The Joy of Keeping Chickens
In an effort to become more self sufficient I have started raising chickens in my back yard. I read a book by Upper Valley resident Jennifer Megyesi, and here is my review:
This is a wonderful book about keeping chickens. It is a little less helpful if you are not living in northern New England (as I live in Utah), but the photographs, and the intimate stories of raising, caring for, and eventually eating chickens was thoughtfully put together. I think that if it were not for the wonderful narrative provided by Megyesi, and the vivid photographs provided by Hansen, I would have enjoyed the book far less.
I bought this book to help me learn how to take care of the chicks that I bought a couple of weeks before Easter. While this book did not help me avert catastrophe (one of my chickens was attacked by a chihuahua and later died, one of my chickens is now a teenage runaway living in a van down by the river) it did provide a general idea of what I need to do (and what I need to stop doing) in order to be successful in raising a small flock of laying hens.
Megyesi often says that she was repeatedly warned not to name her chickens. Yet she refers often to hers by name. She might name them all, but I doubt it, as she has stated that she has at least one hundred of them. I only have eight. I have named them all. All of them have girl names, including our lone rooster, Martha. We've now hyphenated that to Martha-Stew, as that is what he will become, because really, he is a total a**hole.
I've used a lot of the techniques and pointers given by the author in this book. It doesn't seem to be terribly well organized for a reference book, but it was a really fun book to read, and the images are stunning. Well worth the time. Also, having spent quite a bit of time in the Upper Connecticut River Valley, where the author lives, I can really relate to what she says. I really liked this book