Backyard chickens are quirky, beautiful and clever. They come in countless colors, shapes and varieties. Keeping chickens will teach you basic livestock handling, and these hardy birds will amaze you with their individual character traits. Chickens eat ticks, grasshoppers and lots of other pests, and they provide quality free-range eggs. Perhaps the best reason to raise backyard chickens, though, is that they add life and vigor to a home and connect us to our food and to our past. Find out how to get started with your own flock, from choosing a breed to staging a coop.