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Best Chicken Breeds: 12 Types of Hens that Lay Lots of Eggs, Make Good Pets, and Fit in Small Yards (Booklet) [Kindle Edition]

R.J. Ruppenthal
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.59
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Book Description

New on Amazon

Overview of the best chicken breeds for backyards, including full color pictures of each type. Learn which types of hens lay the most eggs, have friendly and calm personalities, and fit well in small city back yards. Written by the author of the best-selling Fresh Food From Small Spaces book, a former columnist for Urban Farm magazine. (Updated 2014 Version)

Topics Include:

• How This Information Can Help You
• Rainbow Eggs: White, Blue, Green, Dark Chocolate Brown, and More
• Importance of Hatching Eggs and Handling Chicks Early
• Each Chicken is an Individual
• Best Breeds: 12 types of hens that lay lots of eggs, have friendly and calm temperaments, and fit in city backyards
• Bonus: 5 Exotic Poultry Chicken Breeds for backyards: wait ‘till you see these!
• Resources Section: Links to additional information on chicken breeds, plus where to obtain your chickens

Be Sure to Read This Before You Get Chickens

Thinking about getting chickens? Not sure what kind is best? If you’re ready to learn which types of hens lay lots of eggs on a regular basis, make good pets, and fit happily in small sized yards, you’ve come to the right place. This e-booklet provides you with information on 12 types of chickens which are best suited for a small back yard flock.

Plus Bonus Section: 5 Exotic Breeds for Backyards

Also included is a bonus chapter covering 5 Exotic Poultry Chicken Breeds which are also suitable for backyards. If you've never seen a bird that looks like a chicken crossed with a turkey, another one with a head resembling a feather duster, a third that looks more like a rabbit than a chicken, a hen that lays dark chocolate brown eggs, and a one pound chicken 6-12 inches tall that people keep as an indoor pet, then prepare to meet some new friends! Amazingly, each of these has a friendly personality and all can make good pets.

There’s a lot of free information online about different kinds of chickens. It’s great to have this available, but sorting through it can take a lot of time. When I decided to get chickens, I spent many hours researching different chicken breeds in books and on the Internet. At the time, I had a small yard in the city. The only thing I knew about chickens was that the hens lay the eggs and the roosters make most of the noise!

From my research, I learned that there are as many as 175 different kinds of chickens in the world. However, only 12 chicken breeds met my criteria, which were:

• Regular and prolific egg layers
• Comfortable in an enclosed coop and run area
• Preferably, not too loud
• Friendly around people

Save Time and Money

It would take you at least two or three hours just to find this information, even before you sort through, read, and analyze it. Instead, I’ve put all the important stuff in this short booklet (which only appears longer because of all the chicken pictures, another essential element for people choosing breeds). I’ve summarized the lengthy raw material from my own research, selected the best breeds for backyards, and presented this information in a format you can use.

Don't Get the Wrong Kind of Chickens!

Be sure to read this booklet before you get chickens!
Don't make the mistake of getting the wrong kind of chickens for your small yard. The wrong kinds can eat lots of food, get fat, and lay few eggs. They can be loud, aggressive, obnoxious, or scared of people. The right kinds will lay eggs almost every day, stay calm and quiet, let you pick them up and pet them, and will not mind being kept in a coop and fenced area!

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 or on his Amazon Author's Page (click on his name above to get there).

Product Details

  • File Size: 1611 KB
  • Print Length: 46 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008JI3M6O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,267 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what the title says.... November 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author gives us a brief on what characteristics make a great bird for a small backyard flock. As he points out, all this information is available for free on the internet (and he gives his sources), HOWEVER brings the information together in one short, sweet bundle. I can attest to his information as I also slogged through hours of research and found the same short list of birds as my top candidates for when I can get a small flock started.

Basically the criteria are which birds are superior layers, have friendly personalities and/or are QUIET (and he points out the quietest ones--yay!), and which ones are suited to the more confined areas of a backyard run and coop. These are the criteria for what I'm looking for as a prospective chicken owner (next year) and I want layers that like the backyard, that like me, and are the least likely to bug my neighbors. My husband is hoping for brown eggs.

