Every common breed of chicken, organized into one information-packed guide.
Fueled by the local and organic food movements, as well as a sea change in local ordinances, backyard chicken keeping is booming. Anyone who's decided to join the new wave of chicken keepers knows that the poultry breeds available are dizzying in their variety. Calm your anxiety with this booka guide for backyard chicken keepers in search of chickens that best fit their needs.
Each breed of chicken listed in the field guide is thoroughly described and is illustrated by color photos. The book tells you all about the bird, detailing each breed's particular usefulness, adaptation to climate, coloration, number of eggs typically laid, foraging ability, temperament, and unique qualities. There are fun facts about varieties of chickens, as well as information about color and comb varieties, rare breeds, classification, and hybrids.
About the Author
Christine Heinrichs is the author of How to Raise Chickens and How to Raise Poultry (both Voyageur Press, 2013) and has won many awards over the course of her 30-year writing career. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Northern California Science Writers Association, and Ten Spurs, the honorary society of the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. She is also a member of the American Poultry Association, where she serves on the Heritage Breeds Committee, the American Bantam Association, and the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. She lives with her husband, chickens, and cat in Cambria, California.
Table of Contents
How to Use This Backyard Field Guide 10
Chapter 1 The Road to Domesticity 12
Chapter 2 The Benefits of Keeping Chickens 24
Chapter 3 Anatomy of a Chicken 32
Chapter 4 Preparing for Backyard Chickens 42
Chapter 5 Feeding and Care 52
Chapter 6 Breed Profiles 62
Oriental Games 70
American Breeds 84
Asiatic Breeds 110
English Breeds 124
Crested Breeds 138
Mediterranean Breeds 148
Continental Breeds 164
Other Standard and Non-Standard Breeds 184
Appendix: Glossary and Showing information 200
About the Author 209
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found this book delightful and informative. I especially loved the "nitty-gritty" factoids liberally sprinkled here and there throughout the book. For instance, did you know that a broody hen (a hen sitting on live eggs) will turn the eggs under her about fifty times a DAY??? *FIFTY* ! ! ! O_O The publisher did a bang-up job - I love the glossy pictures and layout. And the author has done a fantastic and thorough job - she's obviously not only an expert but a talented, engaging writer as well. The Backyard Field Guide to Chickens makes me nostalgic for 1990 - when I owned two hens and pampered them in my backyard. Fresh eggs, sweet birds and gentle clucking as I worked in my garden. Ah! That was the life! This book has sold me on the idea of once again starting a small flock for myself, just as soon as I can. I'll be sure to collect all of Ms. Heinrich's books on chickens so I can do the job right.
“The Backyard Field Guide to Chickens” provides a comprehensive rundown of the various breeds, along with helpful information about choosing and housing chickens. The colorful illustrations clearly show what each breed looks like, and the descriptions include information on how the breed was developed, along with its key characteristics and temperament. For instance, if you’re looking for a pet Heinrichs’ book lets you know that Silkies can be a good choice: “they are known for their endearing disposition … are calm and friendly.” Junglefowl, on the other hand, might not work as well. You have to approach them cautiously, or they’ll “flap away in alarm,” Heinrichs writes. Breeds are classified geographically, making them easier to identify within the text. In addition to the breed directory, Heinrichs includes sections on such topics as anatomy and how best to house chickens. Short breakouts titled “The Nitty-Gritty” give readers fun facts about chickens. Did you know that there are nearly three times more chickens than people in the world? Or that a hen will turn her eggs 50 times a day? The book’s clean, reader-friendly design and colorful photos enhance the reading experience; the latter make the breeds easy to identify by sight. This is Heinrichs’ third book about poultry, and she clearly has plenty of expertise to impart. “The Backyard Field Guide to Chickens” is an essential volume for any poultry-lover’s library.