Tom Girolamo in his book, Your Eco-friendly Yard (Krause Publications, 2009) recommends raising chickens stating with a pair of laying hens which would provide you about a dozen eggs a week. You wouldn't have to go to the store to buy eggs and the kids would actually get to see from where their food comes. Chickens are jungle fowl, so they will eat anything you give them. He feeds his everything, except chicken. Chickens are the ultimate form of recycling. Leftovers, stale bread, shrimp tails and vegetable peels get turned into eggs and great fertilizer. It is not true that chickens are grain eaters. His chickens prefer greens to grains in side-by-side tests every time.
According to Sunset Magazine (April 2012), the chicken coop has already reached doghouse status in the West. Now the trend is to build an entire garden around your feathery flock. Seattle landscape designer Jessi Bloom led the charge with her book, Free-Range Chicken Gardens (Timber Press, 2012), a manifesto on the many ways to pamper your hens - with plants for foraging and shelter, rain-fed water bowls, and eco-friendly lawns.
These are the most frequently expressed reasons people raise chickens (from BackYardChickens.com):