Are you thinking about trying Martin Ashway’s book, Incredible Chickens?
I was intrigued by the idea of raising chickens at home, but I was raised in the big city and to me, chickens and eggs were something supplied by Safeway!
My husband grew up on a farm and he encouraged me to look into raising chickens. He told me it wasn’t hard, and that it would be fun to watch the baby chicks grow up. I was nervous. After all, I’ve never even raised a guppy, let alone a farm animal.
I found the Incredible Chickens book online, and what a godsend it was. For example, I found that there may be regulations governing raising poultry in the city limits but Mr. Ashway provided suggestions for who to contact and what to do if raising chickens in your town is prohibited.
Now, I don’t live back-to-back with neighbors on each side like some people, but even if you do, there may be options available for those who want to go into (very) small-scale poultry farming.
One thing I was concerned about was whether I needed to start with fertilized eggs and hatch them, or if I could get baby chicks or even full grown adult hens. I found that I didn’t need to invest in an incubator since I could get the baby chicks shipped to me by first class mail. Yes, really!
The book provided a full education of what I needed to raise chickens at home. Another thing I learned is that I needed to decide between egg laying hens and meat birds. What I mean is that the chickens you get at the market are different than the ones who lay the eggs we eat for breakfast. Egg laying hens can provide eggs for a year or more, while the meat chickens are designed to get to full size in 8-12 weeks and are then ready to go to the butcher.
The Incredible Chickens book provided much in the way of explanation and help. For example, hens begin to lay eggs when they reach about five months old, and each hen will provide about five to seven eggs per week. Another fascinating point is that a rooster is not necessary for the hens to lay their eggs. This was a nice surprise, since I didn’t want any neighbors complaining about a dawn wakeup call!
So was I happy with the Incredible Chickens book? You bet I was! If you’re thinking about raising chickens of your own, you won’t go wrong with this book. It tells you everything you’ll need to know to raise chickens and eggs that are happy and healthy.
Georgia lives in rural Wyoming with her husband, Noah, and dog, Jake. They raise egg laying hens and bees.