Young Chicken Farmers – Tips for Kids Raising Backyard Chickens By Vickie Black
If your child or family is thinking about raising chickens, I highly recommend this particular book. Raising chickens isn’t hard, it’s quite easy to describe it as child’s play. Of course it doesn’t seem that way at first. It didn’t for us. We were actually scared when we first got chickens that we would make some disaster out of it. It seemed so foreign. It seemed like a huge commitment of a new and strange pet. Actually, now that we’ve had chickens for years, I’d say that it is SO much easier than having a pet cat or dog, with more benefits!
This book covers all of the basics, and discusses some major aspects of chicken behavior. That is something a lot of books leave out! For instance, when we first got our chickens, we worried like crazy over building a proper coop and nesting boxes. We managed a nice coop, only to freak out when we saw our chickens taking a dust bath. We thought they were dying! None of the books we’d read even breached this topic. Now we laugh about it, but at the time we were really scared. This book covers that, and even instructs you on building them a dust bath.
The vocabulary in the book is easy to understand. New words are introduced with good context so that you learn without realizing you are learning. All the basic questions are answered, as well as the basic tasks. It instructs children about their responsibilities of caring for the birds, including the very important task of protecting them from predators. That has been our biggest challenge.
It doesn’t discuss differences in breeds that much, but that’s a topic that is best explored with locals, in my opinion. For instance, I really liked the white tipped and lighter breeds, but that made the birds stand out to the great horned owls that live here. When we started keeping red and black hens, which closely blend in with the Georgia red clay landscape, we quit losing birds to owls. Also, we have carefully cultivated a good relationship with the local crows, by leaving them some cracked corn of their own, and generally making our land crow-friendly, so now the crows help chase the hawks and owls away from our free range hens.
This is a great book for families to read together. Adults new to raising chickens will get a lot out of it. In fact, I’d go as far to say that it covers the basics better than some of the ‘adult’ how-to books we bought. It’s very accurate, but entertaining, rather than dry. It’s a very good book to start with, then you can probably find any further information you need online. There’s some great forums out there that are very supportive.
I liked that this book focuses on the fun of chickens. They are a natural antidepressant. They don’t just do funny things now and then, they do them all the time! It’s rare I’ve ever watched a chicken that I didn’t find myself laughing, even when times have been really rough.
Disclosure: I was provided an unfinished electronic galley copy for purposes of review via the publisher. This post does contain an affiliate link(s), however, Amazon has helped me arrange my account so that my payout can never be reached. I like the affiliate tools for the convenience only, it is never my intention to profit from my reviews of any item.