Whether you live on 1,000 acres or 1,000 square feet, there’s plenty of room in your backyard for a flock of chickens. Join the chicken revolution today and be prepared to reap a lifetime of benefits that goes far beyond the enjoyment and the eggs.
In the pages that follow, we help get you started with everything from incubating fertile eggs to receiving and raising day-old chicks to building a chicken coop to keeping your birds safe and healthy. We’ve even outlined a 9-step process to help you promote legalization of backyard bird-keeping in your city or town. You’ll find top-notch advice on how to protect your flock from predators, produce the healthiest eggs, and so much more. And if your interest is in cooking with eggs and/or chicken, we have you covered.
Get ready to jump into the world of chickens, one DIY project at a time. Owning and raising chickens doesn't have to be an expensive hobby. With imagination, simple tools, and salvaged or bargain materials, you can make everything your flock needs for their health and safety.
Heritage breeds matter, and they are often a better choice than conventional breeds for small farms and backyards. This eloquent and inviting visual guide explains why conserving heritage breeds is important and shows you how you can raise these breeds yourself, helping to preserve them and benefiting from them at the same time. Written by three experts from the Livestock Conservancy, this book includes chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits, pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys and horses, detailing each breed's specific needs and characteristics so that you can select the one that's right for you. Whichever breed you choose, you'll find thorough, comprehensive information on how to raise it successfully.
A must-have for every backyard chicken keeper, Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics goes beyond introductory lessons and explores the realities of raising a flock for eggs -- and entertainment, of course! From odd eggs and molting to feeding and preparing for the seasons, this book covers the subjects beginner books don't adequately address and re-examines common knowledge that may not actually hold true. It's a resource to turn to time and again for expert advice to make sure your birds are happy, healthy, and productive.
Author Pam Freeman, an editor and "Ask the Expert" columnist at Backyard Poultry magazine, draws on her years of experience fielding reader questions to identify and clearly explain many common - and some not-so-common - issues in chicken keeping. How do you add new chickens to your flock? What is the pecking order and how can you change or control it? Is it better to raise chicks by hand or with a broody hen? What do you do when you collect eggs and discover: lash eggs, calcium deposits, soft eggs, eggs within eggs, or wrinkled eggs? In Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics, readers will find not just answers, but a book full of "coop truth" that helps them continue on their journey. Because as every chicken owner knows: Chickens are individuals and real-life chicken keeping often takes you far from the beaten path.
Start a great DIY project, and build a chicken coop with these how-to drawings and conceptual plans for 45 different designs — from strictly practical to flights of fancy — guaranteed to meet the needs of every chicken owner.
The popularity of egg-laying chickens is on the rise. Sustainable and fun, raising chickens is one of the most interesting and rewarding backyard hobbies you can find. In Chicken DIY, aspiring chicken farmers will find creative plans and easy-to-follow construction tips for making a safe and healthy environment for their fine-feathered friends. Veteran farmers and poultry enthusiasts Samantha and Daniel Johnson provide complete and easy-to-follow instructions for 20 essential projects, from coops and feeders to runs, ramps, roosts, and incubators. Clear step-by-step color photographs guide the reader through each hands-on project.
Inside Chicken DIY:
The definition of a chicken tractor has evolved to mean employing your chickens skill-sets in a variety of different tasks that benefit you, your garden and yard. The chickens peck and scratch the soil to clean your beds, eat pest bugs and weed seeds, and fertilize the beds with their manure. Best of all, they provide eggs and meat with that old-fashioned flavor and homegrown goodness.
Expanded, updated and even more detailed. Learn how to raise homestead flocks for eggs, meat and money. Loads of photos and diagrams make important information visual and easy to understand.
Process birds in your backyard with exact, step-by-step explanations. Over 50 processing photos and diagrams—to let you do it right, efficiently and humanely each and every time.
