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99 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2009
I started raising chickens last year. Before that I read a lot of chicken books and got some necessary basic information. Many of the books were much too technical for my level and/or for what I wanted to know.

The wonderful thing about this book is the way it's written. Every subject area starts off and ends with simple, thorough explanations for the reader. After reading a page or two, I invariably realize that I fully understand what normally would have been confusing and complicated.

I keep it by my recliner, open it anywhere, read the page and learn something new every time. I seriously doubt that I will ever need to buy another book about chickens.
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
I have been researching the raising of chickens endlessly lately now that we picked up some baby silkies who are happily chirping in their brooder. (We are urban chick farmers and the 3rd homeowners in our small city neighborhood to have a flock, interestingly enough)

Being a city girl, I didn't have any experience in this chicken raising stuff...yet, being an animal lover and lover of research, I insist on doing it perfectly and will research it until I do.

And this helped tremendously.

While researching on the net and talking to chicken "experts" at feed stores, it amazed me how much misinformation was out there. Some said line the brooder with newspaper. (The book says no, but better yet, it listed the best ideas for liner and litter in order of preference and why). I quickly found out from REAL experts how bad newspaper is for the chicken's legs and what problems often develop from slick surfaces. Some said you can use a regular lightbulb for heat then I found out how much lig including some deformities in growth/leg problems.

So, with all the confusion I found out there from old wives tales to people who throw lots of hens in a too-hot unventilated coop old-school style without thinking of the BIRD, I ordered this book to get some real facts in one place.

I learned a lot. This will even tell you what's bad to feed them from your scraps...such as no moldy bread, bad potato parts, no avocado etc. and why.

This tells you how to select and care for your chickens through all ages and, unfortunately, even for those raising them for meat how to kill them. I DID NOT read that chapter. But I guess if someone is going to do that, at least it tells you how to do it right I suppose.

Good advice on predators...some I never thought of...and how to avoid them. Good advice on pests and how to avoid them as well.

Great info on housing too, how big, and how to have happy birds...and happy birds lay well.

Tips on getting optimum meat production.

The book is written for those rasing chicks for love, eggs, or meat. Or all three.

Here is my quandry which wasn't included and I can't find anywhere on the internet. I know some have crazy wild chickens they can't catch and others have birds that run to them and cuddle in their laps. I know much of that has to do with the breed which is why we got Silkies. I want the latter. I keep reading that the best way to get a very domesticated chicken is to get it as early as possible. We got one day old chicks...but now what? Handling them too often is stressful. But does that mean get them young so they SEE you more and are rarely handled or get them young so that you can get them used to beind domesticated and gently touched or handled? I try to pick them up briefly once a day as a guess. It didn't mention this and I can't figure it out (how best to tame a chicken) so if anyone who has raised sweet chickens knows the answer, please leave a comment for me. I don't want to stress out my birds but I want them to get used to people as much as possible, even if that sounds crazy to some. I don't want to "overhandle" or "underhandle" them. I am not sure what I'm supposed to be doing.

The other things that wasn't addressed enough is how to best raise chickens in an area that often is over 100 degrees in the summer.

While it mentioned chickens are prone to dying when it's over 90, it didn't say much about how to avoid it. It did suggest shade trees so we are going to plant some trees this weekend by the coop and I just read elsewhere that you can put 1.5" styrofoam for insulation in between the walls and ceiling and then but an aluminum roof on top to reflect the sun so, even though the coop has a roof, we are going to add this to it. That wasn't in here...they went far more into what to do in areas where it gets to cold, which is not an issue for us in Texas for the most part.

That said, There are things you wouldn't think of in that A frame housing can blow over in a windy area.

The other invaluable thing to me was chicken fencing. Thank God I read it prior to buying chicken wire to line the inside of our current fencing in the area they will be be beside their coop. (many predators can easily get through it and it rusts quickly.)

Overall, I feel it was invaluable. Though I still have a couple questions left unanswered, I think most will find all they need to know within.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2009
I bought a number of books on chickens two years ago when I was first entertaining the idea of keeping hens. I can toss them all out now that I have this book. I sure wish it was out when I started this project!

Everything you really need to know to raise chickens is in this book. The authors give clear and reasonable recommendations on vaccinations, worming, feeding... just about everything you can think of.

The book is easy to use and clearly organized. It's also engagingly written. I have more confidence in my chicken-keeping after reading this book.
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2009
This book is the ultimate in chicken books and I have a bunch of them! If I had to pick out one chicken book to give as a gift or to recommend to a new chicken person it would be a copy of this one. And if for some reason the book doesn't have the answer to the question you have then the people on the website listed on the cover will have it and they are very helpful! The book is easy to read and very easy to understand. Get a copy today! Mine didn't come from Amazon but it is so good that I want to give it 5 stars and let everyone know about it! And I very rarely review anything. This deserves my review! Signed the Mrs of the account holder and yes, I am a chicken addict! Now go buy a copy of this book and get yourself some pets that will make you breakfast! :)
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2011
The reason I love THIS book more than the many others I've read about raising chickens is that it made me realize I'm not ready to keep chickens right now. The book honestly lets readers know how much work (as well as how much joy) is involved in raising healthy chickens and keeping them comfortable and safe from predators. It's a super-comprehesive book that describes exactly what keeping chickens entails (Where will I put the chicken manure and how will I carry it to that spot every time I clean the coop? Exactly how can I figure out the best location and construction for a coop? What equipment will I need? How much time and money will this cost?, etc..).

