Anyone can keep hens. No matter where you live, whether it be in the city or country, you can raise a few hens and enjoy fresh eggs that are more nutritious than those normally purchased at the store.
Mother Earth News magazine's egg studies show that eggs from pastured hens are nutritionally superior. They have less cholesterol and saturated fat, four to six times more vitamin D, and more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin A and omega-3s than commercial eggs. Not only will your birds be raised humanely, unlike those in a factory, you will also be provided with hours of entertainment.
If being awakened in the early morning is a concern, just get hens! Most cities won't allow roosters anyway, because they often crow loudly. Some people mistakenly think that a rooster is necessary in order to have eggs, but hens will lay eggs without a rooster. These eggs just won't have chicks! Hens are known for being quiet. They squawk a little when they lay their eggs, but normally just make a soft clucking. And by sunset, they're fast asleep.
After you decide to raise poultry, you may want to visit with your nearby neighbors. If they're unsure about your idea, talk to them about the benefits of fresh eggs. On average, three hens lay about two eggs a day during spring and summer, so you may have enough eggs to share. Your neighbors may be excited about the idea of fresh eggs. Who knows – after seeing your chickens, they may decide to get some of their own!
For more information on raising chickens, read "How to Raise Chickens in Your Back Yard" at Mother Earth News.