A friend of mine from back when I worked at AOL (many moon ago) has created a new site of book recommendations called Flashlight Worthy. (cute name and great validation to know I'm not the only one that snuck in some extra awake time as a kid with a book and a light under the covers at night)
I was honored when he asked if I'd help him pull one together about chickens, so here's my list of book recommendations for aspiring urban chicken farmers.
I think I picked a good set, but I'd love to hear if anyone has others they think should be there (or, heaven forbid, ones I should take off).
Oh, and if you'd like to create your own list of book recommendations for Flashlight Worthy, here's how.
1. I have a soft spot for Barbara Kilarski's book because it's set in my hometown (Portland), but her book is a disaster when it comes to practical advice (in my humble opinion). It's really more of a memoir than a proper guide. What's more, she's extremely partisan. Right from the outset she writes off (pun intended) the idea of ever eating your chickens like it's some kind of sin. In short, it's a potentially fun read, but not a good impartial guide covering the basics in a well-research way.
2. Storey's Guide is not only not inapplicable to urban/backyard keepers, it's slightly outdated. It's probably the worst book in the whole Storey publishing line on animal husbandry.
Books you should add to your list:
* Living with Chickens. (Jay Rossier) Wonderful style, up to date and practical advice on all aspects of small flocks. Definitely my favorite introductory book on chickens. Plus, beautiful photos, a great list of further reading, and a forward from the American Poultry Association.
* How to Raise Chickens (Christine Heinrichs) A solid book, especially for people who might be interested in breeding. Unlike Rossier's book, it's got a lot of interesting history and breed info, but it also covers the basics well. This is the best alternative to the Storey's book on your list, since it works for larger flocks without leaving backyarders in the dust.
* Choosing and Keeping Chickens (Chris Graham) British, but still a delightful introductory book for backyard keepers.
* Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds. (Carol Ekarius) The best breed book on chickens, hands down.
I like the book, Tending a Small-Scale Flock for Pleasure and Profit. I think the writer is Sue Weaver.
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