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A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store's Guide to Chicken Keeping

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  287 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Got a little space and a hankering for fresh eggs?

Robert and Hannah Litt have dispensed advice to hundreds of urban and suburban chicken-keepers from behind their perch at Portland’s Urban Farm Store, and now they’re ready to help you go local and sustainable with your own backyard birds. In this handy guide to breeds, feed, coops, and care, the Litts take you under their
ebook, 208 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Ten Speed Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Have I mentioned, gentle reader, that my family is adding a backyard flock in a few short weeks? We are. In my grand tradition of always over-researching, I've been making my way through a stack of chicken books.

While this is not the most in-depth chicken book I've ever seen, it is a great new addition to the genre of chick(en) lit - and you know I am not someone who normally appreciates repackaged material. The focus here is on the backyard chicken keeper, especially in cities but the informat
Great book for beginner chicken keepers! I live just down the street from the store and bought my first chicks and supplies from them. This is pretty much the only chicken book I will need to buy since it covered all the questions I had. If you live nearby and buy the book you also get free admission to a class the owner gives for beginners.

Reads very easily and interestingly. I know I will be referencing this book often.
I'm going to pick up my fluffy balls of yellow fluff tomorrow, and will finish reading this tonight--I was going to pick up my chicks on craigslist, but after reading this book, I'll be going to Urban Farm Store, the author's storefront. They care a lot about chickens, and this book is full of clear, concise, interesting instruction for the casual, backyard, budding chicken-keeper: like myself!
My father and I conspired to give my mother for her birthday that for which she's been longing and not so subtly hitting: chickens. I'm glad we decided to get this book for her first before any if us dived into it though, because it was extremely helpful in avoiding easy beginner mistakes. This book strikes the perfect balance between educating without intimidating the prospective backyard chicken initiate. It even includes a laymen's medical guide, recipes, and specific material and blueprints ...more
Helen K
This was a very personable and thorough read, and covered any questions I might have at this stage regarding having chickens. (I hate How To books that are just dry, dry, drrrryyyyy in teaching you about things. They don't need to be!) Of particular use were the stories of issues in suburban life, such as dogs getting in from around the neighborhood -something I hadn't yet thought of.
I checked this out from the library, but fully intend to get my own copy just for the Section on treating diseas
Mike Barker
We've talked among ourselves at home about getting chickens for a couple of years. This may be the book that convinces me it's time to take the plunge. Libby got me this for Christmas last year and I finally read it. There is lots of good information for helping one weigh the pros and cons to beginning backyard chicken-ry. Just enough information about habitat, breeds, chicks, diseases, construction, etc to whet the appetite without being too much to scare off the novice or potential novice. Spr ...more
Nov 22, 2011 Suzanne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in keeping a back yard flock. Must read!
This book is absolutely wonderful. I plan on keeping chickens next year, and everything I found so far on the internet and in my other chicken book got me extremely nervous and raised more questions than they answered. This book, however, provides more answers than I had questions. This is of course as it is written by people who not only keep a small back yard flock themselves, but they also have a feed store where they sell chicks to all sorts of people. As they speak with so many back yard ch ...more
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone in the Pacific Northwest that is considering raising chickens. I just picked it up two days ago and finished it this morning. It covers all of the basics and is incredibly informative. The only thing I wish is that they had more photographs and diagrams concerning things like clipping flight feathers, and for some of the medical problems that can arise in chickens. They may not be the nicest photos, but it is a huge help to keepers in identifying ...more
This is THE quintessential primer for those interested in starting a backyard flock. Equal parts encouraging and informative, I found it to be a quick, enjoyable read.

I think it was slightly less enticing since I already have chickens and have done extensive reading online, but I still learned a lot and came away from it with a renewed sense of their importance and beneficence. Plus, they haven't started laying yet, so the chapters on laying and eggs were particularly helpful.

The book is written
Feb 23, 2015 Elaine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chicken beginners
A Chicken in Every Yard is the first guide I've read on chicken-keeping in the city, and was an adequate primer on the issues to keep in mind as I raise and prepare a future life for my young hens. I found the overview of different breeds and general descriptions of appearance, personality, eggs, care, history, etc. helpful. Written in a conversational and easy-to-read tone, the content is accompanied with illustrations and beautiful photos that allow you to explore the possibilities. There's ev ...more

