CHICKENS.........A DRUG? As I am sure many can attest to, chickens are the gateway drug of many homesteaders these days. You will not read about it in the newspaper or hear the evening news discuss chickens as a drug, nor should you, but chickens seem to be leading the way for a culture trying to get back to its roots.
Many people across the United States and throughout the world have dreams of owning some land, building a house, planting gardens, and raising some livestock. They are yearning for that simple life and want to raise their own food for themselves. Unfortunately, many new homesteaders have no previous experience with many of the daily chores that are associated with homesteading. What experienced homesteaders and farmers already know, living off the land is very hard work and failures will happen but can be the best teacher.
So how are chickens the gateway drug? What is the first livestock animal that nearly all homesteaders start with......chickens! Why you might ask? Chickens are usually the first livestock animal on a homestead because they readily available, inexpensive to start, easy to raise, and have a relatively learning curve on how to care for these lovable creatures. If you ask many homesteaders what the first thing they did on their homestead, besides buying the land or building the house, most will tell you they bought chickens. Even before they planted a garden or had any type of housing ready for the chickens. The reason behind this is many of our local feed supply stores have baby chicks days in the early spring and these baby chicks are irresistible to any new homesteader. Without a second thought, we purchase the baby chicks, some food, and a heat lamp and rush back to the homestead. As many of us know, we get the chickens home and think "What did I do?" We have no housing and were not quite ready for these yet but there is no choice but to build a chicken coop. A simple trip to the feed supply store turns into your first livestock animal on your homestead.
Most new homesteaders will master the skills of taking care of their chickens this that will give them the confidence to eventually lead to other livestock animals such as goats, sheep, or even cows. Therefore, I am convinced that chickens are the gateway drug for any new homesteader. Once you have a few chickens you will yearning for additional animals for the homestead.
Author: Scott Miller