Raising Chickens For Dummies

Raising Chickens For Dummies

by Kimberly Willis, Ludlow


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Raising Chickens For Dummies by Kimberly Willis, Ludlow

Raising Chickens for Dummies

Learn to:

  • Raise chickens in virtually any backyard
  • Choose and purchase chickens
  • Construct the right housing
  • Feed and care for your chickens

Kimberly Willis

Poultry breeder and enthusiast

with Rob Ludlow

Owner, BackYardChickens.com

Your hands-on guide to modern chicken-raising methods

Thinking about raising chickens? This comprehensive, practical guide gives you expert advice on all aspects of keeping chickens in your backyard. Whether you're interested in chickens as pets or as a source for eggs or meat, you'll find all the latest information on housing, feeding, healthcare, breeding, and much more.

  • Do you speak chicken? — learn about basic chicken biology, breeds, and behavior
  • Select your chickens — from eggs to chicks to adults, decide which to buy, how many you need, and find the healthy ones
  • Take care of a small flock — choose a type of housing, construct a chicken coop, feed your birds, and do housekeeping
  • Make more chickens — discover how to mate your chickens, incubate eggs, and hatch and nurture chicks
  • Reap the harvest — manage laying hens, collect and store eggs, butcher meat birds, and package and store meat

Open the book and find:

  • Basic chicken-keeping requirements
  • Misconceptions about chickens explained
  • Top tips for healthy chickens
  • Do-it-yourself housing ideas
  • The best feed for your birds
  • Advice on controlling pests and predators
  • Hints for optimal egg production
  • Information on raising meat birds
  • Answers to combat laying issues

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470465448
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 08/03/2009
Series: For Dummies Series
Edition description: Original
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Kimberly Willis has raised poultry for more than 30 years. She currently keeps a flock of laying hens and Bourbon Red turkeys on her small farm and works at an MSU county Extension office in Michigan. Rob Ludlow runs BackYardChickens.com, the leading chicken-raising information resource on the Web. Rob and his family raise a small flock in their San Francisco Bay-area backyard.

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Table of Contents


Part I: Choosing Chickens.

Chapter 1: The Joy of Chickens.

Chapter 2: Basic Chicken Biology and Behavior.

Chapter 3: A Chicken Isn’t Just a Chicken:Your Guide to Breeds.

Chapter 4: Buying Chickens.

Part II: Housing Your Flock.

Chapter 5: Choosing Your Housing Type.

Chapter 6: Designing and Constructing a Coop.

Chapter 7: Coop, Sweet Coop: Furnishing and Housekeeping.

Part III: Caring for Your Flock: General Management.

Chapter 8: Feeding Your Flock.

Chapter 9: Controlling Pests and Predators.

Chapter 10: Keeping Your Flock Happy and Healthy.

Chapter 11: Handling Health Problems.

Part IV: Breeding: From Chicken to Egg and Back Again.

Chapter 12: Mating Your Chickens.

Chapter 13: Incubating Eggs and Hatching Chicks.

Chapter 14: Raising Chicks.

Part V: Special Management Considerations.

Chapter 15: Managing Layers and Collecting Eggs.

Chapter 16: Raising and Butchering Meat Birds.

Part VI: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 17: More than Ten Tips for Keeping Healthy, Stress-Free Chickens.

Chapter 18: More than Ten Misconceptions about Chickens, Eggs, and So On.


