When people live lifestyles that are self-sufficient, they are able to provide for many of their needs without the help of others. This does not, however, happen overnight or without an investment of time and effort. Fortunately, there are steps that homeowners can take to become more self-sufficient in their living environment and in terms of food. In order to effectively accomplish this, one must be committed and willing to research and learn what is necessary for success. The more independent and sufficient individuals become, the lower their toll is on natural resources, which not only enables them to live more independently from government, industrial, and commercial resources but also allows them to contribute positively to the environment.
When it comes to providing food that's independent of outside sources, people often turn to gardening. Fruits and vegetables, while healthy and an important part of one's diet, are just one source of nutritious food. Another popular and crucial step for many who strive to be more self-sufficient is to raise chickens. Chickens are beneficial in a variety of ways, and they can be fun for families to raise. One of the most obvious benefits for raising chickens is access to fresh eggs, but people also keep chickens for the meat that they can provide. When individuals raise their own chickens, they can be certain that they are well-fed and raised in an ethical and humane manner that not only improves food taste and quality but safety as well. In addition to being a good source of food, chickens are also a natural form of weed control, and their waste can be added to compost piles, which are useful for naturally enriching and fertilizing the soil for gardens.
There are several important considerations for families who decide to raise chickens. For people who live in cities or suburbs, it is necessary to check that it is legal to do so or if any special licensing is required. Once it has been determined that raising chickens in one's backyard is not breaking any laws, it is important to establish an environment where the chickens can safely live and where they can lay their eggs. Chickens stay in a hen house or chicken coop, which should always be kept well-ventilated and clean to reduce any troublesome odors and for the health of one's birds. Once a chicken coop has been built, consider the reason for raising poultry, as this will affect the type or breed of chickens that are needed. Breeds that are best for eggs are typically bred to produce more eggs and are smaller in size than breeds used for meat. Leghorn and Rhode Island Red chickens are some of the breeds commonly used for this purpose. Chickens that are raised for their meat are larger in size, are generally slower-moving, and do not lay the same quality or amount of eggs. Cornish Cross and Red Ranger are examples of meat chickens. In choosing the right breed, whether for eggs or meat, one must also consider environmental factors to ensure that the birds can survive and thrive in temperatures and weather conditions that are common to the area.
Home Repair and Improvement
In addition to raising their own food, homeowners can take steps to be more efficient when they make necessary repairs or improvements to their home. This often comes in the form of reducing one's energy reliance and consumption. To begin, homeowners should seek out and repair areas that may cause energy loss. An example of this is the presence of cracks that may be causing drafts. Home improvements may include solar panels, which can help reduce the amount of energy one uses from the grid. Solar water heaters may also be used for hot water. The power of the wind may be harnessed as an energy source by building a small wind turbine in the backyard. One can even set up a system to collect rainwater to reduce the use of municipal water, although it is advised that residents check their state laws regarding how to do this legally.