With more people worrying about their household’s carbon footprint these days, it was only a matter of time before the ecologically conscious began to wonder about their pet’s carbon footprint. Here are two pet choices that help you stay green.
Chickens aren’t just for farms anymore. The urban chicken movement has brought chickens to backyard coops, and at a cheaper price than owning a cat or dog. The ASPCA estimates that the cost of owning an average dog or cat, is around $700 a year. The cost of owning a chicken seems to average around $180 a year after your first year investing in the housing and set up. A top of the line chicken coop can run between $300-500, but you can save money and the earth by recycling old furniture to use for your chicken coop. Dressers are especially good for this.
Chickens require feed but you can cut down on your feed costs by allowing them to graze, eating bugs and other pests in your garden or yard. If your chickens are eating intruders in the garden, you won’t need pesticides.
Chickens can give back what you put in them by producing eggs. On average chickens produce about 20 eggs per month each. The eggs that you consume will not produce additional carbon emissions like store bought eggs that must be transported to your home from the farm.
Chicken waste doesn’t have to be wasted. You can compost your chicken droppings and the bedding too. Chicken’s droppings are high in nutrients and good for the environment by helping the soil retain moisture.
You may be wondering how a goat that is just as large as a dog, can be easier on your carbon footprint and the planet. Just like the chicken, goats provide milk that can be used to; drink, cook with , make cheese or even give away. If you consume goat milk in place of something that you would normally buy, it helps off set some of the ownership costs as well as eliminate transportation emissions.
Another way that goats can cut down on emissions and lower your carbon footprint is by trimming your lawn and clearing your property of brush. Goats can eat the leaves, grass, and bushes that would otherwise require gas guzzling machinery to clear them. People with large, as well as small lawns, benefit from having their goat cut the lawn instead of smog making machinery.
Yes, goats still need to be fed, but eating natural brush cuts down on the amount of feed that goats need.
You can also use goat droppings as fertilizer and it’s not necessary to compost first. It won’t burn plants like chicken manure. And according to gardening know how it does not have an odor and is not a big attraction for insects.
Trevor Hughes, “Chickens given roots in urban backyards” by USA Today
Judy Duncan, “Composting Chicken Manure”, by Seattle Tilth
Nikki Phipps, “uses for goat manure-using goat manure for fertilize” by Gardening Know How