When it comes to a “survival animal,” most people think of dogs. However, although dogs can be a great asset in a survival situation, there’s one animal that’s even better for all-around uses in an emergency situation.
And this is especially true when it comes to training. With dogs, you need to spend a lot of time, energy and even money to get them to prepare for a crisis.
You need to teach them how to obey commands (sit, stay, be quiet, etc), train them to hunt, and how to be a good guard dog (which many breeds aren’t genetically prone to). And you need to train them not to howl or bark if they see people coming (or to run up to them and greet them).
This is a lot of work. A LOT of work. However, there’s one animal that requires none of this training, and yet will still provide you the necessities for survival. And they’ll do it all on much less time, resources, energy, and money.
9 Reasons Why Chickens Are The #1 Survival Animal
Provide Nutritious Food
Chickens are a natural source of nutritious food, making this the #1 reason to buy them. First off, they lay delicious eggs that you can cook immediately (and these are 10 times better than the ones you buy at the grocery store). And since the grocery store shelves will be empty within a matter of hours in a major emergency, you’ll be set with a continuous supply of farm-fresh eggs at your fingertips.
Later, if the chicken can no longer produce eggs (or if you’re just in dire straights) you can always eat the chicken. And considering there’s so many ways to cook chicken, this incredibly versatile meat will be delicious no matter which way you prepare it.
Another enormous benefit of chickens is that they produce more chickens. Allow the eggs to hatch and you’ll have baby chicks running around and growing up big and strong. It’s like an endless food supply (as long as your chickens are healthy enough to keep reproducing).
Take Up Little Room
In order to have happy, healthy chickens each one typically only needs about 15 square feet of space. And, since most new owners have about six chickens, this is just 90 square feet of space. Keep in mind you can always square off more space to allow more chickens to hatch (or if you’re introducing new ones to the flock).
Cheap To Feed
During the summer, chickens are like a well-oiled machine. They’ll forage through grasses for bugs and seeds, and can typically fend for themselves (but have a bit of food on hand for them just in case).
They’ll also eat certain weeds (which can be a benefit for lawn maintenance), and they can even eat bits of veggies from your survival garden if you’ve got scraps leftover you don’t need.
In winter, since these food sources are scarce, you’ll want to make sure the chickens have corn and grains (like wheat or oats) to eat. And you can always stock up on chicken feed at the farm supply store before a major emergency hits – it’s typically inexpensive.
They’re Natural Pest Control
Considering that chickens eat worms, spiders, and insects, they provide a natural source of pest control you can depend on. These food sources provides healthy nutrition for them, and keep those pests out of your home/bug out shelter!
Inexpensive To Buy
If you don’t have a ton of money to spend on an animal (or a food source), you’re in luck. Chickens are not only cheap to feed, but they’re also inexpensive to buy!
Local farmers will oftentimes sell off their extra chickens if too many have been hatched. So if you know any farmers, be sure to ask them about if they have any chickens to spare.
You can also often get baby chicks from your local farm store or tractor supply store. Or, if there’s none nearby, check your town’s newspaper or websites like Craigslist for listings of people selling chickens.
Require Zero Training
Many times people don’t have the time or energy to devote to training an animal (such as a dog, horse, etc.). Luckily, chickens are incredibly self-sufficient. Heck, they don’t even need a lot of love or attention from you, either (aside from basic care like water, food and shelter).
Great For Bartering
Most people will not want to barter off their dog, horse, cow, etc. when SHTF. But, since chickens are so small, cheap, and are such a great food source, they’re a no-brainer for bartering. Plus, since you can own so many at once, it’s often easy to sell off a few in exchange for survival foods, tools, or resources you need.
There’s Very Little That Can Go Wrong
As long as you’re providing a sturdy chicken coop, some good, solid fencing around it to keep out predators, and the necessary amounts of food and water, there’s very little that can go wrong when caring for chickens.
Of course, life is imperfect and things happen. But even if a wolf or coyote broke in and killed your whole flock, you still won’t have lost nearly the size of the investment of, say, a horse or cow dying.
Of course, like everything else in this world, chickens have their downsides. They make noise, they smell (although you’d be hard-pressed to find an animal that doesn’t, and chickens are some of the least offensive in this category) and they poop everywhere.
It also does cost money to set up the coop, fencing, etc. for your first batch. However, this is a one-time investment (so long as nothing breaks into the fencing). And, if you’re thrifty, you can build your coop with cheaper supplies to help you save money.
When it comes down to it, chickens really are the best survival animal you can get to prepare for a crisis (or just to have for everyday life).
Here’s a fellow prepper that started raising chickens on his own. It’s his first time, and he admits he’s a novice at this. And yet even he admits that, “unless you do something really dumb and neglect them” it’s unlikely you’ll screw this up.
Here’s a cool, short video showing his experience.