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When you think of potential pets, chickens certainly aren’t the first to come to most people’s minds. However, the benefits of raising chickens in your own backyard may surprise you! Here are a few examples of why chickens may be the perfect addition to your home.  

Help Your Kids Learn

Chickens serve as a perfect teaching tool for a number of life lessons. Learning to raise and care for animals is a valuable lesson in responsibility and nurturing. These birds in particular are fairly low maintenance animals, so even the youngest of children can participate in their feeding and care. Help your children learn about animal life, the food chain, nutrients, and more. Let your children learn about running a fair business by selling eggs locally! You can even use their eggs as an opportunity for your toddlers to practice counting! Few other animals, if any, carry such easy and natural teaching opportunities as chickens.

Get Resources

Of course, organic chicken eggs are another huge benefit of owning your own little coop. In fact, eggs produced from chickens that aren’t farmed in factories have proven to contain significantly higher levels of vitamin E, beta carotene and omega-3 acids, and have shown significantly lower levels of cholesterol! This is because chickens that roam in your yard are more likely to peck at green grasses and plants that contain healthy nutrients. Plus, their main sources of food are whatever you give them, so if your chicken feed is full of nutrients, they (and their eggs) will be too. Chicken manure is another resource you have access to that can be extremely beneficial to your gardens as a form of nutrient-rich compost. Chicken manure is high in nitrogen, so you want to compost it for several weeks. Utilizing this waste is healthy for the environment, and for you.

Therapeutic Animals

Chickens are underappreciated for their minds! These birds are smart, fun, and have vibrant personalities that make watching them a surprisingly entertaining and cheerful activity. They are extremely social, which makes them the perfect animal for anyone suffering from loneliness and stress. Additionally, studies have proven that chickens are an effective “therapy” animal because they are statistically shown to improve depression and anxiety. Chickens are cheap, friendly, and easy to take care of, making them a perfect choice for many people.

Home animals can quickly become a favorite part of yours and your family’s lives. If you want an animal that can contribute some learning opportunities, some healthy resources, and some emotional support for your family, chickens may be just the right fit!

Read next: Is Owning a Home Right for Your Family?