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Most people keep chickens just for their eggs, but they offer much more than that, says experienced livestock keeper Jason Weller
Allow free ranging where possible

So why would anyone want to keep chickens in their back garden or on the land that they own? For most it will be the lure of home grown fresh eggs: with a good diet and living space for your chickens, eggs really will have that ‘never tasted so good’ flavour. The feeling and excitement for young and old alike on finding those first newly laid eggs is a proper life experience.

It’s not just the eggs, chickens can make great pets and indeed companions — most will become quite tame very quickly — but surely that’s just because we are the source of their food? Well, there’s definitely an element of truth there, though during my time with these birds I’ve seen and experienced far more than that. On a warm spring day or for a lazy summer’s rest, they are happy to sit with you in the sun, or even on your

lap, being stroked to sleep, dozing in and out of chicken dreams (that’s them, not you!). I’ve even seen chickens lined up on the sofa with their owners watching TV (though I would have to warn about the perils of poo on the furnishings).

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Welcome to Kitchen Garden Magazine In this issue: A Joy of Summer Veg expert Rob Smith has some top tips for success with courgettes every time Brilliant Brassicas! Former head gardener Sue Stickland explores our changing attitudes to brassicas and the many exciting new varieties available Flights of Fancy Gardener and nature enthusiast Ben Vanheems encourages us all to make room for butterflies on our plots And much more!