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on July 18, 2013
The books looks great, was made with recycled materials, and read well too. There's a lot of good information in this book.

I unfortunately couldn't find much detail. Ashley seems to touch base on the most important topics, but leaves out common backyard chicken-raising problems, such as how to deal with flighty birds (how to clip their wings). Maybe the author doesn't agree with this practice (which is equivalent to trimming your cat/dog's nails, or cutting your hair), but she could've presented this information and allowed the reader to make their own decision.

I was also a little put off by the "portrait of a chicken owner" that popped up every couple pages. This is the author giving a brief summation of a few people who own chickens and how they do things.

I didn't find anything about my chicken's behavior. When I first saw my chickens lay down outside in the dirt and spread their wings (to sunbathe) I had no idea what they were doing. I've also observed them making what looks like yawning gestures. What does this mean? I can't find it in this (purportedly) definitive chicken-keeping book...

The author says this book is all you need to know, but really, you can find out more information by doing the most basic internet searching. If you need to buy this book for your bookshelf, it wouldn't hurt. If you're looking for a reliable go-to resource for raising poultry, go to Backyard Chickens on the internet.
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on March 23, 2010
My wife and I bought this book after we decided to raise chickens in our urban backyard. Thankful the book came before we picked our chicks up because we quickly realized that we were over our heads. We were lucky enough to get a pre-ordered copy of the book and now we both feel confident in our chicken raising abilities. I would have been lost without this guide.

The book is very well written with lots of colorful pictures to make things clearer. There is so much useful information in this book and thankfully it is all presented in a very orginized manor that flows and is easy to follow. We read the book cover to cover and are now using it as a reference guide when we need to doulbe check something.

This is money well spent! If you are going to keep a small flock of backyard chickens, you should buy this book.
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on April 18, 2010
I am writing to share my review of Keeping Chickens, by Ashley English. I LOVE this book! I grew up around chickens and loved gathering eggs when I was younger. When I moved away from the ranch, the last thing on my mind was someday having a place of my own and keeping a flock. Funny how things change.............My husband and I raise our own beef cattle. We have kids, horses, dogs and we just got baby chicks! I haven't been this excited in a long time. Though I grew up around chickens and learned a great deal from my granmother, I have forgotten a lot of that knowledge over the years. I'd been following Ashley's amazing blog and when I saw the title for this book, I knew instantly it was one that I wanted to purchase. I am an avid reader and enjoy the research process. I wanted to be well informed about what I was getting into. That said, I also love great pictures and photography! Ashley's book is spot on. It is artistic, informative and a very down-to-earth guide on getting started with chickens.

The book offers a well written,concise account with pictures that deeply enhance the subject. Chapters inclue What to Consider, Selecting a Breed, Obtaining Chickens, Housing, Feeding, Hatching Eggs, Raising Chicks, Health and Wellness, Eggs, and my favorite........Recipes! Ashley has done her research and is obviously passionate about chickens.

And there's more! Ashley is authoring the Homemade Living series which includes Canning and Preserving. I own that one too! These books are great resources for those just getting started or like me, returning to their roots. I'll be recommending these books to clients, students and blog readers who are interested in learning about and living a fantastic farm-based lifestyle! Way to go Ashley, you've done a terrific job! Robyn Johnston [...]
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on March 21, 2015
I've seen better information from the U.C. Davis Ag Extension office. Too many of the modern books out there on chicken raising seem to be for yuppies, not for country farmers. Some of the suggestions are quite good, but some seem financially "over the top." I later went to my county ag extension office for more basic, practical information.
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on July 14, 2017
Super helpful book for keeping chickens! We are brand new Chicken owners and this has been our manual for raising them healthy and happy.
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on January 23, 2015
Well written and pretty, but there are more practical guides out there. Chicken keeping handbooks have more information on all these topics. If superficial prettiness matters to you more than hardcore practicality- here's your book. If you want pretty graphic design and pictures for your coffee table, this is perfect. For being a "nice" book, it comes with more practical information than you would expect it to have. It is not comprehensive nor the end all be all in chicken keeping.
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on March 13, 2011
This book is excellent for beginners and those who already know a thing or two about keeping chickens. There are so many online and print resources it can be overwhelming- Keeping Chickens is a great, easy to read, clear and concise compilation of all the important points. The format and pictures make it a pleasure to read. The chicken tractor plans included in the Housing chapter are wonderful. I've browsed several other chicken books and I would highly recommend this one!
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on March 18, 2013
I bought this book when I was still fantasizing about being a chicken owner. I loved reading it and reading the "Portrait of a Chicken Owner" that told about the regular people who owned chickens. This is a great book and I cross referenc it often with the other books I have. I have 3 chicks and although I think this book was written more for people with a lot of chickens, it still is useful. I disagree with Ashley English who says you have to dedicate several hours a day to raising chicks. You don't. I have 3 chicks who are now 4 weeks old. They live in a big plastic bin in my dining room and I work fulltime. No, I do not spend hours on them. WHen I am home, I clean the water, which is always poop filled or shavings filled. I clean the bin twice a week and make sure they have food. We are handing them everyday so that they can be "humanized". Otherwise, I love the book and I love her entire "homesteading" series. Great author!
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on December 29, 2014
I've read the book cover to cover, making notes along the way. I thought I knew all about chickens but this definitely gave me more info. Heading to the live stock auction in a week and going to look for some of the chicken breeds talked about in this book. Great reference!
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Enthusiast: Star Warson October 22, 2017
Very informative for a beginning hobby farmer.
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