This little book does a great job in describing 12 breeds that suit these criteria and gives little tidbits of other useful facts like size, history and egg colors.

I found my top candidates on the list, which confirms the slogging I've done on the internet for hours using many of his resources but also chat boards and whatnot from 'real' owners.

In other words I could have saved myself a lot of time by reading this book first, and with a very reasonable price, I highly recommend purchasing this first so you can narrow your focus.

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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just left out a few important points December 12, 2012
By Bean
Format:Kindle Edition
I appreciated the details given about each breed, including the history, temperament, etc., and agree this is a helpful summary of lots of research. As a summary and geared to new chicken-keepers, it is necessarily concise. However, there are a few points that I think new chicken-keepers tend not to think about until they are in the thick of things, that would have been good to include here:

1) When hatching your own eggs, a major problem for many people is what to do with male chicks; they're not so easy to find homes for! A word on preparation for this inevitability seems important for the new chicken-keeper.
2) From my experience (not based on research), many of the high-production breeds tend to have health problems (esp. reproductively-related) and don't live as long. Dealing with these issues can be heartbreaking for those who get to know their birds as pets. So perhaps it's good to consider a trade-off of rate of prolific laying within the first few years to longevity (of life and laying).
3) Kudos for mentioning a few of the less-common backyard chicken breeds like the Delaware and Cubalaya, but perhaps an acknowledgment of the heritage breeds in general and the importance of preserving a diverse gene pool is important.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good starter book. January 20, 2013
By Keri
Format:Kindle Edition
I am just getting in to raising chickens. This book has some good information about the different chickens and how much they lay. Someone who has been raising chickens may already know some of the information but I found it helpful.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of info in a small package February 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This booklet is full of information on backyard laying chicken breeds. Love the pics of the breeds....some I have not seen before. This booklet is a good choice to read when trying to decide which breed you want to get. Number of eggs to expect, color and size. very happy to find this one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivered As Promised February 24, 2013
By Chelle
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An enjoyable quick read for the chicken enthusiast. An interesting overview too of some birds not usually covered in a book like this. The author did his homework and it is appreciated that he shared.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good information. February 24, 2013
By Irbarb
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a good resource for some one who has limited space and wants a small flock. I wish there had been more photos.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative March 1, 2013
I bought this to help me decide the best breed to go with for my needs. It was very helpful and the links ref'd in the back were most helpful.
pleased with my purchase.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great information for raising backyard chickens February 11, 2013
By Crystal
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I gifted my grandchildren with baby chicks that they wanted last April which have turned out to be wonderful pets. I found this book afterwards which was okay because they have 4 different breeds which are in the book and rated as great pets, friendly, and get alone with each other.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 14 days ago by Eric Schramm
5.0 out of 5 stars Good information, quick read
Good short read, with just the right amount of information about hens you might want to have around..their traits and egg laying ability - references at the end. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Hoss Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very informative
Published 1 month ago by Evelyn K Lucas
4.0 out of 5 stars Would have been better..
Thought it would have color pictures as the subject was the varied breeds. Would have been better...bought for a gift.
Published 1 month ago by Sherry Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for writing this book-it's straight to the point ...
Thank you for writing this book-it's straight to the point, gives you the information you need and off you go. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nightingale
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book! I enjoyed the author's style as he ...
Very good book! I enjoyed the author's style as he described his top 12 breeds of chickens for a small scale or even larger backyard egg producing operation. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fast service and shipping. Thanks.
Published 2 months ago by Matthew S Shuman
5.0 out of 5 stars very good info thanks
This was a good book with the basic breeds discussed! I liked that the author was objective in his review, he offered the good and the bad for all breeds
Published 2 months ago by Amused Twinkle
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the info and made buying decisions based on what ...
I enjoyed the info and made buying decisions based on what I learned. After handing out with my chickens, the info holds true.
Published 2 months ago by gerry christoforatos
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
My daughter enjoyed reading this book.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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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 @ (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!


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