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Backyard Chickens for Beginners: Getting the Best Chickens, Choosing Coops, Feeding and Care, and Beating City Chicken Laws Paperback – August 25, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Backyard Chickens for Beginners: Getting the Best Chickens, Choosing Coops, Feeding and Care, and Beating City Chicken Laws + Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, 3rd Edition + Building Chicken Coops: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-224
Price for all three: $25.60

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 42 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479197009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479197002
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

R.J. Ruppenthal is a licensed attorney and college professor in California who has a passion for growing and raising some of his own food. He regularly writes and blogs about fruit and vegetable gardening, growing food in small urban spaces, sustainability, and raising backyard chickens. On occasion, he even puts his degrees to use and writes something about law or government. You can follow his blogs at http://backyardcvf.blogspot.com or on his Amazon Author’s Page.

More About the Author

Hi Folks! I'm R.J. Ruppenthal, the guy who wrote the book (or booklet) you're viewing.

Long story short: I never planned to become a gardening and food author. But I couldn't find the book I wanted, so I sat down and wrote what I thought people should know. That book did really well. Since then, readers have encouraged me to continue writing. I hope my books and articles can help you grow a little more of your own food.

Full story: When I lived in an apartment, it took me a long time to find any useful gardening information for small space gardeners with balconies, rooftops, decks, small backyards, and the like. At that time, nobody had written a good book on small space food growing. Every gardening book I ever read told me I needed many acres and full blast sunlight all day (neither of which I had).

Even so, I worked hard to create a garden on that first balcony. Some things I tried worked well while other ones failed miserably. I found out which vegetables grew best in partial shade and how to get the most production from this small balcony garden. I wanted to save other people some time and show them what was possible, so I ended up writing the Fresh Food From Small Spaces book in 2008. With the economic crisis and growth of interest in local food, that book became a bestseller.

Soon after, I was asked to serve as a columnist for a new magazine called Urban Farm, which is published by the great folks who produce Hobby Farms. I have written many columns and crop profile articles for Urban Farm, which is available online and at finer news stands.

Today, my first garden has expanded to a small yard that includes vegetables and fruit trees wherever I can fit them. We also have a chicken coop and a chicken run, which gives the chickens free range access to part of the yard but keeps them away from the veggies and blueberries. We feed the chickens with kitchen scraps and they peck up the bugs and weed seeds in the garden (OK, we give them a little organic chicken feed also). In return, we are rewarded with almost two dozen fresh eggs each week.

It's really easy to keep backyard chickens and I urge everyone to consider it. If you'd like to learn more, please check out my e-book called Backyard Chickens for Beginners. You can read it on a Kindle, iPad, iPhone, PC, or Mac with the Kindle app or on Amazon's online Cloud Reader.

Recently, I've written several other "e-booklet" titles that you can find by clicking on my name at the top. I'm particularly proud of the Blueberries in Your Backyard book, which shows people how simple it can be to grow this very tasty, healthy, yet expensive fruit. Also, I plan to stay active with the new blog here, so please bookmark this page and come visit me often. Contact me at freshfoodbook @ gmail.com (remove the spaces in that address if you e-mail me; I included them here so I don't get automatic spam).

In other news, I live in Northern California with my family, where I teach at a college and have a law license I rarely use. Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy my books and articles. Drop me a line if you have some comments and I'll see you in the garden!

Customer Reviews

This is an excellent book in getting started raising chickens.
bettjun
Which would have been great info to read on and the reason I got this book when it came out free.
Golden_one
I found this book to be very informative, easy to understand & descriptive.
damon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Martha D. Provencher on July 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Easy to read, informative, eases the intimidation of starting to own chickens. I would add or clarify just a few things:

First and most importantly, the author makes reference to poultry wire when discussing coops. In passing he mentions half inch hardware cloth. Readers should not infer that poultry wire is the large-holed hexagonal chicken wire. That wire is too open and too flimsy to use to protect your chickens. Racoons will make short work of it. Though more expensive, invest in the half-inch grid hardware cloth and save yourself the expense and trauma of losing your birds to predators.

Second, I would have liked to see some info on how smart and trainable chickens are. There's a downside to that trait. If you hear your chickens crowing one morning and as a result go out and let them free range or give them a treat, you have just trained them to crow every morning for the same thing again. (Don't ask me how I know.) As with children, don't reward behavior you don't wish to see repeated. BTW, there's a very interesting youtube video on clicker training chickens.

Third, the subject of pecking order and introducing new chickens to established flocks would have been very helpful.

Finally, I would just add my chickens' number one treat, one they will fly up to peck the bottom of the clear container for: leftover cooked brown rice.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Denise on August 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm so glad I got this book, the author is right about getting right to the info your looking for. It skips the long winded and sometimes unneeded info you pay for in a larger book. This is the perfect book to get you started with chickens, from what kind to get,how many , what you intend and how to keep them. One helpful hint I got was to slightly bury my coop to keep other critters from digging in underneath. If it's not in this book it tells you where to find it! Perfect! Thanks!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Cara on August 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book answered more of my questions about owning chickens than my $20 paperback on the same topic! This was definitely more specific and thorough, and at a fraction of the cost. The resource section at the end points you toward lots of free online information as well. I would highly recommend this e-book to anyone who is considering owning chickens.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Colorfulveggies on May 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for raising a few chickens in a small backyard. It covers all the basics and is very thorough, even with ideas to deal with city ordinances. There are many online resources included for further study. I would recommend this to anyone who hoped to learn how to start having fresh eggs each day.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By skeezyx on October 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
we have 17 laying chickens and this book has been so informative! i continue to learn more about our little layers! i would most definitely recommend this book prior to getting your chicks or chickens! will be extremely helpful with planning out your coop and run and also provide a learning curve before you begin! love the idea of wooden eggs, will be trying that soon! we opt for purchasing pullets, it does save money in the long run. however, we are looking forward to hatching some chicks just for the experience! a MUST read book! well written and so very helpful!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Music Man on October 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is concise, clear and informative, and speaks in a light-hearted voice. Anyone interested in the whole poultry industry would do well to read this. The author's point of view is pretty animal-friendly also...except for the slaughtering part (which is up to the individual chicken owner, after all!) Apart from everything else, fresh eggs are infinitely superior to cold-storage. Read this book!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Wisteria Atrix on October 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you haven't already scoured the web for info on backyard chickens, this would be a good start. However, if you have already checked out information on the web, I suggest you buy a more detailed offering on backyard chickens. Also note, this booklet also points to the author's Best Chicken Breeds booklet, which is NOT included in this booklet and you will have to buy that TOO if you want details about chicken breeds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tamara L. Rohring on August 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have done even the most basic research on raising your own flock this won't offer you much. I knew more about setting things up for my first flock through online searches and a few websites dedicated to people who raise their own chickens and are more than willing to share their knowledge with you than what this had to offer. If you have done absolutely no research and are looking for a way to have one or two laying hens in a city, this may help you, otherwise, don't expect to learn much from this one.
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