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The Chicken Chick's Guide to Backyard Chickens: Simple Steps for Healthy, Happy Hens Paperback – October 1, 2017
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From the Publisher
Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Got Chickens
In the hope of sparing some growing pains for those about to embark on chicken keeping, I asked my Facebook fans to help compile a list of things we wish we had known before getting our first chickens.
(1) Do your homework chickens are a commitment. They can live 8, 10, 15 years or longer. (2) Don’t assume that it’s legal just because others in the neighborhood are doing it. Research permit requirements, flock limits, and rooster restrictions. (3) Don’t be afraid to petition local government to change the law. (4) A hen does not necessarily lay an egg every day. Many factors play a role in this—some you can influence, others . . . not so much. (5) When purchasing female chicks, remember that vent sexing (see in chapter 5) is only 90 percent accurate. Have a plan for roosters that cannot be kept. (6) Do it right the first time—don’t cut corners. (7) Coop placement is important—shade in summer, dry location in rainy climates. (8) 'People-friendly' coops and runs are easier to clean and maintain. (9) Install removable roosts and droppings boards for easier cleaning. (10) Their habitat will never be complete. (11) Buy or build a bigger coop than you think you need. Chicken math is real. (12) Buy from a reputable, National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)–certified breeder or hatchery—not an auction or swap. (13) Chicken wire is not predator-proof—use hardware cloth. (14) A hen’s most productive egg-laying years are her first two. After that, production declines. (15) Chicken scratch is not chicken feed. (16) Chickens will take dust baths in the location you least want them to. (17) Do not underestimate how much you will love them and how much they will change your life. You may wish you had gotten chickens years ago. (18) And a personal favorite, from Tiffany M.: 'Make sure they are signed up for The Chicken Chick’s blog and ‘like’ her on Facebook.'
Dust Bathing Areas
In an activity known as dust bathing, chickens dig shallow ditches in the ground, dredge themselves in the loose sand or dirt, and then shake it off along with old skin cells and hitchhiking insects. Chickens also dust bathe to relax, socialize, and cool off in hot weather. Few chicken activities are as entertaining to witness as a dust bath.
Chapter Nine: Seasonal Considerations
Allowing a hen to hatch eggs is significantly easier than monitoring and managing the process in an electric box. Broody hens handle all the details, from temperature and humidity control to egg turning and raising the chicks. This half Black Copper Marans and half Wheaten Marans is ellen deHeneres. Her chick is a Dorking.
- Bestselling poultry author Gail Damerow
- Forrest I. Townsend, III, DVM, DACVS
About the Author
In addition to being a brand ambassador for Tractor Supply Company, Purina Poultry, Vetericyn, and Durvet, she is a contributor to Hobby Farms Chickens magazine, as well as online blogs by Mother Earth News and Grit magazines. Kathy has become the trusted voice in backyard chicken-keeping, frequently sought out by media outlets and publications, including The Wall Street Journal and Associated Press, for her perspective on chickens She appears on local and national television, radio, and podcasts, and is featured on Discovery's Destination America reality show Coop Dreams, as well as P. Allen Smith's Garden Home.
Kathy lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughters Sophia and MaryKate where she is a beekeeper, the personal assistant to 50+ chickens, a rescue cat, and a Yorkie with cattitude.
- She's keeping it real . . . with chickens.
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Top customer reviews
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If you are considering becoming a "chicken parent" or already have some feather babies, this book is wonderful. The information, the pictures, the advice all makes this book a must-have. Oh, and of course the pictures of Rachel!
Kathy writes with an ease that makes you feel she's right there with you, answering your questions or helping you with a problem. She covers a wide range of topics that both first time and long-time chicken owners would find informative as well as entertaining.
The photography is beautifully done, and the way the book is designed laid out is perfect, especially the "Rachel Recommends" tips boxes.
All my other books will now go up to the top shelf to gather dust. This one is going to be loving worn with dog-eared pages.
The book is easy to read and I recommend it for anyone thinking of getting chickens or who already has them and has been "winging" it.
And...the book smells good. You'll see!
If Kathy says it, she's researched it, tried it, and therefore I trust that it will be best for my chickens.
I highly recommend this book.
Her blog is where I leaned most of my knowledge before getting my three backyard chickens...and I continue to use her blog...but having the book is even better.
Don't hesitate....buy it!
Thank you, from your loyal follower, Sandy.