This incredibly popular hands-on book is a grass-roots best seller. It has helped thousands of folks have better gardens and has rekindled an interest in the backyard flocks and heritage breeds of poultry. It has literally, changed the lives of millions of chickens all over the world by taking them out of factory farms, and putting in the gardens where they are happier, more productive and healthier.
Having chickens has never been as easy and fun as with Murray McMurray Hatchery's Chickens in Five Minutes a Day.
This from-zero-to-go guide to raising a flock of chickens in your backyard gives you the easiest route to amazing fresh eggs, as well as tried-and-true shortcuts. Tending chickens becomes a snap with this handy book's help.
McMurray Hatchery has been sending out birds for home flocks for nearly 100 years and is one of the biggest names in the industry, shipping more than 2 million chickens and other fowl each year. With this experience comes knowledge: on how to raise fun and productive chickens the easy way, on simple feeding, the best coops, worry-free watering, hygiene, and pest control.
Raising chickens is one of the most rewarding home farm activities you can share with your family. The great flavor of the eggs, as reflected by the bright orange color of the yokes, is unrivalled by those found in supermarkets. Chickens also make great pets, fun to watch and keep around. Now it's easier than ever with the smart techniques and approaches prescribed by one of America's most well-known hatcheries.
Framed by the author's personal experience with backyard hens, Chickens: Their Natural and Unnatural Histories explores the history of the chicken from its descent from the dinosaurs to the space-age present. En route, author Janet Lembke surveys chickens in ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the 19th century, and modern times, including the role of chickens in Jewish and Muslim practices. She also investigates the birds' contributions to science and their jaunty appearances in literature. Eggs receive a chapter of their own, as does chicken cuisine, comprising recipes from the Roman Empire to today's favorites. Stories about chickens appear, too, often written by those who keep them, including the painter Grandma Moses, the man who holds Cleveland's Farm Animal Permit No. 17, and Brenda, who had to give her young roosters a talking-to for behaving like sheep.
Chickens have only recently come to a sorry pass in the Western world, where broilers and laying hens are factory-farmed. Lembke investigates the fate of such birds and explores the sustainable, humane alternatives to raising birds for meat and eggs.
A celebration of the chicken in its every aspect, Chickens is sure to delight the chicken fancier, the backyard chicken keeper, and everyone concerned about where our food comes from and how we can treat animals more compassionately.
This is the book that tells you just about everything you need to know to raise poultry on pasture, from the egg up through processing. Based on years of hands-on experiences -- both success and failures -- the authors hold back nothing about the realities, advantages, disadvantages and rewards of small-scale poultry production systems for income and community food self-sufficiency. Offering hard to find information on raising turkeys, small-scale breeder flocks and incubation production, the book also includes a foreword by everybody's favorite contrary farmer, Gene Logsdon.
This isn't a typical egg cookbook or guide to raising chickens, Epic Eggs takes a deep dive on the eggs themselves and tells you how to raise birds that will produce the best eggs you've ever seen. It may be true that most poultry found on small homesteads or in backyards especially are viewed as pets, but they are inarguably pets with benefits--namely eggs. In Epic Eggs, homesteader and writer Jennifer Sartell looks at the eggs of the most common types of poultry you’d find in your backyard: chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas, and quail. Don’t jump to conclusions! This isn’t an egg cookbook or a guide to raising poultry. Sartell delves into the eggs themselves and explains reproductive systems, egg anatomy, and how and why different colors are distributed to egg shells. Sartell will show you a variety breeds of birds, and what sizes, shapes, and even colors of egg they produce; from white to blue, brown, chocolate, olive, and speckled, plus heritage breeds and how to breed for specific colors. Illustrated with fantastic color photography of eggs and their birds, Epic Eggs goes on to address how to optimize living conditionsand diet for the healthiest and most-flavorful eggs, the process of grading and storing eggs, and the eternal washing debate. There’s also discussion of nutrition, baking, cooking, preserving, pickling, and dehydrating. The book ends with advice for homesteaders looking to create business plans and a section on troubleshooting.
