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The Chicken Encyclopedia: An Illustrated Reference

62 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1603425612
ISBN-10: 1603425616
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The Chicken Encyclopedia: An Illustrated Reference + Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, 3rd Edition
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The A-Z Chicken Companion

From addled to wind egg, crossed beak to zygote, if it concerns chickens, it's covered in this comprehensive encyclopedia. Now you can find the answers to all your chicken questions quickly, easily -- and accompanied by illustrations.

What do mille fleur and mooney spangled feathers look like?
Which breeds lay blue-green eggs?
What's the difference between inbreeding and outcrossing?
What's the difference between outer thick and inner thin egg white?
Why do chicken legs have dark meat, while breasts have light meat?
What's the difference between a flat and a flight? A false wing and a wingette?
What are the key signs of the most common chicken predators?
What's the difference between brooding and incubating?
What are the best ways to catch a chicken?
How (and why) do you hypnotize a chicken?
Why do chickens molt?
How is a crested chicken's anatomy unique?

About the Author

Gail Damerow, author of The Chicken Health Handbook, 2nd Edition, has written extensively on raising chickens and other livestock, growing fruits and vegetables, and related rural know-how in more than a dozen country skills how-to books, including the best-selling Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, The Chicken Encyclopedia, and Hatching and Brooding Your Own Chicks. Damerow is a regular contributor to Backyard Poultry and Countryside magazines. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, where they operate a family farm with poultry and dairy goats, a sizable garden, and a small orchard. 


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603425616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603425612
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gail Damerow and her husband operate a family farm in Tennessee where they keep poultry and dairy goats, tend a sizable garden, and maintain a small orchard. They grow and preserve much of their own food, make their own yogurt and ice cream, and bake their own bread. Gail has written extensively on raising livestock, growing fruits and vegetables, and related rural skills. She shares her experience and knowledge as a regular contributor to Backyard Poultry magazine, as a contributor to numerous other periodicals, and as the author or contributor to more than a dozen country skills how-to books.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Suspended Moments on February 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have in my poultry library, text dating back to 1860, including the farm series alongside poultry science college text books.

I buy chicken books! Back in the 90's, I carried Gail's book titled Chickens in your Backyard and I was hooked on all things poultry!

I was also hooked on all things written by Gail Damerow ever since... from periodical articles, to what I consider her benchmark work The Chicken Health Handbook (no serious poultry person should be without a copy).

The reason I mention this, is that I would be considered extremely well informed, read and experienced with poultry. I am a licensed Poultry Technician, have kept free range chickens for over a decade, teach about chickens and have hatched more than I can count. It is easy to let pride get in the way and assume that I know all there is to know about chickens... closing the door on new text and published works.

Then comes a new and much needed title to the scene... and by none other than my favorite farm animal author, Gail Damerow! I clicked "buy" without even reading all the content nor going beyond the title. The Chicken Encyclopedia arrived in the middle a snow storm, just in time for me to sit by the fire and delve into this new and fabulously illustrated chicken reference.

Not five minutes into it, I have learned something new! I get my note pad, as I'm scheduled to give a talk on chickens in less than a week... wow... I didn't know that (under my breath)... something as common as the chicken egg, ground I've well covered (or so I thought) over the years. Yes, white ear lobe = white shell... sure, red ear lobe = brown shell (old news)... but hold the phone!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David D. Smith on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my fifth book written by author Gale Damerow. While I respectfully enjoy her previous works, this may be her best yet. Its just over 300 pages in length, and contains facts, illustrations and photographs from cover to cover. There's even a section toward the back, citing various breed traits, which will serve the reader(s) well. Gale Damerow has set the bar with this book, The Chicken Encyclopedia. And, despite being certain I knew everything about chickens, I've already learned enough on the initial review, to justify its modest price.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. Sinclair on May 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have read Gail Damerow's book Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, you will find The Chicken Encyclopedia's content to be redundant. That being said, there are nice pictures and diagrams that are very useful, the index is a bit different which may help you find something, and entries are short and sweet.

If you only need one chicken book buy Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens after that City Chicks is a terrific choice or H. Ussery's The Small-Scale Poultry Flock if you are going to be mixing your own chicken rations, growing fodder, etc. And Damerow's Chicken Health book is good to have on hand.

Pros: Nice illustrations, pictures, diagrams; easy to read charts, relatively compressive entries for most of us
Cons: Damerow's other books have much of this content already, not a first chicken book
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kristi C. on February 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Gail Damerow is a well-known name when it comes to chickens, having written the Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens and The Chicken Health Handbook. In The Chicken Encyclopedia, Damerow gathers an A to Z guide for chicken owners and enthusiasts. At over 300 pages, this book is a comprehensive reference to terms used for breeds, anatomy, disease and more. Special highlights on some topics, such as "beak trimming", "droppings" and "self-sufficient breeds", plus color illustrations provide an expansive overview to everything chicken.

While maybe not a book that you will spend leisurely reading cover to cover, The Chicken Encyclopedia is a must for those owning chickens. There is always something to learn, and Gail Damerow has provided a bright, accessible and informative reference.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ole organic farmer on February 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are stumped over something, this is the book for you. It has everything that a beginner can use & an old timer like me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Graydon on March 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have raised chickens previously, but really am not all that well educated on things chicken. This book has really great, concise information on many topics of interest for people raising chickens. It covers anatomy, diseases, structure of eggs, behavior, you name it. Great for getting some broad knowledge about chickens and answering the kinds of questions that arise with daily care of the birds. This is a great reference book for a neophyte like myself. I have four hens in a small coop and run in my backyard. Hobbyist. This book will not give you in-depth discussions of the various topics, and it is laid out alphabetically, as you would expect from an encyclopedia. i.e. It's not a medical or a feed or an anatomy reference, etc. I learned a great deal just flipping through it.

If you are just getting started with chickens, this is a terrific book to have around.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Larry Kelly on August 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
No Index

There is no index that I can figure out. An encyclopedia without an index doesn't work. Needs an editoor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Kay on June 16, 2013
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I have been messing about with other peoples' chickens for two or three years and realized that I didn't know the right questions to ask, let alone the answers. A blog that I hit on by chance was very informative and well written; the author was credited with The Chicken Encyclopedia so I went for it. It has entries that don't concern me but provide interesting background information (and who knows when I might need to know; for example; how to candle eggs?). This book has answered questions that I didn't know to ask as well as those that I was aware of but didn't bother with - and some of them are much more important than I realized. Buy it.
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The Chicken Encyclopedia: An Illustrated Reference
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