Bringing the Barnyard into Your Backyard

Realizing our food is lacking in nutrients, people are taking the leap and growing vegetables to raising animals. Chickens, it turns out, are lower maintenance than a dog and just as affectionate. And your pooch probably can't help you make breakfast.

Once relegated to the farm, chicken coops are now popping up in backyards. You, too, can bring the barnyard into your backyard!

Three reasons chickens should be your next pet:

1. They are inexpensive.

Feeding organic feed along with produce from the garden and leftover table scraps, feed costs less than a dollar per day per chicken. There could be a small lump sum up front if you are building your own coop.

2. They feed you.

Chickens start to lay eggs at around 5 1/2 months. Feeding organic feed, fresh organic produce, and bugs around the yard, your chickens will produce nutrient-rich eggs. Having the freedom to roam, scratch and exercise throughout the day in the yard along with the organic diet, you will be producing the best food possible for your family.

3. They are kid friendly.

The Golden Laced Orpingtons, as one example, are a non-aggressive breed with a sweet temperament, making them ideal pets for children. The daily chores of feeding and egg collecting are something that even a two-year-old can accomplish.

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