I enjoyed the easy reading of this book because of the chapters on suggested breeds, pests/injuries and how to care for them, and egg production since I'd already done quite a bit of research on how to raise chicks (after already getting them). The book also provided a section on resources for further research.
Gloria Chavira
This is a good book for the beginning flockster. Information on starting with chicks, building the coop with plans included, feeding and keeping pests at bay. Definitely recommended.
Very informative. Made me realize I DON'T want to raise chickens.
Alicia Carlson
Good overview for the beginning chicken keeper. Easy read. Appreciate the resources page at the end of the book.
Lise Petrauskas
Love this book and love the store it sprang from. Low key and entertaining with excellent information and reasoning that is helping us figure out a safe, hygienic, aesthetically pleasing yet NOT overly designed and cutesy set-up for our birds. I feel particularly lucky to be able to spend time wandering around the store and getting my questions answered in person, but the book has it all, too. I never thought I'd care a bean for the myriad chicken breed variations, but I guess it's an obsession ...more
My kind of chick lit. Heh heh heh.
Well-written, nice overview of what's involved in getting into chicken keeping. I really liked that in places they say "this is what you'll hear from others, but this is what we think and why". If there's any room for improvement, it would be nice if they covered more breeds--several breeds show up in their top 10 breed lists, but aren't described in any depth, so it's hard to judge whether they have characteristics that would make them a poor fit.
I'd give this book 3.5 stars.
Overall, the authors do a good job of covering the basics of raising chickens. While the authors did write this book for the urban chicken keeper, I feel they could have done a little bit more to cater to this demographic. More diagrams or pictures of smaller coops, more information on fencing, more talk about urban dangers, these are things that city dwellers need more of.
Cameron Crawford
The only book you'll need for raising chickens. I was looking for a simple chicken coop blueprint and this was one of the few books that had a design in it. Got it. Read the rest of it and feel like a know-it-all in a field I knew nothing about a few months ago. Pretty much everything you have questions about is covered and if it isn't, the book steers you to resources to find the further answers.
Scooping it Up
Perfect for anyone looking to raise chickens. I think the only thing the book fails to do is what all my chicken-raising friends say: make is sound as simple as it is. It goes into so much detail it can feel a little overwhelming. Great book, really well written and clear.

Sadly, our town makes it almost impossible/illegal to have backyard chickens. We are really bummed. Next house...
I read this book before we picked up our chicks and I felt like I knew exactly what I was getting in to with this new adventure! The authors clearly know their stuff and I found myself prepared to deal with issues that hit us right out of the gates (like a chick pasting up). This is well-written, easy to read, and informative and will continue to be a great go-to resource as our flock matures.
Fun chicken book. US based info. A good one for someone thinking about getting chickens. All the basic info is there. Common breed info with colored illustrations. Colored pics throughout but this is not primarily a photo book. Lots of advice for first timers. The writing style is accessible and fun. A few recipes. A small coop plan with materials list and instructions.
Learned some new things (actually surprising, considering the number of chicken books I've plowed through in the last few months), and it was kind of fun to discover that the authors are only a short drive away. It gives the book a sort of personal touch to know that if (WHEN!) we get chickens, we'll likely be buying most of our supplies from the Litts.
Lots of good information in this book, although some of it conflicts with what chicken keepers in other areas of the country have found to be true. Sometimes the authors acknowledge there is no one "right" way to do things, but other times they completely contradict the experiences of others with their own chickens.
Overall a very informative book.
The best chicken keeping resource I've read to date! Straight forward with a sense of humor. Not only are these authors chicken owners, they also gather much sage advice through the stories of the chicken owners they encounter in their urban farm store based in Portland. Much of their advise translates well to urban chicken keeping in Seattle.
Laura Holson
For those wanting to step out and become a little closer to nature by raising chickens, this is a great book with which to start! The authors write simply and succinctly about raising and caring for chickens, how to care for the eggs they lay, how to build a coop, etc.

Everything you need to know between two covers!

I've read a lot of chicken books lately and this is one of the best. Pretty much read it start to finish (most others I skip around in). While it has some inherent flaws (the coop design) and it's a little limited in some information, it's an easy, enjoyable, and educational read.
Jessica Anne
A solid resource for backyard chickens. Info about feeding, raising, breeds, coop building and size requirements, basic chicken health problems and solutions, as well as a few egg recipes. I'll be keeping this handy to refer to as I get my flock established.
This book was recommended to me when I acquired hens. Probably would have been helpful if I had read it BEFORE I got the birds (and built the coop) but there was still some tips that I picked up and this would be a good reference boo to have on hand.
This book is a quick read while yet containing a great deal of information. It is geared toward the beginner, but has enough depth to be of value to many backyard flock keepers. Will definitely retain this as a working reference.
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