Customer Reviews: A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store's Guide to Chicken Keeping
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars128
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VINE VOICEon August 26, 2011
This is the only book you need if you want to keep a few chickens in your yard.

Flipping through a lot of the other highly-rated chicken books, it quickly became clear that most of them are oriented toward large-scale chicken keeping. Sure, some have added token acknowledgement that some people keep chickens as pets that happen to lay eggs, but the tone and the information are suited toward people who don't plan to name their chickens or tell stories about their antics. They're low on details about how tall a fence should be to keep the chickens from ravaging your vegetable garden, and discredit methods like clipping wings because it's just not viable if you have 200 birds.

If you want to experience the joy of cracking open an egg still warm from the chicken, of knowing exactly what the chicken ate and how it was cared for, of knowing that the only carbon footprint involved in your breakfast was your trip down to the feed store every few months, this is the book for you. If you have no plans whatsoever of eating your chicken just because it stopped laying 7 eggs a week, this is the book for you. If you want a practical guide for housing chickens in a small urban back yard, heck, this book even has detailed plans for building a simple but safe coop and run. It even has a neat breakdown of how much time you will need to set aside for caring for your birds (five minutes in the morning to feed and collect eggs and let the birds out, five minutes in the evening to feed and collect eggs, and lock the door of the coop, 20 minutes once a week to add more bedding, and so on) so you have some idea of what time commitment you're actually making.
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on March 28, 2011
I must have 10 books on raising chickens, trying to be as educated as possible before I get started with the birds. This is the best of them. It is clear, concise, practical, very readable. This is the book you read first, and keep on the shelf for questions as they develop. Wish I lived close enough to visit with Robert and Hannah.
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on March 27, 2011
As a customer of the Urban Farm Store, I'd been anxiously awaiting Robert and Hannah's how-to book on keeping small backyard flocks. Turns out, this is much more than a how-to book. It's beautiful, for starters, featuring original illustrations by Portland artists and photographs shared by customers. The authors draw from their own experiences raising chickens, studying animal nutrition, and running their shop. They take you from the "why" to the "how" to the "what now," covering all the basics plus some of the touchier issues too (vet care, roosters, end of life). Most importantly, they give voice to the wide-ranging experiences of the community of chicken keepers that has formed around their store.

I was in their Portland store last year on the first cold day of the year. The phone rang at least a dozen times in the short time I was there, and each time Robert listened patiently, then gave clear advice on how to prepare chickens for the winter. This book reminds me of that day. The authors have heard it all, yet manage never to come off as know-it-alls. I highly recommend it.
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on September 10, 2011
I have toyed with the idea of raising chickens for a long time but never really found a good book that was well-organized or interesting enough to read thoroughly - front to back... until I picked up this book. It is extremely well-written and educational, very informative and fun to read. I had soooo many questions about raising chickens - from the simple (what do they eat?) to the complex (what do I do about this ailment, or, what happens if, ect.) -- it answered them all. My doubts and concerns about raising chickens were addressed, as well as housing, feeding and watering, life cycle, social structure, benefits and disadvantages, breed, temperament and personality... need I go on? I am a beginner in the adventures of raising chickens, but after reading the book, I no longer feel like a newbie. The detail was just right (loved the humor and experience tid-bits) and not to 'heavy' to read like a dry text book. It has become my go-to for reference and reminder information. It has helped me plan when I'll get my chicks and given me excellent ideas of what kind of coop will be best for them, my lifestyle and yard. This book is a valued addition to my library and I highly recommend it.
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on May 25, 2011
As newcomers to raising urban chickens, we've purchased several books on how to care for our egg-laying friends. By a landslide, A Chicken in Every Yard is the most approachable, functional, accessible reference we've found. The authors write with a clear sense of purpose, provide no-nonsense advice, and take some of the uncertainty out of tackling the age-old tradition of a few hens running around the back yard. This book is money well spent if you are considering chickens in your urban or suburban setting.
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on April 4, 2011
I bought this book because I've been to the Urban Farm Store in Portland, and the owners really seemed to know what they were talking about. So when I decided to get 3 back yard chickens and I saw they were writing a book, I had to get it. It is filled with useful, tried and true knowledge about how to raise chickens. It's a must have!
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on May 22, 2012
I am in the process of reading this book. If you hope to raise chickens for their eggs, this will be a book you want to read. If, however, you hope to raise chickens for their meat, you will want to buy something else. The book I purchased is in hardcover, which I appreciate. It is well laid-out (no pun intended) and easy to read and understand. I enjoy the conversational tone and the seasoned advice. The section I just finished reading is written to help the newcomer decide which chicken breed is best for him or her to raise. There is a reference table that rates breeds based on egg production, best with kids, unusual colored eggs, heritage breeds, etc. One classification that may be useful in the future: breed based on climate (e.g. cold tolerant vs heat tolerant). As we live in south Texas, certain breeds may not do well here. I used the internet to cross-reference the breeds expounded upon in the book and have found a few that will better tolerate the summer heat. Overall, I am really enjoying this book.
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on May 31, 2011
Hens just became legal in my city, and so I've been looking around for a good starter book. Most of the books I've come across cater to hobby farms with flocks much bigger than the legal limit in Milwaukee. This book gives first hand experience for keeping chickens in an urban setting, which is perfect for me.

It also includes thorough descriptions of different heritage breeds that go beyond the brief lines found on breeders' websites. It even includes a category for top 5 breeds for kids; I have a 5 year old and need a hen that won't run in fear at the sight of her! The authors also have a facebook page under the book's name. They respond to individual questions about keeping chickens, making chickens legal in their cities, etc...something I don't think you'll find with a lot of other books. All and all, I'd recommend A Chicken in Every Yard if you're looking to start a coop.
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on May 10, 2011
My husband and I are really interested in getting some chickens this summer and I've read some basic information, but really wanted some in-depth information to make my decision. This book is easy to read, full of information, and spells out to you exactly what has to be done to keep chickens. It addresses whether or not you should keep chickens by offering advice and information. Very helpful for us in making our decision. We will be getting some babies this year to raise up for eggs and pets.
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on May 31, 2012
Excellent book for beginners. I read this between Chick Days (first) and Storey's Guide (last). Very informative, well written, enjoyable. The only complaints against the book are: I disliked the pages on how to build a coop and the website for their book ([...]) is basically crap. The links are all "under construction" and there's nothing to read. The coop design is, in my opinion, very poorly constructed and way too small unless you are housing one or two chickens. Most books recommend minimum of three chickens as starter birds in case one dies and to cover the quantity of eggs needed to feed two people. I still liked the book and would highly recommend it.
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