Raising backyard chickens becomes new trend

Raising chickens in the backyard has become a new trend in recent years.

Raising chickens can have many advantages which include the production of eggs, generating fertilizer, and eating insects in the yard. The City of Kirksville has an ordinance that allows a person to own seven hens. No roosters are allowed within city limits due to noise and aggression. Many people also choose to raise their own chickens because they know how they are being cared for.

"A lot of people want to grow their own food. They want to know where their food comes from, and by raising your chickens and having your own eggs or your own meat, some people raise meat chickens, you know where it comes from. You know how it's raised, you know what that chicken is eating," said Jennifer Schutter of the University of Missouri Extension - Adair County.

If new to raising chickens, it is best to start with three to four hens. Plymouth Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red are the best breeds to begin with. It is also best to keep chickens in a coop with a nesting box to lay eggs and to protect them from predators. Garden scraps such as lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes also make good feed for the chickens.