how to raise chickens in your own backyard

Book Review – Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics by Pam Freeman.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Quarto Publishing Group – Voyageur Press for providing me with a free electronic RC, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

When I first started reading this book I was a little worried it was going to be too location specific to be of much help to me… As in, it is very obviously written for an American audience and that can sometimes make a book not that useful to me – an Australian reader…

BUT! I was totally wrong. I mean, yes there are areas of ‘Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics’ that were indeed location specific – like the predator section – but to be honest, that didn’t detract from the overall usefulness of this book.

For those who have not read my previous reviews, I am a chookie owner. I have six right now but spring is just kicking off here in the Adelaide Hills and so I hope to fix up the coop and figure out how to get me some more. Just don’t tell my husband. 😀

And so I am indeed qualified to give judgement on the usefulness of this book. And useful I did indeed find it. Yes there were sections I did skim a little as it was either something I already knew/ did or felt not relevant, due to my location – see how to deal with racoons. Goannas, snakes and red back spiders in the coop… would have been helpful (though I am pretty on to fixing those) but I can’t say racoons have even been a bother. Foxes on the other hand… hmmm, I best not tell my son the urine deterrent or he’ll be all over that… or have it all over everything. :-/

Oh, what? You suddenly realise I am a TMI reviewer?

So anyway, back to ‘Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics’. I found the majority of the book very interesting and extremely useful. Especially the ideas on how to increase your flock and what to do with egg eaters.

I have other backyard chicken books that go more into diseases, illnesses and natural remedies than this book did… but that is not saying it is lacking as it did cover a lot of the basics and important issues too.

All in all I found it a great little resource for those wanting to have some chooks in their family as ‘Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics’ will help guide them through to first few hurdles and then some.

As it is a resource book I will go into the layout, format, etc. It was okay, but please bear in mind that I was reading an electronic version and so any issues I had were mostly due to that format. The paper format will not have these issues… BUT! I did find it rather clunky and hard to read at times. Plus the pictures and little blurbs throughout the book did detract from what I was trying to read more than I wish they had. Again, if I had been reading it as a paper book these issues would not have existed.

Other than that it was a clear, concise, easy to read and easy to follow format and layout. Nice, clean, open pages and relevant pictures throughout made it into why I feel it would be an excellent resource book for those just starting out as being chicken parents.

Although I do feel ‘Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics’ is mostly aimed at new chicken owners or potential chicken owners, I did find it useful myself and I’ve own chickens on and off my whole life. I wouldn’t call myself a chicken expert, more someone who knows how to be owned by chickens. 😉 So I honestly do feel like it justifies the “beyond the basics” part of its title.

Would I recommend this book to others?

I think I would, you know? Despite the minor location specific issues, I loved the personal stories and touches Ms Freeman added to the book and feel it makes it a good chook reference book to have. It’s not just a “how to” book, it’s written by a fellow chook addict who is there to help. So, yes, a book I can see myself recommending.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I would be sorely tempted to you know… For the same reasons as above. The personal touches help the reader connect to the book and the passion for chooks. I also found the blog style “how to” writing style easy to follow and learn from so could honestly see myself buying this as a reference book to go with my others.

 

In summary – a good, easy to follow guide to helping you raise backyard chickens.

 

Until next time,

Janis.

Cover Reveal – Backyard Chickens: How to keep happy hens by Dave Ingham.

As a chook mummy myself with a backyard home to several chickens, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to help promote this book…

Backyard Chickens_CVR.jpg

So, what’s it all about? Let’s take a look at the press release. Though it is pretty self-explanatory and my two girls (aged 12 and 9) have already started reading this book – to our chickens. Both daughters are loving it so far, and have been telling me a lot of important things we should now be doing for our egg laying girlies.

Okay, here wo go, press release time. I do just want to add that I am still reading ‘Backyard Chickens’ right now (when I can get it off my daghters) and so will be leaving a review here on it in another couple of weeks. My kids go back to school next week so I hope to pinch the book back then! 😉

backyard-chickiens-tilte

Dave Ingham • 9781743367537 • 224pp Hardback•
Embargo: February 2017 • RRP $35.00

About the book – 

Keeping a few hens was once only for rural dwellers with big yards – or inner-city hippies. Now it’s mainstream and an attractive proposition wherever you live. Fluffy little recycling units that eat weeds, bugs and scraps and turn them into organic eggs – what’s not to love?

From ISA Browns to Australorps, Dave Ingham helps you to navigate through the pecking order using classic anecdotes and tips to tame these fluffy friends. Chickens are great backyard pets for young and old – they’re a natural extension for everyone with a vegie patch, and for those who like eggs but are concerned about the welfare of commercial hens.

This book is the perfect reference, whether you’re already keeping chickens or an absolute beginner thinking about getting a couple of chooks. Dave Ingham offers compulsively readable advice on how to start, housing and feeding, settling chickens in with other pets, troubleshooting, and the (minimal) commitment required to keep your backyard hens healthy and happy.

‘This book is the what for, how to, where and why of chickens
for novices and wranglers alike.’
Costa Georgiadis, ABC Gardening Australia

backyard-chickens-dave

Dave Ingham runs Rent-a-chook, selling chicken coops offering try-before-you-buy mini henhouses since 2001.

Until next time,

Janis.