Synopses & Reviews
The Chicken Handbook covers everything you need to know about the satisfying and rewarding hobby of keeping poultry: from choosing your breed and preparing your chicken house to establishing your flock and reaping the benefits of fresh produce. This indispensable guide offers the advice you need to ensure that your birds stay happy, healthy, and thriving. If you take the plunge you will be able to impress your friends and family with truly organic eggs. All it will take is a few birds and some feed. Research suggests poultry allowed to roam free with access to grass, lay eggs that are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E, while also being lower in cholesterol than any sold in retail stores. These are much healthier for you and are very beneficial to your skin and hair. Once you have sat down to freshly laid eggs for breakfast, you will never again be tempted to reach for that carton on the supermarket shelf. Home-laid eggs are full of flavor because they have not been sitting around for days, or even weeks, waiting for delivery. There is even a difference in the color of the yolks-a healthy orange instead of that washed-out yellow we are used to. Unlike other pets, poultry do not need to be walked, brushed or fed twice a day. Essentially, all the poultry keeper needs to do is gather the eggs daily, fill the birds' food and water containers, and change their bedding about once a month. It couldn't be easier, and this book shows you how.
This basic guide to keeping chickens provides foundational information on the care of poultry in a small scale setting. Beginning with an overview of the history and basic principles of poultry, the work covers topics such as choosing breeds, feeding, pest control, hatching chicks, optimization of egg production, and the care of other fowl such as geese, turkeys, and ducks. Chapters are arranged in brief, easy-to-read sections and a selection of egg and chicken recipes is included. Head raises chickens and bees in East Sussex, UK.
Regular readers to my blog will know that I'm a keen chicken keeper. I have 4 years experience of keeping ex battery hens (some of which have been very needy through no fault of their own) so I was super excited to be sent The Chicken Handbook to review, along with another book, The Beekeeping Handbook. The latter I have no experience of at all but it does interest me and is relevant to my sustainable life style. Naturally, The Chicken Handbook was the book that I reached for first. The book has a very inviting front cover and easy to follow contents. I particularly like how the author starts the book with the history of the chicken and then carries on to cover chickens needs such as housing and feeding equipment before naming and explaining all the different chicken breeds. This gives the reader a solid foundation of knowledge on which to build on and well-informed choices, thus avoiding the mistake of purchasing chickens before being ready to cater for the most basic of their needs. I was further impressed with the section explaining in detail the daily, weekly and monthly routine required to keep chickens happy and healthy. I feel this information is well placed within the book contents and crucial to know, particularly for those thinking about keeping a flock of garden hens. There are some tips and facts within the book to avoid problems with chicken keeping in urban areas, such as seeking permission from your landlord or checking house deeds before going ahead and keeping chickens. If you're not squeamish (unlike me) and wish to raise your own meat birds, you'll be pleased to know that the book covers how to humanely cull birds for the table, including plucking and evisceration. I'll admit, this was the one and only section of the book that I was pleased not to see photographs. For those who like to dabble in the kitchen, there's a handy section with recipes using your own meat and eggs. Overall I am very impressed with the amount of topics and information covered in this book. There are well detailed and clearly explained sections on choosing chickens, bringing chickens home and settling them in, A-Z of pests and diseases, behavioral problems, chicken and egg anatomy, chicken breeds, predators, showing, feeding, housing, and raising chicks to name a few. My only criticism is there are no photographs, particularly of the different chicken breeds. As lovely as the illustrations are throughout the book, personally I prefer to look at photographs to get a better idea of colour and size etc. This is merely a nit pick and shouldn't detract from the overall quality or experience of the book content. Chickens are not the only feathered friends to be featured in the book. I'm currently swotting up on how to keep quail, guinea fowl, turkeys, geese and ducks! This is a handy book to refer to for experienced chicken keepers and very informative and easy to follow for the new chicken keeper.
Keeping poultry is no longer just for country dwellers. A small piece of garden and a lot of determination is all you need - even in the inner city. Satisfying and rewarding, keeping chickens can be the perfect hobby - and offers fresher produce than can ever be found in the supermarket. This book is a comprehensive handbook for the novice to get started.
This comprehensive handbook covers everything you need to know about keeping poultry, from choosing your breed and preparing your chicken house to establishing your flock and reaping the benefits of fresh eggs.
This book is a comprehensive handbook for the novice to get started. All the fundamental information a backyard farmer needs to raise not only chickens, but geese, ducks, and turkeys too.
Many of us dream of abandoning the rat race in favor of a more satisfying, self-sustaining existence. Our idyllic new life might even include a few chickens pecking around the garden, providing us with lovely fresh eggs. Keeping poultry, however, is not just for country dwellers, as a small garden and plenty of determination can make this dream a reality-even in the inner city. The Chicken Handbook covers everything you need to know about this satisfying and rewarding hobby, from choosing your breed and preparing your chicken house to establishing your flock and reaping the benefits of fresh produce. Illustrated throughout, this indispensable guide offers the advice you need to ensure that your birds stay happy, healthy, and thriving.
About the Author
Vivian Head is an ardent cook, gardener and author who lives in a country cottage in East Sussex, in the United Kingdom. When she is not busy writing, she tends her allotment and kitchen herb garden, which is also home to her chickens and four beehives.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION The History of Chickens What is Free-range? So You Want to Keep Chickens Things to Consider ANATOMY OF A CHICKEN A Simple Creature The Anatomy of the Egg WHERE DO I BEGIN? Housing and Equipment The Inside of the Coop Other Equipment Routines CHOOSING YOUR CHICKENS Which to Choose Breeds for Egg Production Dual-purpose Breeds Bantams and Silkies Age and Where to Buy BRINGING YOUR CHICKENS HOME Settling Them In Coping With the Horrid Jobs Behavioural Problems FEEDING Feeding Requirements General Formula for Home Mixes A-Z OF PESTS AND DISEASES General Well-being Abnormal Eggs RAISING YOUR OWN CHICKS Suitable Breeding Stock The Artificial Incubator Hatching Incubation Problems THE EGG Natural Food Package SHOWING Worthy of a Prize A Guide to What a Judge Looks for DUCKS, GEESE AND OTHER POULTRY Ducks Geese Turkeys Guinea Fowl Quail RECIPES A Selection of Recipes GLOSSARY INDEX