- Why Chickens?
Understanding your own reasons for growing chickens will help you choose the right flock and get setup with the right equipment. The main reasons people grow their own chickens are:
* to have a supply of fresh eggs,
* for fresh meat,
* pest and weed control,
* and a supply of nitrogen-rich manure.
What you plan to do with your flock will determine (to some degree) what you will need to do to get set up. For example, if you want to let your chickens run through your garden once in a while to gobble up insects, you will need to set up some means for controlling their access to the garden so they can't get in to eat tiny seedlings. If you want chickens for eggs, you will need to include nesting boxes in your hen house design.
The end purpose will also determine the composition of your flock. Some chickens, such as Leghorns, have been bred as layers, others have been bred for rapid meat production. Yet others, such as Rhode Island Reds, are good dual-purpose birds. If you are raising chickens to show, you will become very selective about their breeding.
[ From a blog on raising backyard chickens ]