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Lark Books, a division of Sterling Publishing. This book was printed and bound in Canada using recycled materials and agri-based inks and is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) chain of custody certified.
Now you may be saying, Luanne why ever would you pick a book about keeping chickens? Well in a former job at a living history museum, we kept heritage and threatened species of chickens, they were part of a working farm and we used the eggs to cook with. Honestly, I kind of grew attached to them, they were a lot smarter than the turkeys!
Eating local and the interest in growing your own food has just skyrocketed. "What could be more local than foods gathered from your own backyard, stoop, balcony or deck?" There was a great debate and bylaw vote in the large city closest to me about keeping chickens within city limits. Lots of ruffled feathers with the final verdict being no.
But as a rural dweller, it's definitely something that interests me and this book is an excellent resource.
It encompasses all aspects, from initial considerations - cost, laws, neighbours and lifestyle to picking the breed best for your climate and what you want - layers or for your table. Lots of colour photos are included in this chapter. Where do you get your birds - and there's a great appendix at the end lots of links and resources. Where will you keep your chickens - plans for lots of different housing solutions and actual plans are included. What to feed - covered. How to raise healthy birds from chick to full grown, health concerns and loads about everyday care. And of course eggs! The last chapter was a lovely surprise - lots of recipes - I'm going to give the sweet potato soufflé a try.
I really enjoyed the portraits of chicken owners scattered throughout the book, covering those who keep just a few to those supplying local restaurants.
Keeping Chickens is well laid out and easy to read and reference. Ashley English has put together a comphrehensive resource for anyone thinking of keeping a flock of their own. Keeping Chickens is part of a series called Homemade Living Series that covers a lot of 'back to the basics'. Canning and Preserving is out, with Keeping Bees and Home Dairy due out in the Spring.