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Living with Chickens: Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Backyard Flock
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Living with Chickens: Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Backyard Flock

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  40 reviews
A revised and updated bestseller -Revised in coordination with the American Poultry Association -Covers all the essentials of raising and keeping chickens. -More than 75 color photographs and illustrations. People across the country are raising chickens, whether for food or companionship. You can, too, with this indispensable guide. Straightforward advice and dozens of cle ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 15th 2017 by Lyons Press (first published June 1st 2002)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  40 reviews


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JoDean
Dec 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-sufficiency
What I learned that I didn't previously know about keeping chickens:
1. the progression of a molt. Our Leah should be starting to lay again any day.
2. letting the manure mix with the litter on the floor of the coop and composting there over the winter. This is accelerated by throwing some scratch over it so the hens break up the droppings. Clean it out in the spring and add fabulous compost to the vegetable garden.
...more
KA
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in keeping chickens
Shelves: non-fiction, animals, food
A good introduction to keeping chickens, with photographs of local chickens by a neighbor of ours. Instantly helpful.
Christine
A beautiful book--the photograph are teriffic. Good info on feeding, but parts of it were a little more technical than I'll probably ever need (and aimed at those keeping bigger flocks than I'm planning on). Also, big emphasis on meat birds, including a step-by-step butchering guide. Not for me! On the plus side, a very detailed explanation (with illustrations) on how to determine if a hen is laying, and how many eggs she's laid in her lifetime--cool! ...more
Rose
It was a great read for a snowy December as I daydreamed about what would one day be a yard filled with peeping chicks and happy hens. Great resource and wonderful images. I borrowed this book from my local library.
Becca
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative! A great reference to keep on hand for the nuts and bolts of chicken raising. It would have been cool to learn a bit more about chicken behavior, but this is great for basic things like food and shelter and basic care.
Emily
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun photos and very informative; I also liked the references and glossary in the back.
Dan
Jun 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is quite a good beginners guide to raising chickens, though it is aimed more toward large flocks than to the small backyard flocks most will choose to have. Also, unlike books that aim to educate small-flock owners, Living with Chickens also includes a section on butchering your own birds, in case you want to go that route.
Kit
Jul 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovingly done. The photos are gorgeous -- Wyandottes are beautiful hens! Who knew?

And rich-in-potential-metaphor info on chickens. For instance: Did you know that you can tell how many eggs a hen has laid by how yellow her body is? After laying about ten eggs, her flesh loses its yellow tint in her head. After laying 100 eggs, her breast is pale.

Go ahead. Make something of that.
Mephistia
Mar 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is actually an incredibly informative, interesting and fun book. I just checked too many books out from the library and didn't have enough time to finish this one. Unfortunately, someone put it on hold, so I can't renew it, either.

I'm thinking I'm going to buy the e-book version. This is just one of those good-to-have books.
...more
Lon
May 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good primer for us as we raise our six little chicks. Interesting chapter on butchering!!! Also, kind of rough advice on what to do when the missus gets too old to lay an egg. (I advise against chuckling about this with your post-menopausal friends--believe me, they will NOT think it's that funny.) A Spanish Fork Library book. ...more
Dree
Sep 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book certainly has some useful information. However, much of the coop information assumes you will have 10 or even 25 chickens. That's not for someone with a backyard--that's for someone with land. Many pictures of chickens coexisting with horses and a pig. Again, those are not backyard chickens.

So--interesting, but the subtitle is misleading.
...more
Sarah
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chickens
If you only have time to read one book before launching your backyard chicken mission, this is the book for you. It covers all of the basics concisely, without chincing on the details beginners really want to know more about (like what exactly you do about poo control).

Kelly Sandberg
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
If you have chickens, this is a great reference book to have. We bought it from the hatchery when we bought LuLu Chicken and the other one (can't remember her name). And its been a constant guide to chicken life! ...more
April
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
if you're interested in chickens, this is a great place to start. not too overwhelming, but gives you a good idea of the basics. great pictures and really solid pages -whole thing is in color - feels kind of fancy - I like that! ...more
Abby
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent resource for backyard chicken farmers. Also provides guidance on how to butcher chickens, a section that the other chicken-rearing books I read lacked. Will probably consult again if we rear chicks from eggs.
Lenalopatina
Great book. It has all the information one needs to raise backyard chickens. The book is technical and has a lot of quantitative information, while being not to wordy which allowed one to get lots of info in short period of time. Highly recommend it!
Samira
Oct 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone thinking about living with chickens
Shelves: non-fiction
I think this is a very good introduction to raising chickens, but since I am not in a position to actually get a flock going, it is hard to predict whether there are gaps of information.
Jennifer Chapman
Nov 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone considering raising chickens
This book is a great resource for basic information about our fine feathered friends.
Nancy Hildebrandt
Feb 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to
Well written, very basic information about keeping chickens on a small scale, lots of photos. Author lives in Vermont.
Emily
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not as helpful as I would have liked. Color photos, anecdotes and nostalgia seem to take the place of useful information.
Eryka
Feb 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read with good info -- we'll see how my chickens do! ...more
Me2
Mar 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was excellent and gave some very good insights into what is needed to raise chickens. Though it probably doesn't go into enough depth for a real chicken lover. ...more
Kathy
Jul 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All the basics, easy to read and follow.
Peter
May 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chicago and Evanston now allow for raising poultry at your residence! I am waiting for my burb to allow it, I am ready. Great book, quick read as well.
Kristi
Aug 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpful and very informative. Kids, especially Hannah, loved the pictures! Can't wait to buy our own little chicks...once we actually have a home... ...more
Tamara Taylor
This book has beautiful photos but not much else. If you are looking for information on raising chickens I would suggest "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens" instead. ...more
Julie
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good, basic information.
Amalthea
Very good information on chicken breeds,health etc. Although, as a vegan I found it maddening to have to sift through comments on butchering.
Michelle
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable, but if you're going to get chickens read at least one other book. All of the chicken books I've ever read (except Storey's Guide to Chickens) are that way ...more
Sean
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good beginning book to take care of chickens
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