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Raising Chickens For Dummies, 2nd Edition



Raising Chickens For Dummies, 2nd Edition

Kimberly Willis, Rob Ludlow

ISBN: 978-1-118-98279-2 February 2015 432 Pages

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Your hands-on guide to modern chicken-raising methods

Thinking about raising chickens? You've come to the right place! This new edition of Raising Chickens For Dummies provides the most up-to-date, thorough information on the many aspects of keeping chickens in your backyard. Inside, you'll find hands-on, easy-to-follow instructions on choosing and purchasing chickens, constructing housing for your birds, feeding your chickens for optimal health, combating laying issues, controlling pests and predators, optimizing egg production, and much more.

Raising chickens on a small scale is a popular—and growing—pastime. If you're interested in keeping chickens as pets or as a source for eggs, Raising Chickens For Dummies gives you plain-English explanations of everything you need to know to about caring for chickens. Inside, you'll learn about basic chicken biology, breeds, and behavior, which chicken breed is best for you, how many you need, ways to spot healthy chickens, how to build a chicken coop, best practices for mating your chickens, how to incubate eggs, how to hatch and nurture chicks, manage laying hens, collect and store eggs, and butcher meat birds.

  • Offers practical advice on choosing and purchasing chickens
  • Helps you construct the right housing for your chickens
  • Provides tips on feeding and caring for your chickens
  • Includes top tips for raising healthy chickens

Whether you're a first-time poulterer or you've been raising chickens for years, this comprehensive guideprovides practical how-to advice for keeping chickens in virtually any backyard.

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with Raising Chickens 5

Chapter 1: The Joy of Chickens 7

Chapter 2: Basic Chicken Biology and Behavior 21

Chapter 3: A Chicken Isn’t Just a Chicken: Your Guide to Breeds 45

Chapter 4: Buying Chickens 65

Part II: Housing Your Flock 85

Chapter 5: Choosing Your Housing Type 87

Chapter 6: Designing and Constructing a Coop 111

Chapter 7: Coop, Sweet Coop: Furnishing and Housekeeping 133

Part III: Caring for Your Flock: General Management 149

Chapter 8: Feeding Your Flock 151

Chapter 9: Controlling Pests and Predators 175

Chapter 10: Keeping Your Flock Happy and Healthy 193

Chapter 11: Handling Health Problems 217

Part IV: Breeding: From Chicken to Egg and Back Again 247

Chapter 12: Mating Your Chickens 249

Chapter 13: Incubating Eggs and Hatching Chicks 267

Chapter 14: Raising Chicks 295

Part V: Special Management Considerations 319

Chapter 15: Managing Layers and Collecting Eggs 321

Chapter 16: Raising and Butchering Meat Birds 349

Part VI: The Part of Tens 383

Chapter 17: More than Ten Tips for Keeping Healthy, Stress-Free Chickens 385

Chapter 18: More than Ten Misconceptions about Chickens, Eggs, and So On 393

Index 401