Book Review – Backyard Chickens: How to keep Happy Hens by Dave Ingham.

backyard-chickens_cvr4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Murdoch Books for providing me with a paper copy of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.

And what a book it is too. As corny as it sounds, it really is something my whole family can enjoy. This was proved many times when I went to read it to find my children had “borrowed” it and were either reading it themselves, or outside reading it to our chickens.

backyard chickens feathers

Our children (or chooks) have been book marking the book!

Though I will state here and now I don’t think you need to have chickens (or book stealing children for that matter) to find this book enjoyable and useful.

It covers all the needed basics of setting up some backyard chooks for yourself – shelter, feeding, watering, common ailments, etc. It’s all there and all written about in a manner I loved as it was factual, but enjoyable and entertaining all at the same time.

And, as much as my kids loved reading it and using it to ensure our chooks were being looked after appropriately, that does not make this a childish or immature book. It’s something young and old interested in sharing their yard with some feathered girls will love.

Oh and Mr Fox came a calling for the first time ever while I was reading this book…. No, not blaming ‘Backyard Chickens’ or Mr Ingham for that. We have just been very lucky in the years we’ve had chickens to not meet him until now. What was most shocking – despite the demise of Pepper the Australorp – was Mr Fox came for a visit at about 11am! Following guidance from Mr Ingham’s fine book we have done our best to improve security on the yard. The pen they are put in at night still has not failed us… but obviously when they are free ranging the yard during the day, we had left gaps in our yard, despite it being surrounded by a 5 foot, concrete embedded metal fence. We know that fence was good at keeping foxes at bay as, when we were chasing the critter around the yard  – after penning the remaining girls in cat carriers – it couldn’t jump over our fences to escape! But we followed it to the gap at the front – bushman’s gate of wire and lumber – and have since sealed it tighter.

So, you could say ‘Backyard Chickens’ was here at the right time! We are now down to 6 chooks, but it could have been worse! And come next spring the useful guide in the back as to the different sorts of chickens that make the best backyard buddies, will be used to get more girls. We will then follow the wise words in the ‘Flock Management’ section and go from there.

Can you see this book is very relevant to us? And such an essential addition to ensuring our feather babies have the best life they can and keep giving us those giant, golden yolk eggies!

Finally, I will also say that, despite growing up with chickens in my life and knowing most of their ins and outs and foibles, I still found ‘Backyard Chickens’ a good read as it did cover some stuff I didn’t know. Backed up some the stuff I already did and helped share my love of chooks with my children.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. And not just to people who already own chickens in their yards, but people who care about where their eggs come from and are considering getting their own chooks to ensure their egg providers are getting the best treatment. Mind you, pasture eggs are also a good option… but that doesn’t give you a chook to chat while you hang out the washing.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I may have to if my kids keep stealing my current copy! 😉 If I lost it or had to replace it (after too many chickens were taught to read it) then yes, yes I would buy it. For now I am very happy and feel very honoured to have been gifted a paper copy.  If my kid’s school ever gets chickens again, I might just need to buy a copy and donate it to them as it’s really a book for adults and children alike to read, learn from and enjoy.

In summary – an excellent, very comprehensive book aimed at Australian’s learning to raise their own backyard chooks.

Until next time,


Cover Reveal – A Whole New Way to Eat: Best recipes from the people who started the wholefood movement in Australia by Vladia Cobrdova.

A Whole New Way to Eat

Oh be still my little cook book addicted heart! Another fabulous creation sent to me by Murdoch Books that I am now happy to share with you. My review will come in the next few days, but as I was sent all this gorgeous information, I wanted to share it too.

A Whole New way to eat title

Best recipes from the people who started the wholefood movement in Australia

Vladia Cobrdova • ISBN: 9781743368978 Murdoch Books • Extent: 248 Paperback • RRP:  $39.99

The About Life team who led the wholefood movement have at long last put together a collection of their beloved recipes. From humble beginnings as a juice bar with some basic wholefood grocery items, About Life has now grown into eight natural wholefood stores across  the Sydney region and now Melbourne.

Their philosophy towards food hasn’t changed in their 20 years of operation, no more complexity, just simplicity and goodness: food as medicine.

Nutritionist and recipe developer Vladia Cobrdova recreates over 135 of the mouth-watering dishes she’s made popular in the stores’ busy cafes, takeaway and ready-made meal sections. These are recipes your body will love from your taste buds to your gut.

A Whole New Way to Eat is a modern take on healthy eating for those more interested in eating well than following the latest craze. With recipes to cover every social occasion as well as being seasonal, local, sustainable and delicious, this is a must-have cookbook for every Australian kitchen.


Vladia Cobrdova is a nutritionist, recipe developer and Wellness Ambassador for About Life, Australia’s largest independent wholefoods retail chain.

Book Review – Fast Your Way to Wellness – Supercharged Food by Lee Holmes.

Fast your way to wellness.jpg

3 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Murdoch Books for sending me a paper copy of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.

As someone who finds great health benefits and healthy weight loss/management from a 16 – 8 fasting diet, I was very interested in reading ‘Fast Your Way to Wellness’ as, quite honestly, I’d come up with this fasting/ feeding pattern as it suited me and I didn’t really know if what I was doing was the right thing.

Turns out, Ms Holmes thinks it’s one of the fasting patterns that does indeed help! Though I do love how her book encompasses all the common fast/ feeding options there and does emphasis that it’s not a “one size fits all” sort of thing and how people need to find an eating pattern that best suits them.

