Quarto Publishing Group – Voyageur Press

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.