I dreamed about raising chickens in our backyard for a long time. However, I was intimidated. And though it is definitely gaining popularity, raising farm animals in an urban setting really isn’t a very common practice. Our first two chickens were gifted to us. They were already a year old, came with a coop, and all their gear. Best of all, they were free! This was really lucky for us because it allowed me to enter the world of urban chicken raising very easily.
I look back on my trepidation and feel silly. Raising chickens, even in an urban setting, is really quite easy. I tell people all the time that taking care of my six chickens is one of the easiest things I do during the day. In fact, I find my house cat to be more of a pest at times than my chickens ever are (after all, the chickens don’t sleep next to my face at night). However, I’m also smart enough to know that, as with anything, I still have plenty to learn.
That said, when I was given the opportunity to review The Urban Chicken by Heather Harris (The Homesteading Hippy), I was excited. And I must say, the book exceeded my expectations. You
After we got our first two chickens I read many of the popular chicken-raising books. Generally speaking, they are thick books, without many pictures, and seem to be geared more toward the professional farmer. Heather’s book, on the other hand, is extremely accessible, easy to read, and includes all the information you would need to get started and be successful at raising chickens. In fact, I recommend that anyone interested in getting chickens to buy this book first. It will take the mystery out of the process while giving you the information you need to get started. Not to mention that at $3.99, the price is definitely right.
The book is organized into nine chapters that cover every topic you can imagine – from choosing a breed and incubating eggs to flock management and raising meat birds. Heather has included a lot of pictures and even some recipes to use after you slaughter a bird (if that’s one of your chicken-rearing goals). I was especially fond of extras that I didn’t expect, such as a homemade chicken feed recipe.