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Why Chickens Are the Most Popular Poultry to Raise

Why Chickens Are the Most Popular Poultry to Raise

Why do so many people raise backyard chickens and not ducks, geese, turkey, quails or other poultry? This is the question many people considering backyard farming often ask. So if you are new to backyard farming, you are probably not sure why this is the case. However, if you've ever owned any other poultry besides chicken, you will know the difficulties of raising them. 

Keeping things simple, it's all a question of the return. A return on your money or a return on your time. If you look at this question from another angle, you could say it's about input vs. output. The input being time, money and effort (physical or mental) while the output being the eggs, meat or just pleasure you derive from raising poultry. Following this logic, chickens beat other poultry by far because they are relatively easy to raise and the amount of eggs you can get in return is exponentially higher than what you would get from most other poultry. Ducks and quails come second, while geese, turkey, pheasants, guineas, peafowl, pigeon and others give way less return. Let's look at the pros and cons of each in a bit more details:

1) Chickens

Absolute winner in terms of ease of raising, with phenomenal output - a hen that is properly taken care of can give up to 250 eggs per year. You can also keep chicken for their meat, although most of backyard chicken farming revolves around hens kept for eggs and an occasional rooster for the meat.

2) Ducks

Ducks are like the messier (especially poop wise) and noisier version of chickens. Under optimal conditions however ducks can give even more eggs than hens in a given year with the number of eggs being around 300-350.

3) Geese

Geese are like the messier and noisier version of ducks and are not known to be amazing egg layers with the number of eggs per year being up to 50.

4) Quail

Quails do not need a lot of space but are very hard to tame and might fly away if you are not careful. They do provide eggs on top of the meat however, up to 300 per year however they are very small in size, about a third of chicken's egg. We've seen people keeping quail in their own apartments since the cage they can be kept in is relatively small. However, things can get messy very easily and quails do poop a lot so do this at your own risk. It is much better if you have a garden shed for this purpose.

5) Other fowl - Turkey, pheasants, guineas, peafowl and pigeon. 

These are usually kept for their meat and of course the pleasure of raising a bird. Turkeys are not very intelligent creatures and you really need a lot of patience to take care of them. Peafowl will take some time to grow and will consume quite a bit of feed in the process of doing so. Guineas will get agitated at the slightest unexpected sound. 


Having read this, you may now be more aware of the pros and cons of raising poultry other than chickens. Our intent is not to dissuade you from raising other kinds of poultry, but rather to spread the awareness that other poultry may not be as easy to raise as chickens. We recommend everyone to start off with raising chickens first and then slowly add variety to their coop. The amount of variety you want really depends on you, your family and the time and effort that you want to put in. There's really no right or wrong way to go about doing this so whatever you choose, enjoy it!

How To Best Support Your Hen’s Egg Production

How To Best Support Your Hen’s Egg Production

Maybe you treat your backyard chickens as pets and you are not using them to produce and sell eggs, but it is still nice to have fresh eggs ready for you each morning. There are many reasons why your hens may not be laying eggs including age, environment, nutrition, and more. In this article, we will discuss how you can help support your hens in frequently laying quality eggs that will help you keep making your mouth-watering morning omelets.


For humans, sunlight affects our mood, and we even plan our schedules around sunny and rainy days. Similarly, hens laying eggs is linked to daylight and as the days get shorter in the winter so does the daylight. You can use a low-watt light bulb in the coop to give your bird more light to prolong their egg-laying throughout the day.


Water is the single most important nutrient your chicken needs for quality egg production. Chickens are very particular about water and will not eat their food if they do not have something to drink. If you do not have fresh, clean water for your hen every day then this will decrease their egg production, and they will not eat as much which could lead to them getting sick.


Especially in the wintertime, a laying hen needs a lot of nutrition. They will exert more energy to keep themselves warm in the winter and less energy will go towards regularly laying eggs. By feeding your chicken nutrient-dense food, you will keep them happy and healthy and increase the chances of quality egg production.

Some of the important nutrients your hen needs:

  • Calcium – calcium is vitally important in producing eggshells and hens need 4g of calcium a day, 2g of which go to the eggshell
  • Protein – hens that are laying eggs need about 16-20% protein in their diet, egg production slows during molting season and protein helps with feather growth
  • Omega-3 – hens that are fed omega-3 rich diets produce more enriched omega-3 eggs
  • Magnesium – magnesium helps with calcium storage and bone development for strong and healthy chickens

A great source of nutrition for your hens is Supreme Grubs Black Soldier Fly Larvae. It is packed with micronutrients, calcium, phosphorus, and protein. Plus, it is environmentally friendly!


There are many diseases that could affect your birds and their laying ability. The common parasites that your bird could have are mites, fleas, and ticks. Make sure to check your birds frequently as some of these bugs can blend into your bird’s feathers. Feeding them nutrient-rich food (including the nutrients listed above) will keep your hens healthy and strong.

