Chicken Books

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens Details

4th Edition

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow is a classic chicken handbook, with a well-deserved space on many flock keepers' shelves. Just about any question that may arise about raising chickens is at least touched upon in this comprehensive guide.

The book is comprised of 14 chapters. The first, "Choosing a Breed," offers tips on choosing a chicken breed, depending on your reasons for raising chickens. Whether you are expanding your existing flock, or just getting started, these chapters give a good overview of breeds to consider for egg production, meat production, or as pets.

Many poultry beginners and even veteran flock keepers may not be aware of some of the ways that birds communicate with one another, the social structure within the flock or other details of life in the flock. Damerow takes a thorough look at all of that and more, in the second chapter "Fowl Disposition." Throughout the book there are many references to scientific studies that support her statements in this interesting chapter.

Chapters three through six cover shelter, feed and water, routine management, and health care. One of the reasons this book is so nice to have is that so many aspects of raising chickens are presented. You can, of course, purchase books solely on building coops, or on nutrition. Having one book that gets into all of those topics makes finding what you need easy.

Speaking of ease, the organization of Storey's Guide is excellent. Each chapter is further segmented into sections on specific subtopics. For example, the chapter "Feed and Water" is divided into six subsections including "The Natural Chicken," and even "Feed Storage." Being able to glance at the table of contents to find not only the general chapter you need, but the specific topic makes this book the kind of reference manual you don't mind using.

After chapter six, Damerow gets more specific with information on "Laying Hen Management," "Eggs for Eating," "Caring for a Breeder Flock," and "Hatching Eggs." Chapters 9 and 10, which discuss breeding and hatching are especially information-filled. Sometimes books that describe the necessary steps to breed chickens and hatch chicks are so complicated that they are intimidating. Storey's Guide, however, breaks these complicated topics down and presents them in clear, concise language.

Chapters 11 and 12 are "Chick Care," and "Exhibiting Your Chickens," respectively. "Chick Care" discusses the basics of natural brooding and the differences in mechanical brooders, as well as some common problems and solutions. "Exhibiting Your Chickens" goes from explaining why one might choose to compete all the way to how one can become a master exhibitor. The world of poultry showing can seem closed off to beginners, but this chapter helps it become accessible and demonstrates why so many are avid exhibitors.

Finally, in the last two chapters, Damerow provides information for those who are raising chickens for meat. In today's world of supermarkets and fast food, the idea of raising chickens for meat may seem as foreign as outer space, but becoming educated on the topic is the all-important first step. From nutrition to processing, Damerow tells you what to expect and how to handle each step.

The Glossary, Recommended Reading, and Resources sections at the end of the book provide further resources, making the Guide that much more valuable. No matter where you rank in the world of chickens, there is useful information in this book that will help you raise happier, healthier birds.

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Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens

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