After the SHTF, chickens will have uses that go far beyond eggs.
Hello everyone! This is Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and this week I’m going to discuss how chickens can help preppers survive after the SHTF. Chickens can be a huge benefit to survivalists, but only if you get the right kind for your needs and environment. You’ll want to find chickens that can forage and find enough food where you are in every season.
A disaster doesn’t have to spell the end of fried chicken dinners. Read this guide to chicken keeping for preppers and learn how to raise your own roosters and hens for meat, eggs, and more.
Why Preppers Should Have Chickens
Survivalists need to do whatever they can to extend their renewable food sources, and raising chickens is one way to do it.
Few foods are as versatile as eggs, and they are also an excellent source of protein and fat. They can be scrambled, fried, or used in baked goods, casseroles, and other dishes. You can also use powdered eggshells as a source of calcium. Plan to have one egg per hen, per day. This will help you determine how many hens it will take to meet your family’s needs.
Compost and Pest Control
You can use also eggshells in your compost to add calcium to the soil in your garden. It will deter pests like slugs and insects from destroying your plants. Try it in the soil around your vegetables, herbs, and flowers that are infested by pests.
Chicken manure is an excellent fertilizer for your garden, provided it has been properly prepared. To use manure in your garden, you’ll need to cure it for 45-60 days. You’ll know it’s ready to use when it smells sweet and is dark and crumbly.
Did you know chickens who haven’t been given hormones and had other alterations courtesy of the poultry industry will not have as much meat as you’re used to? If you’re planning to butcher your chickens for meat, expect less meat per bird. If your birds are older, they may be too tough to roast but will still be excellent for soups.
When you have more eggs left over than you can use, you will be able to use the surplus to barter with. You can also trade your older hens once you have raised their replacements. Another issue that could happen after TEOTWAWKI is a lack of breeding stock with genetic diversity. By bartering some of your animals away, you’ll have back-up breeding stock available.
10 Best Breeds of Chickens for Survivalists
Thinking about getting chickens for your homestead? These are the best breeds for preppers.
- Buckeye – You’ll like this breed if you live in a cold climate and want a decent egg-layer
- Dominique – This is another breed that is cold-hardy and also a decent egg-layer
- Chanticler – This breed is also a great choice in a cold climate and good for eggs
- Ameraucana – Another good breed if you’re looking for eggs in a cold climate
- Turken – Adaptable breed that is good for cold or hot climates
- Marans – This breed is excellent if you live in a wet climate, and it too is a decent layer
- Egyptian Fayoumi – consider these disease-resistant good layers if you live in a hot climate
- Brown Leghorn – These are great layers who are ideal for a hot climate
- Buff Orpington – These are good foragers who are ideal for laying or butchering
- Australorp – This docile breed is good for laying or butchering, though they are on the small side
If you already have chickens and they aren’t producing the way you’d like them to, the problem could be that you have the wrong breed for your climate. Consider choosing broody hens, as they require less effort and they’ll reproduce on their own.
Tips for Selecting Your Breed
Before you settle on any one breed, ask yourself the following questions. Doing your research now will ensure that you end up with the correct breed for your situation.
- There won’t be incubators once the grid is down, so look for a breed that will hatch its own chicks
- Choose chickens who will forage for their own food and can meet their own nutritional needs
- Find a breed that will blend in with the landscape, making them less vulnerable to predators
- Choose the breed that is right for your climate
Check out your local farm supply store in the spring to see which breeds of chicks are available. Their employees will be knowledgeable regarding the breeds that do best in your area. Before you buy chickens, go to the library, visit websites, and buy books to learn everything you can about them. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be in the event disaster strikes.
In our next CATS2010 post, we’ll take a look at the predators that may harm your chickens and what you can do to keep them safe.
Learn more about raising chickens for survival.
These are the best chicken breeds for preppers.