The Complete Guide to Raising Chickens: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply

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Overview

Properly raised chickens can be a major boon to any household looking to save money on eggs and poultry. The average hen lays 260 eggs per year, which means that with just six chickens, your family could have 1,560, or 130 dozen, eggs a year. Not only can this save your family significant money on groceries, but you can also harvest and sell eggs at farmers markets or local supermarkets. Additionally, you can raise poultry for meat, saving you a weekly trip to your grocer’s deli counter. Raising chickens is ...

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Overview

Properly raised chickens can be a major boon to any household looking to save money on eggs and poultry. The average hen lays 260 eggs per year, which means that with just six chickens, your family could have 1,560, or 130 dozen, eggs a year. Not only can this save your family significant money on groceries, but you can also harvest and sell eggs at farmers markets or local supermarkets. Additionally, you can raise poultry for meat, saving you a weekly trip to your grocer’s deli counter. Raising chickens is relatively inexpensive, and they are easy to maintain if you are equipped with the right knowledge. Plus, your family will love having these quirky and fun birds around. With The Complete Guide to Raising Chickens: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply, you can have a happy and healthy flock that provides your family with countless benefits.

In this book, you will find comprehensive information on understanding how to raise your new flock, no matter if you live in the city or on a small farm. Starting with the basics, this book begins describing the different goals and reasons you may want to have these birds, whether for eggs, meat, breeding, selling, showing, or just to have them as pets. You will learn how to understand chickens and how to decide which breed to purchase depending on your needs, as well as where to purchase your chickens and handle them. After reading this book, you will know what your chickens will need and how to take care of them so you can meet your goals for the birds.

You will learn what kind of housing your chickens need, including everything from runs and bedding to lighting, perches, and nesting boxes. Once you are an expert on chicken coops, you will explore the proper methods and forms of feed each breed needs. This book provides details on how to breed chickens for egg production and how to collect and store the eggs, while additional information is included on how to manage your breeders and hatch eggs. This book covers the entire lifespan of the chicken, including hatching, egg cultivation, mating, and slaughter. Additionally, you will rarely have to call the vet with this book’s information on chicken health and anatomy.

We interviewed top chicken farms and experts for this book, and their expertise and experience is compiled in this book to provide practical information on maintaining chicken health, how different seasons affect chicken care, and how to raise chickens for meat. The Complete Guide to Raising Chickens is the perfect guide for any new chicken farmer to have in hand.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 288 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601383747
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 963,205
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Chapter 1 Chicken Scratch: A Little Bit of Chicken History 15

Industrializing a Farm-Based Industry 17

Chicken - The New King of Meats 18

Feathered Friends 18

Chapter 2 Why Own Chickens? Sunny Side Up: The Benefits of Raising Your Own Chickens 21

Reasons to Raise Chickens 21

Nutrition and Quality of Life Concerns 26

Commercial Chickens 26

Free-Range and Organic Chickens 28

Pastured Chickens 30

Chapter 3 To Own or Not to Own - Considerations Prior to Purchase 33

Zoning for Your New Addition 33

Where to House Your Chickens 34

Caring for Your Chickens 36

Cost of Your Chickens 40

Considering the Neighbors 41

Chapter 4 Blue Ribbon Chickens - The Best Breeds 43

Best Breeds for Exhibition 44

Best Chickens for Egg Laying 58

Best Chickens for Meat 67

Best Chickens for Eggs and Meat 72

Best Pet Chickens 79

Picking Your Ideal Breed 84

Chapter 5 Home to Roost 87

Characteristics of Good Coops 87

Preparing for Your Coop 94

A sample Chicken Coop Plan 100

Chapter 6 Picking up Chicks: Shopping for Your Flock 113

Beginning with Eggs 113

Proper Handling of Eggs: From Hen to Consumption 2902-1091 115

Quality Factor 118

Baby Chicks 122

Pullets and Cockerels 125

Purchasing Your Birds 125

Buying Your Supplies 127

Chapter 7 Hatching Eggs 133

Using Incubators 133

Turning Eggs 134

Incubator Settings 135

Prevention of Egg Eating 139

Once They Hatch... 140

Incubation Periods (species and days required to hatch) 142

Taking Your Chickens Outside 142

Dealing with Sick Chicks 143

Preventing Chicken Stress 144

Selling Extra Chicks 145

Why Have My Hens Stopped Laying? 148

Chapter 8 Health and Anatomy of a Chicken 151

Comb 151

Beak 153

Eyes 154

Earlobes 154

Wattles 154

Breast and Wings 155

Tail 155

Vent 156

Legs 156

Feathers and Skin 157

Characteristics of Healthy Chickens 159

Common Diseases 161

Parasitic Worms 168

Mites and Lice 169

Stress 172

Chapter 9 Breeding Chickens 175

Selecting the Right Breed 176

Selective Breeding and Cross Breeding 178

Roosters 179

Broody Hens 181

Mating 182

Nesting Boxes 184

Purchasing Fertile Eggs 185

Artificial Insemination 185

Chicken Sexing 188

Chapter 10 Training and Showing Your Chickens 193

Training Your Birds 193

Showing Your Chickens 195

Chapter 11 Glorious Eggs 201

Egg Oddities 203

Sizes 204

Candling Eggs 204

Collecting and Storing Eggs 205

Shell Eggs from Farm to Table 209

Chapter 12 The End of the Road 225

Getting Ready 226

Methods of Killing your Chickens 229

Processing the Carcass 232

The Poultry Label Says "Fresh" 237

Professional Butchering 240

New Homes for Chicks and Chickens 242

Focus On: Chicken By The USDA 246

Chic-tion-ary - A Glossary of Terms 257

Appendices 265

Appendix A State Zoning Laws Regarding Owning Chickens 265

Appendix B Shopping for Your Flock 272

Appendix C Organizations for Chicken Owners 275

Appendix D Project/Show Forms 276

Bibliography 283

Websites 283

Books 284

Index 285

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 28, 2012

    Everything You Need to Know About Chickens

    Another name for this book could have been Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Chickens, But Were Afraid to Ask. The Complete Guide to Raising Chickens: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply is a thorough handbook for anyone considering raising chickens. It includes more information than you may have thought possible about the subject of chickens, including where to buy diapers for chickens that are indoor pets. A chapter devoted to the different breeds explains not only their physical appearance but personalities as well. Don't know how to build a coop? This book will show you how, step by step. A glossary of terms at the end of the book is helpful for the novice chicken owner, and one of the appendices includes state-by-state zoning laws on owning chickens.

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