9 Reasons Why Chickens Are The #1 Survival Animal

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.

They Multiply

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.

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  1. Along with chickens, consider a couple of geese. Pilgrim goslings are not expensive. Geese are aggressive to trespassers and make an excellent alarm system. Goose eggs are great, but geese don’t lay as much as chickens. Don’t attempt to keep them in the same coup.

  2. To protect your coop from invaders like coons, coyotes/dogs/weasels etc you can build a barbwire guard around the outside of your coop. Strands about every 4-6 inches or so will dissuade the above from coming through the fence to get at the chickens inside. We used to place ours every 4-6 inches starting at the ground and going all the way to the top of the coop in a wrap around the coop fencing. There were weasels in the area, and they lost interest after that.
    One neighbor went further, he did 4 inches top to bottom…then went 4 inches going around the coop…basically making a 4″ x 4″ square of barbwire all around the coop.

  3. Every chicken is a potential pot pie. They are better than most guard dogs. When they see something out of being normal they react to it. Some will squawk sounding an alarm. Wheres the dog? out sleeping or chasing down a squirrel he won’t catch or bring home for dinner.

  4. No mention of Guinea hens or Geese as “Watch Dogs/”Burglar Alarms?
    Nothing will get by then without anyone knowing…Though Guineas will often false alarm over a Bug or something trivial.
    Geese are pretty much fearless and when they go into attack mode…They have been used as “Sentries” in various places in the World for hundreds of years or longer…. They make A LOT of NOISE beating with their wings and grabbing and twisting with their beaks. They can and do draw blood……
    Their eggs are EXTREMELY RICH and are great for baking cakes…….
    The are easy to raise as well.. usually not very expensive…… you may want to clip their wings to keep them from fling away!
    Yard chickens are often tough and stringy to eat….Pressure cookers come in handy for cooking them…Foxes and Raccoons are well known to get into a chicken coop……… so are feral hogs…..feral dogs…..
    Also SNAKES can will get in and eat the eggs……most usually non venomous snakes…… but they will eat a whole nest of eggs given a chance…
    When hens are setting get a fake ceramic white egg and (I have heard a Golf ball will work but do not know for sure) and leave it in the nest…..that way they come back to the nest….IF you take all of the eggs the may stop setting…..
    ALSO when hens are setting get and spread out crushed oyster shells for them to eat……..the need the extra calcium to use in the egg shells

  5. A couple of thoughts and keep in mind I have free range chickens for years now and I have a problem this year with Hawks killing my chickens.Four so far and they are bold enough to come on my front and back porch.
    Second issue in a true survival situation where and how are you going to get a 100 pound bag of corn to get through the winter ?

  6. My wife set us up when we built our house and this article is great and let me add something if you get enough chickens as in abundant then no worries about doing this and you will be glad you did. When you have enough to do the egg laying and your hatching them take a few fryers and put them in a single cage do not let them roam around much. Keep them in the cage till they are full grown and use them for cooking. By not letting them run you keep the meat soft and not hard. Once you cook one that has been a range chicken you need to pressure cook them unless you have some really strong teeth lol. Range chickens can be tough you know the old saying its a tough old bird.
    Just a thought we learned the hard way. Have a good one.

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