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The Joy of Keeping Farm Animals: Raising Chickens, Goats, Pigs, Sheep and Cows (The Joy of Series) Paperback – March 18, 2010
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About the Author
Laura Childs was a self-proclaimed city girl who broke away from the hectic urban life. Now living on a small, self-sustained farm in Ontario, Canada, she chronicles everyday adventures of raising goats, chickens, horses, and other animals on her Web site, goodbyecitylife.com. She is the author of The Joy of Keeping Farm Animals and The Joy of Keeping Goats.
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I was comfortable with the information provided, while I may not know enough to say "hey, that's wrong", nothing seemed blatantly stupid, cruel, innacruate, or against common sense. It was nice that she provided what she thought was the best way (as in as humanely as possible when considerin the task at hand) way to kill and butcher most of the animals she covered in the book. She also gives her opinion as to when you just really don't want to tackle some task as a first-timer or without special equipmetn and help.
In my position (knowing some basics about general animal care, and being better at cats and dogs, but hoping to like I said, one day have a couple chickens and goats for meat/milk/fiber/eggs as appropriate), I found the information useful as a grounding in several ways:
-it was enough information to get an idea of where I think I need to find more information
-it was enough information to maybe really muddly my way through if I was the kind to try to just jump in and learn as I go from mistakes and triumphs (but in this case I'm definitely not doing that! mistakes in this case can cause avoidable harm to a living creature)/ For someone who is a bit more confident or might have more farm-knowledge in their social network, it would probably be enough to try the simpler animals such as chickens.
-it was enough for me to decide I don't want to try certain animals, at first or maybe ever.
I an an admitted nerd/book worm, so take it into consideration, but I found the book well laid-out, and quite readable. I enjoyed reaiding it.
The book provides lots of illustrations and color photos to aid in understanding the differences in breeds and concepts like the benefits of pasture rotation and hoof care. Each animal type lists numerous medical conditions along with instructions for prevention and treatment.
In my youth I spent several summers on farms and learned the value of having trained, friendly farm animals. There is a big difference between keeping a field of basically wild cattle who run from you and might even trample you if cornered, versus well trained, friendly animals who are respectful of the farmer and know a proper daily routine. Childs discusses training of each animal type which, at least for me, is a big part of the joy of keeping farm animals.
If there is anything negative to say about this book, its that rabbits are not included and Childs has a long, cold winter slant. In her defense, Childs wrote about her experiences and if she didn't raise rabbits, she was right not to discuss them, and with her farm being in Canada, she understandably doesn't discuss the differences of wintering animals on Florida farmland.
I checked this book out of the library and found it so valuable that now I'll have to buy a copy to keep forever.