Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Demerow, a 438 page book, should be considered, in my opinion, the chicken keeper’s bible. It is packed with so much information in this newest fourth edition. It is terrific for beginners as well as advanced chicken keepers.
Various areas covered include breed selection, shelter selection, chicken maintainance, layer management, eggs, chick care, meat raising and preparation (Not for me, I could never eat my girls!), and showing your chickens.
The strongest areas of the book in my opinion are the sections on predators and predator prevention, chick care, set-up directions for new chicken owners and breed selection.
The health care area gives broad overviews but does not go into many details including diagnosis and treatment. I wish that there was more information here. The lack of information about health care may possibly be because the author has another book The Chicken Health Handbook. I personally have not seen this handbook but I am considering purchasing it.
Last winter, I think I read about 7 different books on raising chickens prior to the chicks’ arrival. All of them included the same bits and pieces about chicken raising. However, this book had the most topics included that anyone wanting to know something about chickens could go to. This book is a great starting off point and I highly recommend it.