Whether you live on 1,000 acres or 1,000 square feet, there’s plenty of room in your backyard for a flock of chickens. Join the chicken revolution today and be prepared to reap a lifetime of benefits that goes far beyond the enjoyment and the eggs.
In the pages that follow, we help get you started with everything from incubating fertile eggs to receiving and raising day-old chicks to building a chicken coop to keeping your birds safe and healthy. We’ve even outlined a 9-step process to help you promote legalization of backyard bird-keeping in your city or town. You’ll find top-notch advice on how to protect your flock from predators, produce the healthiest eggs, and so much more. And if your interest is in cooking with eggs and/or chicken, we have you covered.
The international bee crisis is threatening our global food supply, but this user-friendly field guide shows what you can do to help protect our pollinators. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation offers browsable profiles of 100 common flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees that attract bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. The recommendations are simple: sow seeds for some plants — such as basil, rhododendron, and blueberries — and simply don’t mow down abundant native species, including aster, goldenrod, and milkweed. 100 Plants to Feed the Bees will empower homeowners, landscapers, apartment dwellers — anyone with a scrap of yard or a window box — to protect our pollinators.
Get ready to jump into the world of chickens, one DIY project at a time. Owning and raising chickens doesn't have to be an expensive hobby. With imagination, simple tools, and salvaged or bargain materials, you can make everything your flock needs for their health and safety.
Caughey shares her advice in an engaging way so that kids understand what it means to keep chickens and what kind of housing, food, equipment, and care the chickens will need to thrive. She also suggests lots of creative activities sure to spark enthusiasm and imagination, such as speaking chicken, creating a veggie piñata for the flock, and making a chicken fort in the backyard.
Bee populations are plummeting worldwide. Colony collapse disorder poses a serious threat to many plants that rely on bees for pollination, including a significant proportion of our food crops. Top bar hives are based on the concept of understanding and working with bees' natural systems, enabling top bar beekeepers to produce honey and natural wax while helping bees thrive now and in the years ahead.
Advanced Top Bar Beekeeping picks up where author Christy Hemenway’s The Thinking Beekeeper left off, providing a wealth of information for backyard beekeepers ready to take the next step with this economical, bee-friendly approach. Hemenway shares:
While continuing to emphasize the intimate connection between our food system, bees, and the well-being of the planet, Advanced Top Bar Beekeeping breaks new ground in the quest to shift the dominant agricultural paradigm away from chemical-laden, industrial monoculture and toward healthy, diverse local farming. See what all the buzz is about with this must-read guide for the new breed of thinking beekeeper.
This eloquent and inviting visual guide explains why conserving heritage breeds is important and shows you how you can raise these breeds yourself, helping to preserve them and benefiting from them at the same time.
A must-have for every backyard chicken keeper, Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics goes beyond introductory lessons and explores the realities of raising a flock for eggs -- and entertainment, of course! From odd eggs and molting to feeding and preparing for the seasons, this book covers the subjects beginner books don't adequately address and re-examines common knowledge that may not actually hold true. It's a resource to turn to time and again for expert advice to make sure your birds are happy, healthy, and productive.
Author Pam Freeman, an editor and "Ask the Expert" columnist at Backyard Poultry magazine, draws on her years of experience fielding reader questions to identify and clearly explain many common - and some not-so-common - issues in chicken keeping. How do you add new chickens to your flock? What is the pecking order and how can you change or control it? Is it better to raise chicks by hand or with a broody hen? What do you do when you collect eggs and discover: lash eggs, calcium deposits, soft eggs, eggs within eggs, or wrinkled eggs? In Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics, readers will find not just answers, but a book full of "coop truth" that helps them continue on their journey. Because as every chicken owner knows: Chickens are individuals and real-life chicken keeping often takes you far from the beaten path.
Using detailed, step-by-step photography of every stage of the process, author Adam Danforth shows you exactly how to humanely slaughter and butcher cattle for beef. From creating the right pre-slaughter conditions to killing, skinning, keeping cold, breaking the meat down, and creating cuts of meat you'll recognize from the market, Danforth walks you through every step, leaving nothing to chance. He also covers food safety, freezing and packaging, and tools and equipment. This comprehensive reference is the only guide you need to successfully, safely, and humanely slaughter and butcher your own animal.
The space, setup, and equipment required to raise and process poultry are minimal when compared to other types of livestock, which is part of what makes chickens such an appealing choice for small-scale meat producers. Expert butcher and teacher Adam Danforth covers the entire slaughtering and butchering process in this photographic guide specifically geared toward backyard chicken keepers and small-farm operations invested in raising meat responsibly.
With step-by-step photos, detailed instructions, and chapters dedicated to necessary tools and equipment, essential food safety measures, how to prepare for slaughter and process the birds quickly and humanely, how to break down the carcasses into cuts, and how to package and freeze the cuts to ensure freshness, this comprehensive handbook gives poultry raisers the information they need to make the most of their meat.
From creating the right pre-slaughter conditions to killing, skinning, keeping cold, breaking the meat down, and creating cuts of meat you'll recognize from the market, Danforth walks you through every step, leaving nothing to chance. He also covers food safety, freezing and packaging, and tools and equipment.
The age-old question of which comes first is finally answered in Chicken and Egg! For the purposes of egg-centric chicken keepers, it's the egg! A new approach to chicken keeping, Chicken and Egg is specifically geared toward hobby farmers and casual chicken keepers who wish to produce eggs of a particular color, flavor, and type. Whether the reader desires the delectable turquoise eggs of the Araucana or the chocolate brown eggs of the Blue Copper Maran, learn how it's possible to put the egg before the chicken. Written by two expert poultry breeders and specialists, Andy Cawthray and James Hermes, this new colorful handbook offers an edifying overview of the natural history of chickens and the science of egg production so that keepers better understand how to care for egg-layers, improve the quality of their eggs through diet and housing, and maximize their egg production for years to come. The authors have rounded up a few dozen chicken breeds and offer their hardboiled advice about which hens offer the most egg-cellect daily output.
Start a great DIY project, and build a chicken coop with these how-to drawings and conceptual plans for 45 different designs — from strictly practical to flights of fancy — guaranteed to meet the needs of every chicken owner.