Chicken Books (and a Giveaway!)

The first time Brian and I got chicks, we knew very little about raising animals of any kind.  Newly settled on a 30 acre rental property, chickens seemed like the ideal first farm animal – low entry cost, relatively simple to care for, and of course, the quality of farm-fresh eggs cannot be beat.  When our good friend and land mate expressed an interest in co-owning 10 hens, we began our journey into animal husbandry.

Once again, chickens will be the first animals on our new homestead. While it seems important to build a house and figure out basic living systems before we leap into the same level of animal care we enjoyed in Oregon, I cannot resist a small flock of layers and meat birds.

After thirteen years of homesteading, we have learned a lot about raising farm animals.  Much of this knowledge has been through trial and error.  And while I do believe that direct experience is the best way to learn homesteading skills, there is much to be said for research and education before one begins raising animals; after all, you are taking on responsibility for another living creature. While I wait for the weather to warm a bit before bringing home chicks, I’ve been reading up on raising chickens, and thought I might share a few books I’ve been enjoying.

Living with Chickens:
Everything You Need to Know to Raise your Own Backyard Flock

By Jay Rossier
With a warm, friendly tone, and a no-nonsense approach, this is a great choice for someone looking for an easy read and beautiful, inspiring photos.  I also have read several other books in this series, including Living with Pigs, Living with Sheep, and Living with Goats, and have enjoyed them all. I loved that the author included a chapter on Chickens and Children!

Keeping Chickens with Ashley English
All You Need to Know to Care for A Happy, Healthy Flock
By Ashley English
Ashley English has made quite a name for herself with a series of animal husbandry books (I was especially impressed with her Keeping Bees book).  I like the way she makes animal husbandry seem so fun and within everyone’s reach (which it is!).  Great photos, vignettes of farmers, and solid information make this book a great choice for beginning poultry farmers.

The Urban Chicken
By Heather Harris
Another resource I enjoyed was a recently released eBook by Heather Harris of The Homesteading Hippy. Her eBook, The Urban Chicken is a great how-to guide for folks just starting out.  She includes many photos and wonderful personal stories and tips from her own backyard.  I especially appreciated that she guides the reader from chick to table, illustrating how to piece a chicken, and offering freezing instructions and information on pressure canning chicken meat.  I have never before canned chicken meat, but her instructions are so clear and easy, that I am really excited to give it a try this summer.

Heather has generously offered a copy of her eBook to give away to one Homestead Honey reader.  If you’d like a chance to win a copy, please leave a comment below! I’ll close the comments on Friday.

Congratulations to the winner, Tatiana!

*This post featured on The Homestead Barn Hop, Menagerie Monday at Let This Mind Be In You, and Natural Living Mamma’s Natural Living Monday.

8 thoughts on “Chicken Books (and a Giveaway!)

  1. Ann here—-great job, Teri! Fine chicken words…..the love and warmth will have everyone wanting to go out and get some!! 🙂 🙂

  2. Oooo! That ebook sounds great. I’ve kept chickens before but would love to have simple instructions for details like canning meat, as well…

  3. Pingback: Peach Peel Jelly | Homestead Honey

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