This 189 page book was recently released in April 2010. It is very basic but covers a ton of information. I love that it has interesting chicken facts laced amongst the text. These little pearls of useful and whimsical information are great for cocktail parties.
Topics covered in this book include an argument to raise chickens, chicken history and breed information, starting out with chicks, coop and run requirements, growth and development, butchering, health and nuisance control. Other interesting areas covered are money making, exploring poultry clubs and museums, an organic section, and a section on eating and preserving eggs.
The areas that set this book apart to me are the chapter on raising chickens organically, understanding chickens and making money. I am not planning on becoming a millionaire selling eggs from my small flock but for those who have room to expand, this chapter definitely gets the wheels turning. The organic chapter, although very basic, really demystifies what “organic” means in terms of raising chickens. The industry is sneaky and tries to fool the consumer. This chapter is one of the best reasons to buy this book. I also love the chapter on understanding chickens. It does help to explain why they do the things they do.
Again, I was disappointed with the health section. It was just too short. The information is a quick overview at best and would probably help me to realize if there was a problem but no real ways of fixing it.
Overall, this book is a very simply written and easy to read. You can breeze through this book in a couple of days. You cannot rely on it entirely for all information that you will need but it is a great place to start. This is especially true for those who do not have chickens yet. It might just help you to decide if chickens are right for you.