Many gardeners fear chickens will peck away at their landscape, and chicken lovers often shy away from gardening for the same reason. But you can keep chickens and have a beautiful garden, too! Fresh eggs aren't the only benefit — chickens can actually help your garden grow and thrive, even as your garden does the same for your chickens.
In this essential handbook, award-winning garden designer Jessi Bloom covers everything a gardener needs to know, including chicken-keeping basics, simple garden plans to get you started, tips on attractive fencing options, the best plants and plants to avoid, and step-by-step instructions for getting your chicken garden up and running.
For anyone who wants a fabulous garden where colorful chickens happily roam, Free-Range Chicken Gardens is the guide that will bring the dream home to roost.
Get all the animal know-how, big or small, with our Backyard Animals Package from Grit! Whether you're thinking about keeping chickens in your backyard, breeding rabbits in a colony, or raising barnyard animals, this package has you covered. Our limited-time package includes three specially curated issues from Grit, including Guide to Barnyard Animals, Guide to Chickens, and Guide to Backyard Rabbits, 6th Edition.
As communities across the country amend urban bylaws to allow backyard flocks, more and more of us are enjoying the pleasures and rewards of keeping hens in the garden.Her book is stuffed full of practical advice on keeping the garden both gorgeous and productive and hens happy and healthy. Langford includes dozens of simple and elegant recipes from her own kitchen, as well as contributions from celebrated chefs.With beautiful photographs, illustrations, and garden plans, this book is sure to become a favorite of avid and aspiring backyard farmers alike.
If you want to incubate, hatch and brood chicks yourself, rather than buying them from a hatchery, this is the guide you need. Poultry authority Gail Damerow explains exactly how to hatch healthy baby chickens, ducklings, goslings, turkey poults and guinea keets, addressing everything from selecting a breed and choosing the best incubator to ensuring proper setup and sanitary conditions, understanding embryo development, and feeding and caring for newborn chicks in a brooder.
This is a book about keeping chickens, but it is also a feather-clad soap opera of primal urges. Written from firsthand experience, its pages are filled with the quest for absolute power, sex, death, jealousy, and huge vet bills. Beyond all the intrigue and drama, however, there are even some practical lessons to be learned about what not to do when keeping chickens.
Martin Gurdon’s hilarious “chicken memoir” relieves the highs and lows of chicken ownership. The relationship between bird and human is by turns heartwarming and bewildering, but it is always entertaining.
Keep chickens with less work and more joy! Free yourself from the burden of daily hen-tending tasks, and go on vacation without worrying about your flock. How? Turn your backyard into a hentopia: a chicken habitat that keeps your flock safe, clean, fed, and entertained, with less work left over for you. From the Vending Machine Feeder to the Refilling Rainwaterer, author Frank Hyman’s innovative building projects are designed to save time and money while taking the best care of your chickens.
A single information-packed volume with everything a hobby farmer needs to know about farm animals, this new, comprehensive manual to selecting, caring for and breeding livestock brings forth the expertise of six hobby farmers, each of whom has real-life on-the-farm experience with the animals she discusses. With exhaustive detail, the authors offer complete coverage of chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, cattle, pigs and rabbits, including the housing, health care, special needs, advantages and challenges of each.
How to Build Chicken Coops provides the answers to all of your questions about planning and building safe and comfortable structures for your flock. Readers will find more than just a collection of plans.
Inside, authors Daniel and Samantha Johnson answer questions such as: How much space will you need? How many nest boxes and windows will your birds require? How much will it cost? What steps do you need to take to keep your chickens safe from predators?
Whether you are interested in starting an urban or suburban flock, or just curious about country living or urban farming, How to Build Chicken Coops is a trusted guide that takes the guesswork out of building a safe and comfortable home that’s just right for your flock.