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Young Chicken Farmers – Tips for Kids Raising Backyard Chickens – A Book Review

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.

Ever Think About Raising Goats?

When I was a little girl, there was a man that would come to town every year or so.  They called him “The Goat Man.”  I really liked him.  He lived off goats almost entirely, and he traveled the USA with his wagon and his goats preaching a loving message and just being friendly.

Mom knew him well.  When he’d come to town, we’d always go to see him, and I can remember him bringing me back some “Mexican Jumping Beans” from out West.  He’d trade goat milk for fresh produce or dried beans along his way.

I also had a goat of my own.  His name was Charlie. I was about about 5 or 6 when I got him.  He was just a small kid too, and I can remember getting in the truck to go stay with grandmother, and Charlie going with me.  He got big, and started getting in trouble a lot.  One day he ate the upholstery out of my uncle’s car, and that was the end of my relationship with Charlie.

Now that I’m grown, I would really like to have goats.  I jumped at the chance to review the book Raising Goats Naturally: The Complete Guide to Milk, Meat and More by Deborah Niemann, which will be released soon and is now available for pre-order.  If you’ve ever thought you might like to raise goats, I’d say this book is a must have.  It has EVERYTHING in it.

I was not expecting a book so comprehensive. It is interesting and FUN to read – it never got boring. The author is an amazing teacher. I quickly learned that the reason my poor Charlie was so destructive is because goats are herding animals, and having just him probably made him miserable.

The book gives you all the information you need to know about choosing breeds, selecting goats to buy, housing and caring for goats, goat nutrition and diseases, parasites they can get- it’s all here! It’s not just descriptions of what problems can befall goats, but also how to help them get better, along with great pictures.

I didn’t expect a book like this to have such comprehensive instructions on milking goats and even making several different kinds of cheese! I’d have expected to need other books for that, but this one book has it all.

There are plenty of pictures, and they are instructional and used well to educate, and some are just funny, and others just plain adorable. There’s several birthing pictures in the birthing section, which includes handling maternity problems, and a few pages later, there’s the most adorable baby goat pictures I think I’ve ever seen of the newborns in their ‘kid coats.’

If you have goats but feel you need more instruction, or if you are just considering owning goats, I’d say this is the ONE book you need to buy. I highly recommend it. 5 out of 5 stars Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher to read with no obligation to review it positively.

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