Yes, there seems to be a growing trend of keeping backyard chickens in South Africa. Here’s why:

Factors Contributing to the Trend

  • Rising food costs: The increasing cost of food, notably eggs and poultry products, is driving many South Africans to seek alternative sources. Backyard chickens provide a sustainable and affordable way to produce fresh eggs at home.
  • Food security and self-sufficiency: The desire to control food sources and ensure food availability contributes to keeping backyard chickens. Recent uncertainties in global food chains have likely amplified this trend.
  • Health consciousness: People are becoming more aware of the benefits of fresh, organic, and free-range eggs compared to commercially produced ones. Having your chickens ensures the quality of the eggs you consume.
  • Urban farming growth: There’s increased interest in urban farming and homesteading practices. Chickens are relatively easy to maintain, even in smaller spaces.
  • Pet appeal: Besides their practical use, chickens are low-maintenance pets that can offer companionship and be a fun addition to the family.

Important Considerations

  • Local regulations: It’s important to check local bylaws and regulations regarding keeping chickens in your area. Some municipalities may have restrictions or require permits.
  • Responsible ownership: Proper housing, feeding, and overall care are essential for the well-being of the chickens and to avoid neighbourhood conflicts (like noise and smell).