I purchased a few chickens this spring and started my backyard chicken farm. I must admit that I was a little apprehensive at first as to exactly how things would go. I worried about my chickens running off if they were let out of the coop. I was concerned other animals would get into their coop and eat them. The thing that scared me the most was that my husband has a bird dog.

I was surprised and elated to find out that I had worried about all of these things for nothing. Having backyard chickens has been one of the best and easiest things that I’ve done. Of course you have to feed and water them just like any other animal, but they also do things that most pets don’t. They do an amazing job of taking care of small snakes, worms and bugs. They lay tasty eggs, and they look hilarious when they run around.

I would say that backyard chickens are all around awesome. I never thought I could love chickens. I’ve always been a dog person, but my 11 little clucking ladies have changed the way I feel about birds. It’s like I’ve been transformed. Others have noticed that I’ve changed and I like to think it’s for the better. To better explain what happens to backyard chicken addicts, just watch this video.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of the University of Montana, animal lover and writer.