|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
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."
Can't wait to have a garden as good as the ones in the book. Hopefully the hens appreciate it too.Published 5 days ago by J Ralston
It's fun to read and play with the idea of free-range chickens in the garden. And encouraging chickens to forage for some of their own food is of considerable importance, given... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Shannon Tolson
I love this book. I bought it several years before actually getting chickens, and it's beautifully laid out and contains lots of great info and photos. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Grandmaster Ash
Very well written and informative. Loved the photos and the smiles it brought us. I'd recommend to anyone out there considering free ranging, there are a lot of pros and cons to... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Happycamper
We live adjacent to national forest in Colorado and have foxes, hawks, and coyotes galor. The whole yard would have to be covered in chicken wire to have chickens like this.Published 19 days ago by Marcia
My chicks arrive at the beginning of June. The book will help me create a happy and healthy environment for them.Published 23 days ago by Beverly Worthington