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Award-winning landscape designer Bloom states that the heart of this book has you look at your garden as a habitat for your flock. Chickens and gardens work together synergistically since chickens reduce weeds and pests, aerate the soil, produce fertilizing manure, and provide food. Bloom and Baldwin’s guide to these pets with benefits includes comprehensive information applicable to both small urban and large rural lots pertaining to landscape design, fencing and hardscape materials, chicken-friendly plants, garden and coop designs, and predators. Details on fence fastenings and coop kits, along with numerous illustrations, full-color photos, charts and tables, garden layouts, and useful tips (Cut Miscanthus plants in late winter and use the dried grass as bedding), offer a wealth of practical advice. Beyond that, this how-to presents an ecofriendly, holistic view of human-animal relationships while addressing self-sufficiency and food issues, core motivations for the burgeoning organic, homegrown movement. --Whitney Scott
If your garden fantasies involve chickens, Jessi Bloom, author of FREE-RANGE CHICKEN GARDENS: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard (Timber Press, paper, $19.95), is here to make those dreams come true. Chickens bring out interesting characters. My new heroine is Elizabeth Zumwalt, a chicken whisperer, educator and entrepreneur who blogs about her family’s Bantam hens, sells eggs and gives half the proceeds to charity. She pulls a red wagon, topped with a chicken house, when she heads out to educate people about her birds. Elizabeth is 9 years old.
By the time you’re done with Bloom’s clever book, you’ll know almost as much about chickens as Elizabeth does. And maybe more about what chickens like than what your children do. You’ll be looking for bug logs and creating dust baths. You’ll know that chickens like to have mirrors hanging in their gardens — but take care with the angle, since they have eyes on the sides of their heads. There is no end to the vanity of a chicken.
“Experienced free-ranging chickens” — now that’s a real sign of the times; do chickens no longer have a tribal memory of roaming? — will know not to eat toxic berries, but Bloom is an expert guide for the untutored. Somehow, I’m sure that chickens prefer heirloom vegetables to any other variety. And while your flock may break free to cross the road, you’ll be relieved to learn that (unless they have an unfortunate encounter with a car) they’ll probably be no worse for the wear. Chickens don’t sweat.
Bloom genially celebrates geodesic domes and shingled coops with stone chimneys and even clean-lined modernist coops. She also writes about “naughty” chickens: “Chickens are social and hormonal creatures, and when we have them living in ways that are different from how they would live naturally, they are prone to behaviors that can be damaging to themselves or that are simply normal but just catch us off guard.” You might have thought she was talking about teenagers, but I now see that they’re easier to raise than chickens. I’m thinking . . . roast chicken with that rosemary?
"Essential guide that will bring your dream home to roost."
"This well-thought-out and thoroughly comprehensive new book covers the topic so efficiently and completely that it is bound to become the gardener's go -to reference when chickens are the focus."
Very nice book. Great pics good read but I would definitely recommend getting another book to get more information. Storeys Guide books are always a great choice. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Melyssa
Not very informative, a little too basic. Not enough info on chickens. Although it does have a couple good ideas about how to keep your chickens in and out of certain areas of the... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Reia Bustolin
I loved the photos, it is interesting to see how others keep their yards and chickens. I wish I had more time to create my own little Eden. Definitely inspirational.Published 22 days ago by vigi
A lot of great ideas for raising chickens in town along with growing gardens.Published 1 month ago by Cathy
Great book. I learn a lot about keeping chicken and gardening.Published 2 months ago by Cecilia M Marcy
Very basic book. If you are a skilled gardener and are thinking of getting chickens..... I would go with something more advanced. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andrea Demko