How I’m helping to save the birds by keeping chickens

It’s all about boosting bird numbers!

Zach Portman
4 min readJan 31, 2022


A while ago I heard that birds are declining all over the world, and I found that really upsetting. So I decided I something needed to be done and I am exactly the person to do it.

I thought about the best way I could help and did a couple google searches, and ultimately I decided to get some backyard chickens. This way, I’m boosting the number of birds and doing my part to help make sure birds don’t go extinct. Plus, I get the added benefit of fresh delicious eggs! It’s a win for everyone: the birds are saved, I get to personally benefit, and I look good while doing it.

One of the best things about chickens is that they’re so easy to get. You can just go buy them! That came in really handy when most of my chickens got some kind of disease and their feathers fell out and they died. In fact, every few years I cull off the old chickens and buy new ones to make sure my chickens stay nice and healthy and produce lots of eggs.

Chickens in a sad-looking enclosure. One chicken is missing a bunch of feathers.
Happy chickens in their healthy environment! Image from Wikipedia used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Some people have said to me “aren’t you personally benefiting from this because you get the eggs?” Those people couldn’t be more wrong. Any benefit I get from eggs pales in comparison to the wonderful knowledge that I am helping the environment and saving the birds.

Other people have said to me “But aren’t chickens not native to this area?” They may not be technically native, but they’ve been here for hundreds of years so they are practically native. By pointing out that a chicken isn’t “native” or “wild” you’re just being divisive. Why can’t you just accept that we’re all working towards the same thing, which is saving the birds? We’ll accomplish so much more if we work together rather than focusing on our differences.

Plus, keeping chickens has provided a gateway into the wonderful world of birds. Just the other day, I noticed a bird in my neighbors yard! Since I’ve started keeping chickens, my eyes have been opened to this amazing world. When I’m out feedings my chickens and gathering eggs, and doing regular checks for pests and disease, I just feel so connected to nature.



Zach Portman

I am scientist who studies bees. My research covers the identification, biology, evolution, and conservation of native bees.