I want to thank Don R at eFoods Global for becoming a SHTF blog advertiser. He has quick-fix meals with long shelf lives.
Chickens for Survival kinda reminds me of my old Battle Peeps blog post. For those of you that miss the bikini rifle babe, you can get a glimpse of her in that post.
For those living in the country, having chickens should definitely be high on the survival list of things “to do”.
Chickens would provide many advantages.
The first one would be a protein source in the form of meat. The amount of meat from a chicken can be consumed at a single meal by a family, eliminating the need for refrigeration (electricity may or may not be available in your area, for the refrigerator).
The second advantage would be a protein source in the form of eggs. A much higher quality egg than the ones produced in the commercial chicken factories. Those eggs would make an excellent item to barter to the neighbors that did not have chickens.
Other minor advantages would be a source of fertilizer for the garden, it’s also easy to store lots of food for them ( a fifty pound bag of feed lasts two or three chickens a long time) and finally, insect control. After having free range chickens for several years the tick count has gone down significantly.
If you allow your chickens to free range, they will be able to scrounge a lot of their own food.
For those “non country” dwellers, obviously chickens are not possible for the urbanite. For the sub-urbanite, check your local laws, it may be technically possible to classify your chickens as pets or 4H projects.
I have always preferred heavy breeds like Buff Orpingtons, Australorps, and Wyandottes for egg layers. These breeds have a tendency to want to set on the eggs, a big plus if you are trying to expand your flock during a food crisis. These breeds also are very people friendly.
While they are more efficient concerning the feed to egg ratio, the leghorns generally don’t set and can be aggressive.
Some survivalist critics of having chickens, have voiced the concern that the noise they make will be like a dinner bell to everyone of your hungry neighbors. They fear that every starving Tom, Dick and Harry will either be sneaking into the chicken coop at night or doing a full frontal assault on the homestead to obtain those cluckers.
To that I reply that we will not be going from a smoothly functioning society to a “Road Warrior” scenario overnight. There will be plenty of time to butcher off your flock of chickens and go into a “little mouse hiding” role while the firestorms sweep the cities and the mobs kill each other off. Alternatively there is the possibility to just put the chickens in the garage (temporarily?)
An excellent place to buy baby chicks is your local feed mill in the spring, They are reasonably priced (two or three bucks), there is a selection of breeds to pick from, and the people there can answer questions you have.
Having chickens now gives excellent experience that will be valuable later.
Having chickens during a crisis (or worse a collapse) will provide a source of food.
Having chickens after a collapse will give you an asset to rebuild with.
The most important thing to remember about having chickens is:
let your kids give them names! This has the magical ability to transform a food source to a pet. And we don’t eat pets, do we? ;)
Meet Buttercup, Goldfinch, Cypher, Silverwings, and Fluffy above.
Oh well, I really just wanted some layers!
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