I’ve decided that you need a couple chickens.
Wait. Maybe you already have a couple. Maybe you have a dozen. Or maybe, like me, you like having farm fresh eggs so much you have at least a couple dozen or so and you’re not quite sure just how many are out there roaming around, but it’s enough to keep a couple cartons full of eggs in the fridge. If that’s you, I’m not talking to you today (but you can keep reading). I’m talking to the folks who have been riding the fence on the issue and haven’t taken the plunge into owning their own little backyard flock. It’s nearly spring so now is the time to make your decision.
If you fall into that latter category, I’m here today to convince you why you need at least a couple chickens.
While there are lots of reasons to raise your own chickens, there is only one you need to know to tip the scales in favor of chicken ownership and it can be summed up in 2 words:
No matter what your food or dieting convictions may or may not be, cookie dough is a universal “no-no.”
And why is that? Why is it that you can’t indulge in a Chocolate Silk Pie or cookie dough without battling extreme fear and paranoia?
The answer is: Our modern food system.
In our modern food system, the hens who lay our countries eggs are confined in tight quarters under deplorable conditions which compromises their health and causes them to harbor diseases such as salmonella which can be passed on to humans who partake of undercooked eggs.
However, our wise Creator, has put in place a system of checks and balances whereby each egg a hen lays is perfectly protected from external invading forces (such as salmonella bacteria) for the sake of the potentially developing life within. A fact which also happens to protect the eater of the egg from the bacteria as well. Where the problem comes in is with the meddling hands of man who in our current quest for uniformity in the food we eat are washing that protective coating (called bloom) off of the egg after it was laid, opening the invisible pores in the shell to admit harmful bacteria (and also hasten the spoiling of the egg, ironically.)
Many natural barriers help prevent bacteria from entering eggs. The “bloom” or “cuticle,” a gelatinous covering that dries after the egg emerges from the hen, helps seal the pores in the shell, reducing moisture loss and bacterial penetration. The many egg membranes also help prevent the passage of bacteria. The shell membranes contain lysozyme, an enzyme that helps prevent bacterial infection. The egg white discourages bacterial growth because it is alkaline and binds nutrients in a form that bacteria can’t use, and the thick white discourages the movement of bacteria. As the egg ages, the white thins and the yolk membrane weakens, enabling bacteria to reach the nutrient-dense yolk, where they can grow over time if the egg is kept warm. In a clean, fresh shell egg, internal contamination rarely occurs.- Source
When you control your own food supply, in this case by having the pleasure of raising a few hens, you are at liberty to protect yourself (and the inside of the egg) by abstaining from washing them and keeping the germs on the outside where they belong.
Eggs from truly organic, free-range chickens are FAR less likely to contain dangerous bacteria such as salmonella, and their nutrient content is also much higher than commercially raised eggs. –Source
And when your eggs are not as likely to be potentially infected like so many millions of conventionally raised ones have been in recent history, you’re free to enjoy a multitude of delicious foods such as homemade mayonnaise, the aforementioned Chocolate Silk Pie, cake batter, and cookie dough just to name a few.
I hope so. ‘Cause cookie dough is yummy.
Now allow me to share with you a few wonderful resources to get you started on your way to chicken ownership.
•Henderson Chicken Chart – A list comparing 60 chicken breeds to help you narrow down your choices.
•Backyard Chickens Forum- Where chicken owners unite to discuss… well… chickens.
•Natural Homestead– LOTS of truly wonderful ideas and recipes so you can naturally care for your new little flock!
What does your ideal backyard flock look like?