What I also liked was how I have now been given more options to as to how to fast and what meals would best suit. Some days I just don’t have the opportunity to stick to my fasting ways, but I feel days like that – rather than me just ignoring food or over doing it – I can now treat them as “fast days” and refer to some of Ms Holmes super easy recipes to keep me going and keep me feeling good. As I honestly feel better if I allow my body to remember what it is like to be hungry. Not starve myself, but not just eat out of routine. It was so good to find a book that encourages and endorses this type of eating without turning the whole process into a fad diet or over commercialised trend.

The guidance given by Ms Holmes at the beginning of the book is very insightful and made me feel quite welcome and comfortable to keep reading. This wasn’t a trendy “in fashion” thing to give me a beautiful body. No meal replacements, yo yo dieting – none of that nonsense. It was all about eating better, improving your gut health and holistic health through better eating and how to simply enjoy real food.

The recipes that followed simply encouraged that feeling. I am someone who is totally against fad dieting and restriction dieting – you can only eat lettuce today – sort of thing… which is why ‘Fast You Way to Wellness’ is such a terrific book as there is none of that nonsense in it!

Yes there is calorie counting… but that is the point of fasting. You don’t have to scrimp and calculate points and kilojoules… you just need to eat the right level of calories for your body, your active/ not active life and that’s it. And, to be honest, that is the most fundamental thing about healthy eating and maintaining a healthy body weight for who you are – calorie intake. We want to make sure we eat the right amounts to keep us going and not starve… but also ensure we’re not eating too much so that we just store it as fat. That is the only reason I see the calories mentioned. As we truly are what we eat so let’s just eat what we need, no more no less.

Yes you are being taught the benefits of fasting to see if it’s something you would like to try, but there is no strict “thou must or else” attitude. This is a guide book to better health and better eating – a cook book for the soul and well as the stomach.

And no, fasting is not the same as starving or deprivation diets. Fasting is simply controlling what we eat and when we eat but ensuring we eat well. Yes, you can maintain the body weight best suited to who you are and eat your cake too! 😉

Now, if you’re like me you are fasting because you’re overweight, or simply want to ensure you don’t become overweight. Me, I am prone to eating far more calories than I will expend if I’m not careful and right now am very overweight due to a back injury almost immobilising me for the last year. But! This book isn’t about being super skinny with a six pack and thighs you can crack walnuts with. It is simply about looking after yourself through eating right and in amounts that suit you – the individual – not the mass market. We are all different, our body types and we react to foods are different and so what we weigh is different. What is an ideal body weight, shape and size for me with my heavy bone structure and 187cm height is not going to be ideal for the light framed person who is half my height. And please ignore the BMI – it is wrong and based on text book people. You are not a text book, be yourself and eat well. Which is exactly what I feel ‘Fast Your Way to Wellness’ is all about.

Okay, I feel I am getting a little too soap boxy there so will step down and get back on with the review. 😉

So, I loved the introduction. It really got me into the right sort of mindset to enjoy reading it all. Simply loved the section on which foods are best at helping to support your health and, if needed, weight loss. Then, before getting into those sooo yummy recipes, it gives super simple and easy to follow calorie/ kilojoules charts on all the ingredients used within the recipes of this book. And they are broken down into super easy sections to make looking them up a breeze.

Then – for those into the most common form of fasting – there is even weekly meal plans that map out the foods, calories, etc. Seriously, this book doesn’t just teach you the benefits of fasting and share a few recipes; it gently takes you by the hand and walks you through process every step of the way. Such a positive feel as it comes across that Ms Holmes truly does want to help people find and maintain a better way to eat and isn’t just about selling you a book or idea. Her passion for helping us all find better health through fasting and whole food eating simply shines through the pages.

Now to the all essential formatting and layout: excellent. The book is set out in an easy to read and follow manner. Introductions to what it’s all about, important information that will help and then the recipes themselves.

And the recipes? Perfect for cooks of all skill levels. Well laid out, easy to read and follow (uses both metric and imperial measurements) and each comes with a little extra information to help you connect. Whether it be a brief intro or a super charge tip. They’re all good.

If I loved this book so much, why the average rating? Well, it is totally a fault with the reader as the recipes, on average, are “Serves 2” portion sizes. And so trying to cook for myself, my husband and my hungry hordes – I prefer recipes for “Serves 5” or higher. 😉 ‘Fast Your Way to Wellness’ is obviously not a book for feeding the family, and more for your couples or singles. This is perfectly fine and totally acceptable. I am just not the right audience for that range. See, the flaw is with ME!

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. Already have been actually as the information provided, the guides to better health through better eating and the recipes are really good. And I’m a big girl; I know how to double a recipe! Others with larger families can too. Or they can feed their kid’s one thing and the adults another. Totally fine!

Would I buy this book for myself?

I might. If I hadn’t been sent a paper copy to review, I would have probably sought it out through my local library first to get a better feel for it before I would purchase it. I am a picky cook book buyer!

But now that I have a copy, will I be keeping it? Yes I will. There are quite a few rather interesting recipes to try out and incorporate into our daily life. Look out for them on my Instagram account as berry cacao smoothies and baked apple pancakes will be appearing there soon. 😉

In summary: If you are looking for an introduction to the various ways of fasting and eating well, this is a great book to start with. Loved it.

Until next time,


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! 😉


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


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

Until next time,