If you are thinking of getting chickens, read Chapter 1 of this book "The Joy of Chickens;" especially pages 13-14 "Assessing Your Capabilitiues: Basic Chicken Care and Requirements: Time, Space, Money." Keeping any animal is a huge responsibility. Chapter 1 is enlightening in terms of what you can expect. If you decide chickens are for you after reading Chapter 1, the rest of the book will be an invaluable reference book for you.

Chapter 1: The Joy of Chickens
Chapter 2: Basic Chicken Biology and Behavior
Chapter 3: A Chicken Isn't Just a Chicken: Your Guide to Breeds
Chapter 4: Buying Chickens
Chapter 5: Choosing Your Housing Type
Chapter 6: Designing and Constructing a Coop
Chapter 7: Coop, Sweet Coop: Furnishing and Housekeeping
Chapter 8: Feeding Your Flock
Chapter 9: Controlling Pests and Predators
Chapter 10: Keeping Your Flock Happy and Healthy
Chapter 11: Handling Health Problems
Chapter 12: Mating Your Chickens
Chapter 13: Incubating Eggs and Hatching Chicks
Chapter 14: Raising Chicks
Chapter 15: Managing Layers and Collecting Eggs
Chapter 16: Raising and Butchering Meat Birds
Chapter 17: More Than Ten Tips for Keeping Healthy, Stress-Free Chickens
Chapter 18: More Than Ten Misconceptions about Chickens, Eggs, and So On

This is a really great book for anyone interested in keeping chickens.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2009
I just moved to a rural property near my daughter and, like her, wanted to get some chickens. I found "Raising chickens for dummies" here at amazon and ordered it. It was quite a deal! Almost 400 pages of everything you need to know to buy chickens (or chicks), set up your coop, keep them healthy and happy, protect them from predators, collecting eggs, handling mating and newborn chicks, and, (gulp), even butchering. It is easy to read, set up in a logical, concise manner, and has great illustrations. Anyone could set up a chicken coop and raise chickens after reading this book.
I can't say enough about this book! One of the best things to come out of it was their reference to their website: [...], a VERY helpful website with thousands of members around the world where you can get info and support in your new endeavour.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2009
I got Raising Chickens for Dummies yesterday. I haven't put it down yet! Thousands of my questions are answered! Questions I didn't know I had are answered! I feel a million times more competent and confident as a chicken keeper already.
Seriously, I can't say enough good things about it!
I'm off to sit by my new coop and read and read and read!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2009
I've had chickens for a few years and have several books on raising them. This book is so comprehensive I can get rid of the others. It's well written, clear and easily understood. You don't need an animal science degree for this one. I know I'll buy this as a gift to new chicken owners, it's all they would ever need.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2009
As first time chicken owner or years of experience, this book gives you the information you need in a very quick and easy to find format. You can quickly find the answers you need and then read it cover to cover for a more indepth study. Both authors have expert knowledge from their own personal experience of owning chickens, as well as experienced the comments from what backyard chicken enthusiasts need by going straight to the members of the online backyard chickens forum found at [...]
I highly recommend this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
Purchasing and reading, Raising Chicken's For Dummies has increased my confidence and personal satisfaction with my flocks. First starting out with three day old chicks and prior to having bought this book, I thought to myself, It can`t be much different than raising any other animal. Thinking back now, I can't help but laugh at how little I knew and hoping to this day, my hens have forgiven me. Not that its difficult, there's just an entirely different learning curve than so many other hobbies.

For example, and this was clarified in, Raising Chicken's For Dummies. Did you know that, getting just one chicken isn't a good idea? In detailed review of the hierarchy and socialization of chickens, Rob and co-author Kimberley Willis discuss that "Chickens are very social, needing the companionship of other chickens" Such a simple detail, but one that was easy to overlook. To me, that tip alone was worth the price of this book, in maintaining a healthy flock.

While we've not met in person, I have a great deal of respect for Rob Ludlow. First and foremost due to his success as a family man, but also as a businessman, as an author and as the owner of the Web-site, Since discovering both his Web-site and the book, I feel much more at ease with chickens and never envisioned the joy they provide in my life.

If you are considering a flock of your own, regardless of how many, I highly recommend this book. It is a wonderful source of knowledge, both in text and illustrations. It makes a wonderful addition to your personal library, a gift to that friend, colleague or family member who is wanting to start their own flock or already has one. Raising Chicken's For Dummies is an invaluable reference and will set the standard for years to come.
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