Backyards Really Can Produce
There are approximately 250,000 households in the city of Seattle. The citizens of the city of Seattle stood together and now have the ability to keep 8 hens per household. There is a sense of local food and self sufficiency in the Pacific Northwest. Backyard chickens is a great way to take some responsibility and repurpose some waste and produce some food.
Let’s suppose that half of those households were to keep the legal limit of 8 hens. While we are pondering this, we will just say that they have access to standard breeds from standard hatcheries. A good average might be 160 eggs conservatively for an average of laying breed birds.
In a years time those 8 hens that lay 160 eggs a year would lay a grand total of around 1280 eggs a year per household. Thats a good bit of eggs from a home flock on average. Of course some results will be much higher and some much lower.
Of those 250 thousand households, not everyone will tackle the backyard chicken keeping. It really isnt for everyone, and everyone isnt cut out to take responsibility for the birds. There are also some folks that dont eat eggs.
So we drop down to half of the households just to show a perspective of taking initiative to produce something and not just consume. If one half of the households were to keep 8 hens for egg production the people of the city of Seattle would be able to produce about 160 million eggs a year.
In other words if half the houses in Seattle had a backyard flock of the legal limit of 8 hens the production would be about 13 million dozen eggs a year. Thats a lot of eggs from a million chickens.
A million chickens eating the food scraps from the table that would normally go to the yard and food waste bin would make a difference too. It would no longer be trucked to a stinky island and fermented into compost. You would have all the fertilizer you could use to make your lawn and garden grow green.
And when those million chickens are done laying they would make tablefare for tamales, soup, or other similar meals. We all know that after a couple years that egg production slows down and you have to keep them on, eat them, or list them in the classifieds as stew birds.
It isn’t for everyone but imagine if more effort were put into producing than consuming what could be accomplished? The concept was initially sparked from an off the cuff reply about not being able to make a difference by changing outside forces.
Sometimes you have to start small but enough people do it there will be a difference.