One way to be frugal is to be more self-sustaining. This often involves making more of the good you would normally buy including clothing, homemade cleaners and even your own window treatments. It also includes growing your own food. Backyard chickens are a great way to add to this lifestyle or homesteading. Be sure to check with local laws and regulations before deciding to do so, but here are some reasons that keeping backyard chickens is a good way to contribute to a frugal lifestyle.
Why You Should Keep Backyard Chickens as Part of a Frugal Lifestyle
Backyard chickens provide pesticide free organic eggs. The cost of organic eggs is crazy when you consider they can be produced in your own backyard with some chickens of your own. Most chickens will lay nearly every day when the timing is right.
The eggs can be sold to friends, neighbors and co-workers. You might get lucky enough to have excellent layers who lay more eggs than you can possibly use. This is a great opportunity to sell them to people you know and make a couple bucks on the side.
Chickens can help you save money on having to have fertilizer and buy pest fighters for your garden. At the end of the season, right before harvest, let your chickens run through your vegetable garden for them to hunt down the pests and eat them. Their waste can be used for fertilizer as it contains high amounts of nitrogen.
Chickens will help you with your garbage. If you have a lot of scraps from your food (such as vegetables, etc) and don’t compost, you can feed your chickens this. This means you won’t really have any waste and you won’t have to spend much to feed them, either.
Eggs have more than just for the purpose of eating. You can use eggs to make your hair soft, skin healthy with a mask, the shells can be used in your garden as a fertilizer when you plant and you can even hard-boil them and feed them to the chickens themselves. This might sound strange, but the chickens will eat them because they give them an extra protein boost, helping them stay healthy.
Chickens have natural behaviors that are great for making the soil in your backyard very fertile. For one, they scratch. This works in the same way that tilling does-it adds air and mixes up the soil to spread the nutrients around. Additionally, as mentioned before, they will eat many bugs in your yard so you won’t have to worry about your plants getting infested.
One last obvious reason a person may keep chickens is for the meat. Chickens tend to stop producing as many eggs around the age of 2-3, so many people do their own butchering at that point. This is not for the faint at heart though. After 2-3 years, you are likely to have gotten attached to your chickens, so make sure this is something you are set up for since chickens can live 10-12 years.