Customer Reviews

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Raising Chickens for Dummies 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a simple all inclusive book on raising your own chickens. It takes everything you need to know and puts it in one place and keeps it easy to understand. You can tell by reading that it was written by people who love chickens and want to share the enjoyment with others. I did a lot of looking online, but this was the only guide that I was convinced that I needed to buy, and I'm glad that I did. If you're looking to start your own chicken family, then this book is a must have! Don't forget to check out backyardchickens.com while you're at it.
chickenobsessed More than 1 year ago
I got this book because I started raising 8 chickens. Best thing I ever did! Very well put together and lots of good, helpful information. I read this book from end to end and had all my questions and concerns addressed. I would highly recommend this book to anyone thinking about raising chickens and those who are raising chickens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After attending a class on raising chickens in your backyard, i wanted more information before starting my flock. I looked at all of the books on the shelf and decided that Raising Chickens was the best fit. The book has been very informative in helping with my brooder, building a hen house and yard. Helping me decide on which breeds would work with my area, needs, and family. Now that I have my chicks, my book is very dog-eared on the pages that help me to understand their needs, and how they are growing. I would recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of starting a flock.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is well-written, well-organized, and very useful for anyone with backyard chickens. There are simple, straight-forwards lists or what to do and what not to do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The "for Dummies" books never disappoint, and this one is no exception. The book is easy and fun to read and touches on every subject chicken related. I bought a couple of other chicken raising books, but this one is far superior!
TopCat1 More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was wonderful. Very informative and helpful. It is great for reference when questions come up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read most of this book and I have found some parts that state some incorrect facts that could harm a first time chicken raiser. Such facts that I found was that they stated several times that you raise the fast growing broilers for 15 weeks when they are in fact only supposed to be raised for 6-8 and you would have lots of losses from this. Even though I have only had chickens for under a year I know this and all of the hatcheries state this so this is a big error.
Zoomom More than 1 year ago
I bought this book after reading a number of other books on raising chickens at the library, and I think this is one of the most comprehensive complete books on the subject for people who want to have a small flock of hens for eggs. The information would also serve those with large flocks. Someone who didn't know anything about chickens could become proficient and competent to have a flock of their own after reading this book, and it is easy to refer to different sections if you have a certain question later on. The information is accurate and up to date, love the sections of behaviour, breeds and disease, injury and cures. Good all-round book.
RedhenWW More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best that i've read for raising chickens! Its written is such a way that anyone can benefit from it. From the simple back yard flock owner, on up.. Its format is simple and easy to follow.. and it answers just about every question that flock owners may have. I highly recommend this book for those that have a flock or even those just looking to do some research on chicken ownership and care before getting them.
FudgieJM More than 1 year ago
This book is a collaboration of years of research and compilation of facts and knowledge. This is the one stop everything in one spot book. If you don't find it here go to www.backyardchickens.com and find the info on the website but this booklet has it all!! From the beginning to the end, this book has simple(for everyone) information. It is very well written and has excellent examples,pictures and information links.
lilcrow More than 1 year ago
I'm not a total novice when it comes to chickens, but sometimes it seems that I can get so caught up in advanced details and the sophistication of a subject, specifically regarding the breeding, genetics and the showing of chickens, that I forget about the nuts and bolts issues. The only thing that can come of that is my chickens suffer for it. I found that "Raising Chickens for Dummies" not only filled in many missing pieces regarding the general care of chickens including feeding, health, housing and protection, but it was full of information that folks at all levels of the fancy would find useful and/or interesting. As with all of the "for Dummies" manuals, it's written in an entertaining, funny style, an easy quick read, and a great book to have in your reference library.
veritySR More than 1 year ago
At last! An entertaining and informative book about the fast-growing hobby of 'backyard chickens' -- This book tells you everything you need to know -- wish I'd had it years ago!
Polishprincess More than 1 year ago
This the best informative book that i ever read in a long time.So very interesting aswell..The authors of this book tell it all ,laying all the facts on the line about everything one needs to know about rasing chickens,to important issues where your town ship boards stands on letting you raise chickens..This is a must have book to read before getting your baby chickens...i really enjoyed this book !! A big thank you to the authors for the book..i really enjoyed reading it..excellent book to give as a holiday gift!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great reference book. We raise chickens for a hobby & this is the perfect book for us. Lots of answers for people just starting out raising chickens/hens.
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Told me everything I needed to know.