Jerami

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Category: homesteading

Benefits of raising chickens

At a glance, the economics seem simple: Why raise chickens when it could cost $5 or more per dozen (or more) to build the accommodations and keep them fed while commercial eggs are $2/dz. and a quick trip to the store?

Well, it depends on your perspective, where you live, and what you value.

Just don’t stop at the value of the egg when you’re doing the math to figure out whether or not it’s worthwhile.

Depending on how you go about it, you can spend quite a bit of time and energy building a coop, fence and worrying about keeping predators out. Then there’s collecting the eggs, feeding and watering, etc.

Some chicken owners do less, and the birds simply become part of the landscape, while others invite em’ to sleep in their bed at night. That’s not recommended, but it happens.

If you have no time for such things, then for you not only is having chickens or other animals an inconvenience, it could mean rearranging your life, questioning your way of doing things in order to discover the underlying benefits. In an age of dissatisfaction with status quo, is that such a bad thing?

These benefits, once you get past the drawbacks, can be both deep and profound, whether as an urban homesteader, farmer, or hunter/gatherer.

There is yet an underlying process of awakening to the thing we call “homesteading” that must be endured in order to fully appreciate how and why it is important for you, your community, and the world.

If you start to farm, homestead or raise animals, you’re in for a multi-faceted experience, perhaps a little self-questioning, unless you approach it with a particular mind-set. Expect to set your life up around things you are cultivating, raising, developing, and expect their fruition to unfold at a pace out of your control, yet fully predictable. The rest is up to you.

Benefits of raising chickens (some which most people don’t think about):

Tangible:

  • The egg
  • The meat
  • The fertilizer/manure
  • The chicken byproducts (feather, bone, offal)
  • The reduction of scraps in the garbage/landfills
  • The aeration of soils & compost
  • The increased capacity of composting
  • The pest control

Intangible:

  • The peace of mind of having even if stores run out of eggs/meat
  • The leverage to sell/trade to neighbors for goods/cash
  • The strength/knowledge from building the coop and/or fencing
  • The sense of observation built by caring for the living
  • The responsibility that comes with commitment
  • The connection to reality – controlling life and death cycle
  • The entertainment, laughs and conversation starters
  • The endless supply of photos you could post online
  • Satisfaction knowing what’s going into your food

Here’s a good post on getting started:
https://rodaleinstitute.org/blog/how-to-establish-a-small-scale-pastured-poultry-operation/

Here’s Joel Salatin with some particulars on farming and birds.

10 acre lakefront homestead concept

Lake front concept includes many permaculture-based elements – fruit trees, bees, pond, gardens, greenhouse, barn, stable, shop, yurt and aquaponics systems.

Home design integrates  stacked shipping containers, and is scheduled to break ground next spring.

Original concept designed on paper, then transferred to Adobe Illustrator for final presentation.

Client: Private

 

Now that I’ve decided to rent my house out, I need a place to stay. I opted to build my own little space in the back yard and crawl under it during the years to come. I’ll build it on a trailer in case I ever want to move it, but I’m hesitant to even call it a tiny house at this point because it could end up more of a Frankenstein project of a travel trailer.

Because I have no disposable funding,  very little time and no one to help, I am sourcing used materials on craigslist and other salvage options. I aim to just get the outside done so I have a warm, dry place to retreat to, and work on the inside when I have time.

Starting small, I will have to pick up the skills along the way. Luckily a guy from New York with some framing skills wants to come to Alaska. I’m hooking him up with a place to stay in exchange for his help. I can’t wait to get started!

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