Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chicken Hot Topics a review

We are nearing the end of the year. It is difficult for me to grasp as this year seemed to have gone by so quickly. Thus is however the time of year when I start thinking about what I would like to add to my little homestead next year.

Any time I decide I am going to add something that I don't know much about I like to do research. This is the time of year I do most of my research. I like to know as much as I can about something new.
I don't know if you have ever noticed, some books avoid anything that could be considered controversial. I first noticed this trend in dog breed books.

There are several things in keeping chickens that are controversial. To some that will sound odd, but join a chicken group or two and you will quickly find that there are folks that will get nasty over some of these topics. Containment, bedding, and feed are just some of the topics that can start a spirited debate. Did you know you could use sand as a base for your litter in your coop. I had never thought about it before.

Chicken Hot Topics

This book doesn't shy away from the more disputed ideas concerning raising chickens.

This book will give you what you need to get started raising chickens from space requirements, litter, all the way to dispatching of the older birds. Chicken Hot Topics: Controversial Husbandry Practices is a book that if you are just getting into chickens I think you should check out.

Build Smart

In  Chicken Hot Topics: Controversial Husbandry Practices Jess covers what I call the never enough syndrome. I think everyone should start small, but what is small to some is huge to others. I remember talking to one person that was asking a lot of questions about raising chickens, which I think is great. I ask them how many chickens they were thinking about getting. Their response was that they wanted to start small like 50 birds. Holy Cow! For us on our property 50 birds would be huge, but to them 50 birds were where they wanted to start. Just imagine though if they had started with 5 birds and rapidly increased to 50. Some people would build several coops along the way.

Other Things Covered

Jess covers commercial feed, free ranging, organic, and even soy free feeds, the pros and cons of each. She does a good job of going into each. I learned things reading her book.

I really like the fact that Jess covers internal and external parasites in Chicken Hot Topics: Controversial Husbandry Practices. She covers veterinary and alternative treatment methods for each some of the methods covered I have used others I had not heard of.

She covers the debate over clipping chickens wings and states if you decide to clip them to seek instruction on the proper way to do so. Guess what? I have a video on how to do so properly you can watch it Here.

Here is a list of the chapters in this book:

Chapter 1: The Space Requirements for Keeping Chickens Healthy 
Chapter 2: Alternative Bedding – Including Traditional Bedding, Sand & Rice Hulls 
Chapter 3: Specialty Diets – Soy Free, Vegetarian, Home-Mixed and More 
Chapter 4: Do Egg Shell Supplements Lead to Egg Eating? 
Chapter 5: Solutions to Egg Eating 
Chapter 6: Natural & Commercial Solutions to Internal Parasites 
Chapter 7: Natural & Commercial Solutions to External Parasites + Egg Withdrawal 
Chapter 8: The Ethics of Wing Clipping 
Chapter 9: Breaking a Broody Hen Responsibly 
Chapter 10: The Safety of Adding Supplemental Lighting to Increase Production 
Chapter 11: Heating the Chicken Coop During the Winter 
Chapter 12: Humane Euthanasia Methods 
Chapter 13: Choosing to Dispatching Aged Birds 

As you can see that is a pretty good list, but wait there's more. (Insert infomercial voice here)

My favorite part of the book isn't even listed as a chapter. It is the resources. She has a glossary, herbals for chickens (huge deal for me), a long list of poisonous plants for chickens, and even a section on medical doses and conversions. The resources are worth the price of the book for me. I hope you will check out Chicken Hot Topics: Controversial Husbandry Practices.

All of the links I provided are to the eBook version from Amazon and are affiliate links. If you would like a print edition you can purchase one from Jess's site 104 Homestead. (Not an affiliate link)

If you would like to know more about Jess and her homestead, I was lucky enough to interview her here on this blog you can check it out Here.

Adding chickens can be a great step in achieving your
Rural Dreams and Homestead Wishes.

Want to try a different and new social media? Check out tsu, I am just learning, but supposedly you get paid for sharing your content. You have to join through someone who is already there. So I you would like check it out here. 

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