A lot of people ask me about raising animals and want to know the best animal to raise for survival.
Only one animal is ideal for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time or resources on raising animals: chickens.
What Makes Chickens Great for Preppers
First, chickens provide nutritious daily food once they’ve matured. You’ll be able to feed your family the freshest and most delicious eggs you’ve ever tasted in your life.
Sure, goats and cows are also sources of food, but chickens have another advantage: They take up very little room.
Try to give each of your chickens approximately 15 square feet.
As a first time chicken owner, you’ll likely only have about six chickens or so. So you’d only need about 90 square feet with some room for expansion later if you eventually wanted more chickens.
Also, chickens are inexpensive to feed. During the summer, chickens will forage for grasses, seeds and insects and can mostly fend for themselves.
The insects they eat control the pest population around your house. They can also eat weeds and bits of veggies from your garden.
You’ll need to give them grains such as wheat, oats, and corn during winter, though. Chicken feed is relatively inexpensive and you’ll only need it some of the time.
This makes them a great choice for anyone who wants to raise animals for survival but doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on expensive animals and equipment.
Chickens aren’t just cheap to feed; they’re cheap to buy.
Local farmers will often sell their extra chickens for cheap if they’ve hatched too many. Talk to local farmers in your area to see if anyone would be willing to part with a few chickens.
You can also search on places like Craigslist for anyone selling chicks, or even look in the newspaper if you live in a rural area.
Chickens don’t need much ongoing care, training, or your love and attention. They really just need a roof over their heads, safety from predators, and food during winter. They are fairly self-sufficient.
Drawbacks to Having Chickens
Raising chickens has its downsides too, but they’re relatively minor compared to their advantages.
Before you even get your chickens, you’ll need to build or buy a coop for them to live in. Building a coop can be rather time consuming, and buying a coop can be expensive if you’re on a budget.
However, the coop is a one-time investment, and once you have it, you’ll never have to buy or make another one again.
One thing you should keep in mind is that chickens are noisy. Even if you’re OK with the noise, your neighbors might not feel the same way.
Also, as much as you love the taste of eggs and chickens, predators love them even more. Put up barriers or fences to keep predators away from your helpless chickens.
You’ll need to keep an eye out for holes, ditches, or weak spots in your fences that could let predators slip in and get at your chickens.
Finally, the last drawback is that chicken droppings are smelly, and chickens will poop just about anywhere.
It’s unavoidable. Once in awhile you’ll need to clean the coop out, so you’ll end up smelling it no matter what.
And let’s be honest, there’s no farm animal out there that isn’t going to be at least a little smelly. Chickens are the least offensive in this regard.
You’ll have to decide which animal is best for your situation, but I recommend chickens across the board to most people as their first animal for survival.
They’re cheap, efficient, and low-maintenance, so very little can go wrong. Even if you ended up losing all your chickens, you haven’t lost a big investment like if your cow got sick and died.
Before you start raising chickens, the first step is to build a thriving edible garden so both you and your chickens have tasty greens to eat.