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Showing 1-10 of 249 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 322 reviews
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 here...like 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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on January 31, 2016
This guide is an excellent choice for the beginning chicken keeper, and I have not seen a superior manual on the market.

It has great advise on housing, feed, breed, etc.

The only place I find it falls short is in its medical intervention section. I quickly ran into problems that were outside of the book's contents, including a case of fly-strike on day 5. This meant when I had problems, I was usually starting at a defect of trying to figure out what the problem was, and what my options were. I've also ran into fungal infections and weird cases of rubber eggs and internally broken shells, with just my 5 birds in these 18 months! All these ailments are actually treatable to varying degrees. The advice to just keep the birds warm and comfy when an egg breaks internally is nice, but it is the same as a death sentence. One must question if it is any more humane than lopping their heads off, especially when one can find comparatively simple effective interventions to save the egg-layer with a quick google search. Some olive oil and a strong constitution can save the $10 chicken from certain death, and your wallet from the pain of a $150 vet bill, where the vet will likely be as clueless about chickens as you are! I should offer the disclaimer that I was an EMT for 10 years, and might be more willing to take actions to save the chickens the wife has named, then most chicken owners.

That said, still highly recommended.
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on September 4, 2014
If you plan on raising your chickens for meat and will be slaughtering them after a couple of months (". . .take about 10 to 12 weeks from the day you get the chicks to butchering day") this is the book for you. But if you want a little backyard flock for eggs and enjoyment I would definitely go elsewhere. Much useful info--but simply made me sad--inadvertently kept opening to pages regarding meat chickens. Have two other books about Backyard Chickens that are great reading and not a chicken slaughter to be found.
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on December 20, 2014
a friend retire and moved to the country. he does a little farming on 25 acres. I kidded him that I was going to send him some chickens to make his farming life complete. I bought this book and mailed it to him with a few feathers in the box and a note that he would be getting the chickens soon so he needed to start on chapter 7 - building a coop.
he called me the day he got the book - "you better not be sending me any chickens!"
4 star for the laughs we both got.
no, he is never going to get chickens.
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on June 5, 2013
I'm a chicken raising rookie, so I really hoped this book would answer some fundamental questions... like how to train a dog who may be a predator threat. The predator section wasn't too helpful except for "build a better coop". I attended a free class at a local Agway that provided a lot more helpful advice (skunks mainly go after the eggs, foxes break the necks, etc.). There wasn't a lot of information on the temperments of different breeds or information to REALLY get me started. Still, it was easy enough to read and I'm referencing it from time to time. But online resources and message boards are easier to navigate than the Kindle edition.
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on August 8, 2012
Even though I grew up helping with my parents chickens I forgot a lot. The book 'Raising Chickens For Dummies' has refreshed my memory of what I used to know and taught me a whole lot more. I never knew I could give chickens food scraps along with their chicken feed until reading this book. The book even has a list of food items chickens should never eat (page 153) like the green areas of a potato or leaves from certain nightshade plants.

The book 'Raising Chickens For Dummies' has a lot of important information you need to know for raising chickens from choosing your chickens, to housing them, caring for your chickens, and breeding them. When I read that one of the authors, Rob Ludlow, was the owner of the site BackYardChickens.com, I knew this book had to be good. The book Raising Chickens For Dummies is everything I thought it would be and more.

When I have any questions about my chickens I pull out my copy of Raising Chickens For Dummies. Several people in our area lost some of their chickens in the last few months. When I heard about it, I used information from the book to help keep my chickens safe and alive.

The book 'Raising Chickens For Dummies' has useful information for new chicken raisers and experienced ones too.
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I don't think there is a whole lot I can offer about this book, or this series that hasn't already been covered. But I can tell you that I have perhaps a half dozen of these dummie books now on various subjects, and I enjoy them so much I hardly ever just use them as a reference when needed, but rather read them like all the way through like a novel. This Raising Chickens book is no different. Its the most through and informative book on the subject I own, and I have at the time of this writing three other books on chicken farming. As for this one, like every other dummie series I own, it has a generous amount of humor sprinkled throughout that gives it a very entertaining edge over the others. At times the authors humor borders on being sarcastic and frustrated with what I can imagine is a lot they have heard and experienced as to folks raising chickens with a great deal of lore and Grandpas hand me down advice. But its rare throughout the book, and not at all does it take anything away from this very fine and entertaining reference. As I said before, I own a small library of these chicken raising books now, and by far this is truly the one I feel no one should be without, if someone chooses to get by on one book alone when just starting out with this business/hobby. An excellent, totally thorough, and overall entertaining book on chicken farming of any size that I can't recommend enough... : )
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on December 4, 2013
This is how I picked out my girls! I was prepared for the loss of chickens to prey and the unsuspecting rooster in the batch! Overall this book helped me pick the type of chicken, the type of chicken feed and the best environment for my chickens. My girls are now laying and run to the door for treats and snacks. They are an amazing part of my family. Not only that but I have encouraged others to get chickens because they see how fun and easy it can be. Not to mention how rewarding it is to receive a daily egg and be able to say I know where my eggs are coming from and my hens are raised humanely and free range. The only fear they have is the puppy and my 5 year old. lol And they know where to jump high or to come to me to pick them up. Love this book!
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on February 28, 2017
When I decided I wanted to have pet chickens I knew nothing! I had never even known anyone with chickens or even seen them outside from a petting zoo!! Lol. So this book was a must! I was able to easily read this book, learn everything I needed to know, but chickens, and keep them alive and healthy! Without this book I would've been lost. Everything you need to know is in this book. It's literally a how to own chickens handbook!!
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After visiting the web site: backyardchickens.com and surfing their info, I decided I needed to have 'at hand' info when it comes to raising urban chickens. This book took me thru the whole process of preparing for baby chicks, how to make a chick brooder, and all I needed to know to raise the chicks all the way to moving them to their coop! Now I have 6 week old FREE RANGE chicks grazing on my backyard insects! The book has answered EVERY question I have had! I could have never jumped into raising backyard chickens without this book as my number one reference guide. I also ordered from AMAZON the Building Chicken Coops For Dummies which was also a must have when it came to building our coop. As my husband was not a beginner builder, we did need the specifications for nesting boxes, roost heights, coop ramps, etc. A weekender hobby carpenter could follow this 'how to' guide.
As friends and family say, it looks as if I have the healthiest & happiest chickens ever! I could not have begun this self sufficient hobby without these two 'how to' books! I now look forward to BACKYARD free range eggs in this Fall. Our five grandkids love Gram & Poppy's 14 new feathered pets! Raising backyard chickens is the most rewarding family hobby that we could have ever ventured into and I learned all I needed to know with Rob Ludlow's two for Dummies books.
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