Chickens from Scratch, raising your own chickens from hatch to egg laying and beyond by Janet Garman (Author House: Bloomington, ID) 2015.
Are Chickens in your future?
Chickens from Scratch should be sitting at the till of every feed store in North America this month. It’s a companion book for those new baby chicks that are coming to a home and garden near you in the next few months. With the move to food sustainability and back yard egg layers, there are a lot of people getting chicks that have never met a chicken before. There will be questions. There will be struggles. This book will help.
The author, Janet Garman, is a farm store owner, and has been raising layers, and selling baby chicks for years. She also holds a degree in animal science, specializing in livestock management, and teaches classes on poultry care. Janet has encountered all the questions that new chicken owners struggle with. She’s had to help people through the difficult moments as they learn the best practices of raising egg layers from day old chicks to productive layers to spent hens. She’s got the experience as a chicken farmer, the expertise, and the passion of a mentor to guide you on this new journey. Her wisdom is born from experience and she generously shares it.
An easy read
Chickens from Scratch is a short book at just 68 pages in the paper copy. But don’t let the size fool you into thinking it’s not significant. The book has no fillers. It’s packed with essential information to get those fluffy yellow peeps off to the best start possible. New chicken farmers and those with some experience, that have questions, will love this book. You can read it in one sitting and get the important information about raising chicks, getting the right feed, and creating suitable housing. You’ll want to keep the book around to look up some answers to some of the early struggles of chicken raising, too.
The book starts out right where you’re at with bringing the chicks home from the feed store. It guides you through brooder set up for a dozen or more chicks. What do you do about poopy butts? The answer is on page 13. How high should the brooder lamp be? My babies are panting and staying at the outskirts of the brooder, what should I do? These questions and more are answered with just enough information to give you confidence as you build your own experience as a new chicken manager. You won’t have to wade through pages and pages of filler, just to find the information you need right now. Janet cuts right to the point, giving you what you need to solve that immediate problem.
The book moves over the pullet stage of teenage chickens right through to the egg laying phase. My chicken is losing all their feathers, is it sick? No it’s probably moulting. Here’s a layer ration that will help it speed through the growth of new feathers and get back to the business of egg laying. Worried about a sick hen? The book has some possible solutions. Do you know when to call a vet and when to try to treat it at home? Get some guidance here that will save you time and money.
Chapters in the book include help for broodiness, aggression, pecking order, chicken behavior, worming, flying out of the coop, bumble foot, and predators. Things that you might wonder about or encounter in your first year or two of raising laying hens are here. There are possible solutions to the common problems you may face as a first time chicken owner.
This isn’t a veterinary manual though. If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to every single thing that could go wrong in raising layers and what drugs to have on hand in your chicken medicine bag – this isn’t that kind of book. You’ll want to check out The Merck’s Manual for Backyard Chicken Raising or Raising Poultry the Modern Way. If you are starting with 500 chicks with a dedicated, temperature controlled, brooder building, you’re going to want a book that matches your investment. But for the backyard chicken raiser, or the person who can’t resist those fluffy yellow peepers at the feed store this month, grab a copy of this book, too. It will give you a robust chance at making your first experience with chicks a defining moment in your journey to food security and self-sufficiency.
Who can resist those sweet little spring chicks? If you succomb grab this Chickens from Scratch, too.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Chickens from Scratch for the purpose of this review. This review represents my honest opinion of the book.