With Backyard Chickens, a Pet Can Produce Love, Life Lessons—and Breakfast

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Beth LaBar and a member of her backyard flock.
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Beth LaBar and a member of her backyard flock.

Teahey kids, chickens are fascinating creatures, Especially when they are living in someone’s house. They are certainly outside the realm of traditional pets for most people.

When I was little it was always exciting to go to a friend’s house and watch the chickens run around outside. While I was certainly too intimidated to pick one up, it was fitting for me to behold them from afar. I have fond memories of laughing at their strange antics and hearing them make strange sounds as if talking to each other. They really piqued my interest in a way no other pet has.

Elsa Oxford, a friend since elementary school, had chickens in her yard in the Rockwood neighborhood of Spokane when we were little, and still do today. Her mother, Dana Oxford, says that her family initially got chickens for their babies and will always have them. He has had chickens in his yard for 15 years.

“Chickens are fun—they’re cute, they’re fun, and they have personalities,” says Dana.

Monica Bertucci, a chicken wrangler in Spokane for 11 years, says her family first got chickens for the novelty, but quickly became involved with more living things around. She also says that the chickens were good teachers of animal management for her daughter.

,[Owning chickens] Keeps us connected to the place we live in and a world beyond ourselves,” she says.

Each of the chickens has unique personalities.
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young quack photo

Each of the chickens has unique personalities.

Beyond their role as pets, of course, chickens offer some ecological benefits to a household and help reduce one’s carbon footprint. According to the EPA, the agriculture industry contributed 11.2 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2020. Factory farms, including large-scale egg production, generate tons of manure each year, contributing to harmful water pollution. With backyard chickens, their waste can be handled in an environmentally friendly manner, and getting eggs from them is an excellent benefit to the environment as opposed to factory-produced eggs.

Beth LaBar and her family, whom I have known for most of my life, have provided my family with many things, including eggs. Labor, a South Hill resident, says on top of the benefits of providing her family’s eggs, backyard chickens give her good compost material that ultimately helps her garden. Even when they just roam around, the chickens positively affect his yard.

“They are natural little rototillers,” she says.

Bertucci says the most beneficial part about having chickens is the protein food source in her backyard. It allows her family to feel connected to their food – something lost in buying factory-produced eggs at the grocery store.

Backyard chickens are also great when it comes to food waste. Dana Oxford has a composting container in her kitchen, and when it’s full, she’ll bring it to her chickens, who chew on it.

“They love it. They eat everything,” says Oxford.

Backyard chickens are also a great source of entertainment.

“I was always the one in every batch that has been extra friendly,” says Oxford. “I used to have one that I could put on my lap and pet her like a cat and she would fall asleep.”

In terms of entertainment, Oxford says there’s nothing more fun than a chicken running towards you. She also describes a time when she saw chickens in her yard chasing another chicken and making a lot of noise, and when she looked outside, she saw the chicken hanging from the mouth of a rat’s tail in the front Saw it happen He saw the chicken stop and swallowed it whole.

“I’ve seen this happen twice,” she says.

At the beginning of the quarantine when everyone was looking for new forms of entertainment, Bertucci’s family set up a race course for his chickens. They did different heats and bet who would win. She shares the belief that chickens are funny runners.

She also says that whenever she visits her yard, her chickens happily run to see her, which is always fun. She finds great comfort in life apart from her hens.

“They are part of our family,” she says. I