Chickens: The Prepper’s Best Friend for Food and Pest Control
Keeping your family safe and well cared for during unprecedented times is crucial to your survival. The two principal concerns for any survivalist are health and food — food being the primary. The best way to secure food in the event of a global or national crisis is to grow it yourself or have a self-sustaining food source. Animals provide some of the best nutrients for a human diet. Unfortunately, for most animals, you need to understand butchery. However, chickens offer a brilliant way to feed your family and stay healthy with no need for killing the animal or source.
Cows, goats or lambs are superb farm animals to choose for a food source, but they take a lot of work to keep healthy and raise to maturity. Unless you have farming knowledge, it is best to stick with relatively self-sufficient animals. Chickens do not take a lot of forethought. They are small animals with high intelligence. As long as you provide suitable housing and a safe environment, they will mature and provide for your family for years to come. Also, if you purchase both males and females, you can raise and use these animals to barter, should the need arise.
Chickens need a coup to live and thrive. They are vulnerable creatures and often look like a tasty snack for other larger predators. A coop need not be fancy, and it doesn't even have to be significant. The average chicken only needs about 15 square feet of living space, which means for a group of six chickens, you only need about 90 square feet. A chicken coop should comprise several things.
Full wire enclosure
Housing for each hen
Shaded and sunny areas
While you will need to buy feed for your chickens, it is relatively cheap. However, in the warmer months, your chickens will probably munch on surrounding grass and insects, which makes them excellent sources for pest control. The birds will control the bug population around your home and gardens.
Caring for Chickens
While chickens are great at taking care of themselves, they also need help and love from their human caregivers. Chickens are smart animals, which makes companionship very important. Also, chickens are birds, meaning that they poop everywhere. You will need to clean out their coop several times per month to ensure they stay healthy. The CDC recommends first removing debris and then applying a diluted disinfectant to all surfaces, leaving it on for at least 30 seconds before wiping it off. Once all surfaces are dry and clean, you can return the chickens to their coop.
Expense of Chickens
Chickens are not expensive animals to purchase or raise. Their food is inexpensive, and during the summer months, they will thrive on natural food sources. While a coop is expensive to buy, you can build one yourself for a fraction of the price.
Chickens are the prepper and survivalist's best friend. These animals offer a recurring food source during a disaster, keeping your family healthy and fed. They also help to control the insect population around your farm or home. If you are looking for the perfect pet or food source for the next global crisis or pandemic, look no further than every farmer's favorite bird.