Book Review & Giveaway – A Chicken in Every Yard

*Update: Susan is our giveaway winner! Look for an email from us to get your address.

The Review

I rarely ever read a “reference book” all the way through. Actually I have never read a reference book all the way through (not even my college textbooks). That was until I got my paws on A Chicken in Every Yard by Robert and Hannah Litt, owners of the Urban Farm Store in Portland, Oregon. It was an easy and quick read while containing quite a bit of information. It is a great primer for those that are planning on getting some backyard chickens. It’s also got some good information if you have chickens including a health section that goes over the most common ailments that your chickens might suffer.

It goes over various topics including some of the more popular breeds of chickens, brooding chicks (more on that below), litter management, feeding, predators, clipping wings and introducing new birds. A Chicken in Every Yard even includes simple plans for building a basic chicken coop. It discusses various options for runs that will effectively keep your chickens safe and happy. It breaks down how much time per day you’ll need to work at keeping chickens depending on what management system you’re using.The most interesting chapter, to me at least, was about eggs. I never realized there were so many different parts to an egg. It’s also got some delicious looking recipes that utilize those tasty homegrown eggs.

Because there are as many management styles as there are chicken owners, there are some things that they recommend that I personally don’t follow. Their recommendations include the use of medicated feed which is definitely an option but I wish they would have discussed other management techniques such as brooding without the need for medication. The one great thing they offer in their chapter on chicks is a checklist of all the supplies you will need if bringing home chicks.

This book is targeted towards those that will be keeping chickens as “pets with benefits.” If you want a book that also covers chickens for meat this wouldn’t be the book for you as they are clear in the very beginning that they will not be discussing using chickens for meat – even retired chickens. And this is really the only source of contention that I do have with this book. They don’t push the issue in regards to what to do if you end up with a rooster (while not likely with sexed pullets it’s still a possibility that people need to think about) and they “highly recommend” sending retired hens to farm sanctuaries if people don’t want to keep them past their egg laying years which I find very irresponsible. I always tell people that there are only two choices when you have chickens. They are either a pet or they are dinner. But don’t let this turn you off from the book because otherwise it’s quite good and if you are new to chickens you’ll be successful if you follow their recommendations (even if there are other ways to do things).

The Giveaway

If you would like a chance to win this book please leave a comment with your beginning chicken keeping questions. For extra entries you can like us on Facebook for one entry and get another entry if you share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter (that’s 3 extra entries). Just leave a comment here that you’ve liked us (even if you already do) and/or shared this post.

The giveaway will go until midnight on Friday, June 22nd and I’ll announce the winner on Saturday, June 23rd. Unfortunately I have to limit it to residents of the U.S.

Comments

  1. Darlene says:

    I have ducks that are pets with benefits. But would like chickens too. So enjoy any new sources of poultry information. Thanks for the reference!

  2. We’ve been thinking about chickens after you guys came by. So let me be the first to like this. :)

  3. I’ve been preparing for backyard chickens for several months. Coop is almost done, breeds chosen for productivity and tempremant (friendly)etc.

    problem is, I haven’t found a local source that hasn’t used medicated feed for the pullets they’ve raised for layers. I plan to feed organic.

    Does it matter about the medicated chick feed?

  4. Max Morgan says:

    At what age does the average urban chicken stop laying eggs?

  5. Love your site, your page, and your farm!!

  6. At what age is it appropriate to move chicks out of a brooder and into an outdoor home? Also, how long do they need a heat source?

    (Useful info and now a book giveaway? How cool of you all!)

  7. I have been giving my chickens all my vegetable scraps, but just read that avocados are toxic to them. Are there any other items I need to avoid?

  8. We are newbies at backyard chickens and sometimes have a hard time knowing if we are really doing things right I would love more guidance than the general info that can be found on the web!

  9. I have been giving my chickens all my vegetable scraps, but I heard that avocados are toxic, but am wondering if anything else I need to avoid giving them.

  10. We are a family of 5. I’m wondering how many chickens we would need to have eggs for our family?

  11. I liked DIF on facebook and shared this post on my page. I had already liked AYWG a while back. :)

  12. Just found you today. And you are having a give away to boot! I have friends with chickens, but I haven’t taken the plunge yet.

  13. I just moved into a space with room for and permission (from landlords) to get chickens. My question is – what’s the best number to get for two people? 3? 4? Also, what are your recommendations on how to get over coop-building-phobia? Thanks!

  14. LaRue Cobb says:

    We will soon be getting chickens-any way to keep chickens snakes away?

  15. Sandy Grayson says:

    I’m getting chickens + coop for my 50th birthday present – this book would be icing on the cake!

  16. Jennifer Whitley says:

    Can my chickens & rabbits share a run? I’ve seen a lot of conflicting information on the Internet…

  17. How can I convince my husband that we REALLY need to have chickens? We have all the makings for a sustainable chicken “farm” on our two acres; the fresh eggs would be just great; and the retired chickens would be wonderful with my homemade chicken and noodles. What do I do? Thanks

  18. Would chickens be a big help with slug control?

  19. I really want to keep chickens starting next year, but I have so many questions I don’t even know where to start. I live in Wisconsin on 1.5 acres, but don’t want the chickens roaming everywhere. I want to keep them in a chicken tractor, but I’ve heard that there wouldn’t be a way to keep the chickens warm during the winter. What suggestions would you have?

  20. I liked you on Facebook. :-)

  21. Please enter me in the book giveaway and I already “like” you guys on FB too!
    I have the same issues with their book and actually their store which is in my neighborhood—-they tend to lean more toward pet chicken ownership and less practicalities of urban farm life. I have bought two sets of chicks from them over the last 3 years and ended up with a rooster in each one! We re-homed one to a farm and the other became dinner.

  22. I have 17 “working pets” and am considering changing to a nipple watering system, but I’m worried that they can’t get enough water with those nipples. Are the little cups any better?

  23. polly smith says:

    Hi Rachel & Tom!

    LOL – I’m going to ditto on Cilla’s question, if that’s legal…

    Liked, posted, twitted-or-whatsit, even passed the math test ;D Now i have just to remember to subscribe to the follow ups…

  24. We have kept chickens before but it was in a more temperate climate… we live in Colorado now with 85-100 degree temps in the summer and 0-40 degree temps in the winter. How do we devise a coop that keeps them cool enough in the summer and warm enough in the winter?

    Please also enter us in your giveaway… we liked your page and shared the link. Thank you! :)

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