End of laying cycle

Chickens go through cycles of laying eggs that last about 10-12 months and they will typically lay an egg a day. If your hen is at the end of this cycle, then it is best to simply give her a break while she goes through a season of molting.


Hens naturally roost or perch at night to sleep. Roosts also keep your hens healthy because they will not constantly be on the ground of the coop where parasites and bacteria live. Chickens also need a separate safe place from their nesting box. Roosts make them feel more comfortable and will help with egg production.

Nesting box

Hens need a private and comfortable place to lay eggs with plenty of room. Make sure to line the nesting box with material that is easy to clean up like newspaper or straw. Clean it daily and collect the eggs regularly so that your hens will want to lay in it.

If you have a lot of backyard chickens that are currently laying eggs, then you may want 1-2 additional nesting boxes since they may want to be in it at the same time. More specifically, you will want to have one nesting box for every four hens. This will also encourage your hen to lay in the nesting box instead of from the roost, where the egg could crack when it falls.

If your hen has a habit of laying outside of her nesting box, then you can find some helpful tips here to help break this habit.


Overall, your backyard chickens are resilient and will adapt to their environment as long as they are cared for, clean, and well-fed, like any other pet. Sometimes hens just go through tougher seasons of egg-laying, even if you are doing everything you can to help them. Be patient and your hen should be back to her regularly scheduled laying soon.

Chicken Gut Health and How To Support It

Chickens free ranging and eating healthy treats

Just like the human body has bacteria, fungi, and viruses that make up the microbiota in our gut, so do chickens. These microorganisms are vital to the overall health and wellbeing of your birds and necessary for their growth. 


In order to know how to best take care of your chickens, it is important to learn about how their digestive system works. We will go into further detail below about what happens after your chicken picks up their food and uses their tongue to push their food into their esophagus.

The crop

The crop (sometimes referred to as the “craw”) is directly after the esophagus. If you have felt it on your chicken before, then you may have been concerned that it had a tumor. But rest assured, this is the expandable compartment where food is stored until it is broken down further in the digestive process. Because of this, you can see a bulge in this area with your naked eye. Food can remain in this storage area for up to 12 hours.


The proventriculus is the stomach and this is where digestive “juices” or enzymes break down the food, similarly to how our stomachs work. It is also referred to as the glandular stomach. 


Since chickens do not have teeth, the gizzard is where the “chewing” or grinding of the food happens. This is done by stones or grit that your chicken picks up in its environment as it eats. Therefore, the gizzard is referred to as the muscular stomach.

Small intestine 

The small intestine includes the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The purpose of the small intestine is to absorb the nutrients from the food that has been broken down and further aid the process of digestion. 

Large intestine

The large intestine includes the ceca, colon, and rectum. The purpose of the large intestine is to separate out the water from the food that is no longer beneficial to the chicken (does not provide nutrients). The large intestine also supports removing waste. 

Gut Health

There are hundreds of species of bacteria in a chicken’s gut that support immunity, fight against disease and infection, and maintain its health. The main things that affect your bird’s gut are their environment, how you take care of them, and what you feed them.

So why is it so important? Well, if your chicken’s gut is healthy, then the digestive process will flow smoothly and work as it should and give your bird all the nutrients it needs to be healthy. However, if your chicken’s gut is not working properly, then your bird is at higher risk for disease, infection, and possibly even malabsorption. 

It is also crucial to the quality of its eggs and the quality of meat (if your chickens are used for this purpose).  

Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics

There are things you can do to support the growth, immunity, and overall health of your chickens and that is incorporating supplements or food into their diet that will boost their immune system. 


Prebiotics act like food for the bacteria in your gut. They are indigestible plant fiber that helps stimulate the growth of good bacteria. You can find prebiotics in high-fiber foods such as:

  •     Berries
  •     Garlic
  •     Sauerkraut 
  •     Dairy (cheese and yogurt)
  •     Black Soldier Fly Grub 


Probiotics can be found in supplements or food and while your chickens can get healthy bacteria naturally from your yard or treats that you give them, probiotics are important to keep your chickens happy and healthy. 

Probiotics do the following:

  •     Supports the immune system
  •     Helps with quality egg production 
  •     Encourages the growth of good bacteria
  •     Aids in growth rates of your birds
  •     Helps fight infection and disease 

Sometimes it is necessary to treat a specific disease with antibiotics, but antibiotics kill off the healthy bacteria as well and can leave your chicken defenseless. You can incorporate probiotics by sprinkling some on your chicken’s feed. A great source of probiotics and additional nutrition can be found in Supreme Grubs Black Soldier Fly Larvae


Postbiotics are the end result of probiotics going through the fermentation process, and they are commonly found in fermented foods such as:

  •     Kimchi
  •     Yogurt
  •     Sauerkraut
  •     Apple Cider Vinegar


You can find more information about prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics and how they benefit your birds in our previous blog article here.