family can consume a good amount of eggs every week. Fortunately, a small flock of chickens can produce enough eggs to keep up.
One myth to dispel right off the bat: raising your own chickens for the eggs is not cheaper than buying them from the store. That being said, the eggs you buy in the store are not the same as the eggs you will get from maintaining a few layer hens.
Hens raised on grass produce eggs that are much healthier for you than the ones produced by chickens in the giant chicken warehouses. They also look and taste better. When you compare the cost of backyard eggs to something more comparable, like high-end local farm fresh eggs, the cost is more competitive.
Not everyone is keen on the idea of butchering an animal that has been living in their backyard for a few months. To be honest, we haven’t gotten to that stage yet, either. It is part of our plan, though, and it will not be long before we join the ranks of people who know how much fun it is (not) to pluck a chicken by hand.
Like eggs, you won’t save money raising your own meat birds, but the chicken will very likely be healthier and you will know for sure that they are free of hormones and other undesirable additives.
Another thing to consider is that all chicken meat you buy in the store comes from the same bland chicken hybrid. You can raise that same chicken in your backyard, but you also have the option of raising heritage chicken breeds that are full of rich chicken flavor.
Chickens produce a lot of eggs. They also produce a lot of chicken poo, which is spelled ‘f-e-r-t-i-l-i-z-e-r’.
Chicken poo is considered by many to be the best natural fertilizer available. Just make sure you age it before you use it, because it is too ‘hot’ to be used straight out of the bird for many applications.
Pets & Entertainment [14:57]
The chicken forums always describe how entertaining chickens are. Before we had them, I didn’t believe this. Turns out to be true, though. A small group of chickens is more entertaining than any show on TV right now. A large group of chickens is just plain hysterical.
You don’t have to be watching for the end of the world to want to try to have a little more control of your world. Due to the reasons we already mentioned, chickens give you some of that control.
Children & Chickens [18:37]
Having a small backyard flock is a great way to teach children where food comes from. Plus, giving children a little responsibility is not a bad thing.
Social Consciousness [20:00]
Personally, I don’t care for the way chickens live in big factory egg and broiler factory farms. I am not knocking ‘Big Egg’ directly… we are all responsible for creating the demand for the cheapest mass produced eggs. By keeping your own chickens, you can choose to raise a happy and healthy flock while not contributing to the demand that causes chickens to be kept in warehouses.
Final Thoughts [21:10]
We hope you liked this first episode of the Online Chicken School Podcast. Let us know what you think! If you like us, give us a rating on iTunes!