Small livestock animals like chickens can have a big impact on your survival and self-reliance – if you know how to take care of them and safely turn them into a food supply. And there are plenty of breeds to choose from. People often have favorite chicken breeds, and arguments over the “best” breed can be as common as arguments over the “best” gun (depending who you hang out with). For many backyard birders, their meat chicken picks favorites are Brahmas, Jersey Giants, Langshams, and Cochins. And for egg production, Leghorns and Australorp hens can top the list (laying up to 300 eggs per year per bird). Plymouth Rocks and Rhode Island Reds are also very popular layers, though not as productive. Whichever breed you choose, these birds have a lot to offer. Here are just three of the reasons you should invest in a few backyard chickens for your family’s survival.

“A chicken in every pot” was one of the campaign promises of presidential candidate Herbert Hoover in the 1928 election. This didn’t exactly happen (like so many campaign promises) and the Great Depression started the next year. But a chicken when you need one is still a great idea. Rather than storing your chicken meat in the freezer, you can store it “alive” by keeping a flock. Tasty and healthy protein is right outside your doorstep when you have your own chickens.

Want serving-sized doses of protein, without having to kill any of your livestock? Eggs can be the answer. The “incredible edible egg” can pop out of a productive hen every other day or so. The average large egg has 74 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein.

Pest Control
Let’s face facts: tick borne diseases are hard to diagnose and treat under normal circumstances. But if there was a societal collapse of some kind, the diseases that ticks carry could be the end of you. Lucky for us, chickens are a tick’s worst enemy. Sharp eyed and quick, chickens can reduce the tick population to rock-bottom numbers in a small area, like your yard. Your hens and roosters also eat other insect pests like spiders, ants, fleas, Japanese beetles and other unwelcome creatures.

Are small livestock animals part of your family’s survival plan? Let us know by leaving a comment.