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Our family has not really been one for pets and that’s mostly my fault. My mom was not a pet person and we were never allowed to have indoor pets. We took in stray cats and for a time had a dog that was given to us by a friend, but they were strictly outdoor and she had little to nothing to do with them if she could. I did like having them, but never grew a deep attachment.
When my brother and I were younger – and even before he was born – my family had chickens for eggs and meat. I enjoyed it greatly. At one point I had a hen that went broody and she hatched and raised a nest of chicks. It was educational and rewarding to see how our care and attention resulted in new life and more eggs :). We even learned how to butcher chickens for food.
Though I’ve never fancied myself a farmer or had a desire to have a full on farm I do appreciate the work and bounty that can come from having a backyard garden, flock of chickens and even a couple goats to help feed the family. This is my small dream. I’d love to have a backyard chicken flock to start since I have some experience with that and I think my girls would enjoy and develop and appreciation for the process.
Are you a homesteader? Do you aspire to be one?
Would you like to develop your own flock of backyard chickens?
Would you like more information on how to properly care for and improve the quality of your existing flock of chicks?
Check out this list of recently and soon to be released books specifically for those who do raise backyard chickens or are interested in starting the hobby –
Kathy Shea Mormino is affectionately known as “The Chicken Chick” and is the founder of the wildly popular blog by the same name. As a subscriber to The-Chicken-Chick.com newsletter I’ve learned much practical and simple tips on raising chickens.
October 1, 2017 she’ll be releasing her first book, The Chicken Chick’s Guide to Backyard Chickens: Simple Steps for Healthy, Happy Hens (Voyageur Press ISBN: 9780760352427 | $19.99 USD). In this book she shares “her years of hard-earned experience and collaborations with poultry veterinarians, nutritionists, and professors, providing simple steps for these uncommon pets with confidence. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned veteran with backyard chickens you’ll benefit from her advice on all aspects of flock care — from housing, food, health, egg production and much more. This is much more than a text book – it’s a beautifully and abundantly illustrated guide comparable to the fun format of Mormino’s blog and her social media shares over the last five years.
Check out Kathy and her happy hens on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Don’t forget to look out for her book release on 10/1/17!!! It’ll be a great gift for the would be backyard chickneers in your life.
When you already have a productive backyard flock it can be easy to become complacent until a problem or unexpected need arises. Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics (Voyageur Press | ISBN 9780760352007 | $21.99 USD, $28.99 CAN) explores the realities of tending chickens beyond the introductory lessons. Author Pam Freeman re-examines common knowledge that may not actually hold true and provides expert advice to ensure your birds are happy, healthy and productive.
Pam is an editor for the “Ask the Expert” column of Backyard Poultry magazine. She draws on her extensive experience fielding reader questions to identify the common and the down right odd issues in chicken keeping. Have questions about your chickens? Ms. Freeman has, and shares, the answers!
You’ve heard of the horse whisperer, now get ready for Andy Schneider – The Chicken Whisperer. First published in 2011, Mr. Schneider is back with an new and improved edition of his guide to keeping chickens.
The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, Expanded & Revised (Quarry Books | ISBN 9781631593123 | $19.99 USD, $25.99 CAN) shows you a fun and useful way to connect with the Earth, your community and your food sources. Let the Chicken Whisperer teach you all you need to know about raising a backyard chicken flock without the need for super-technical manuals or jargon. Andy’s no-nonsense and down-to-earth approach turns the process of setting up and caring for your backyard chicken flock a delight for all – even if you have a super busy lifestyle.
One of the reasons I hesitate to start a backyard chicken flock is that I enjoy gardening. My vegetable garden is usually the central feature of my yard and I feared that adding chickens to the mix would destroy what I’ve worked so dearly to build.
Thankfully, I had the privilege of receiving and reading this book in preparation for my own flock of backyard chickens. The author, Lisa Steele, has a very friendly and informative manner. It was a pleasure to peruse the project ideas for raised bed gardens, chicken runs and the best plants to plant (and the ones not to) for the maximum enjoyment of your chickens and you. The photography is very well done and helped me feel that what she proposed for a backyard flock is attainable for anyone with a little bit of effort. This reference book will be a staple in my homesteading library.