Livestock can provide your family with a sustainable food source and help your turn a profit on your farm or homestead. Get resources on raising livestock with our animal husbandry books.
Whether you live on 1,000 acres or 1,000 square feet, there’s plenty of room in your backyard for a flock of chickens. Join the chicken revolution today and be prepared to reap a lifetime of benefits that goes far beyond the enjoyment and the eggs.
In the pages that follow, we help get you started with everything from incubating fertile eggs to receiving and raising day-old chicks to building a chicken coop to keeping your birds safe and healthy. We’ve even outlined a 9-step process to help you promote legalization of backyard bird-keeping in your city or town. You’ll find top-notch advice on how to protect your flock from predators, produce the healthiest eggs, and so much more. And if your interest is in cooking with eggs and/or chicken, we have you covered.
Get ready to jump into the world of chickens, one DIY project at a time. Owning and raising chickens doesn't have to be an expensive hobby. With imagination, simple tools, and salvaged or bargain materials, you can make everything your flock needs for their health and safety.
The jerky world has undergone a major revival in the last five years in terms of experimentation, products, popularity, and just plain good eating. In All Things Jerky, we find a collection of some of the best tried-and-tested recipes from around the world, including instructions for all the equipment, gear, and recipes you’ll need to make jerky at home.
Heritage breeds matter, and they are often a better choice than conventional breeds for small farms and backyards. This eloquent and inviting visual guide explains why conserving heritage breeds is important and shows you how you can raise these breeds yourself, helping to preserve them and benefiting from them at the same time. Written by three experts from the Livestock Conservancy, this book includes chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits, pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys and horses, detailing each breed's specific needs and characteristics so that you can select the one that's right for you. Whichever breed you choose, you'll find thorough, comprehensive information on how to raise it successfully.
A must-have for every backyard chicken keeper, Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics goes beyond introductory lessons and explores the realities of raising a flock for eggs -- and entertainment, of course! From odd eggs and molting to feeding and preparing for the seasons, this book covers the subjects beginner books don't adequately address and re-examines common knowledge that may not actually hold true. It's a resource to turn to time and again for expert advice to make sure your birds are happy, healthy, and productive.
Author Pam Freeman, an editor and "Ask the Expert" columnist at Backyard Poultry magazine, draws on her years of experience fielding reader questions to identify and clearly explain many common - and some not-so-common - issues in chicken keeping. How do you add new chickens to your flock? What is the pecking order and how can you change or control it? Is it better to raise chicks by hand or with a broody hen? What do you do when you collect eggs and discover: lash eggs, calcium deposits, soft eggs, eggs within eggs, or wrinkled eggs? In Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics, readers will find not just answers, but a book full of "coop truth" that helps them continue on their journey. Because as every chicken owner knows: Chickens are individuals and real-life chicken keeping often takes you far from the beaten path.
Poultry-expert Kelly Klober explores the world of poultry beyond the chicken. Filled with humorous personal anecdotes and practical advice on feeding, housing, pricing and marketing.
Start a great DIY project, and build a chicken coop with these how-to drawings and conceptual plans for 45 different designs — from strictly practical to flights of fancy — guaranteed to meet the needs of every chicken owner.
The popularity of egg-laying chickens is on the rise. Sustainable and fun, raising chickens is one of the most interesting and rewarding backyard hobbies you can find. In Chicken DIY, aspiring chicken farmers will find creative plans and easy-to-follow construction tips for making a safe and healthy environment for their fine-feathered friends. Veteran farmers and poultry enthusiasts Samantha and Daniel Johnson provide complete and easy-to-follow instructions for 20 essential projects, from coops and feeders to runs, ramps, roosts, and incubators. Clear step-by-step color photographs guide the reader through each hands-on project.
Inside Chicken DIY:
The definition of a chicken tractor has evolved to mean employing your chickens skill-sets in a variety of different tasks that benefit you, your garden and yard. The chickens peck and scratch the soil to clean your beds, eat pest bugs and weed seeds, and fertilize the beds with their manure. Best of all, they provide eggs and meat with that old-fashioned flavor and homegrown goodness.
Expanded, updated and even more detailed. Learn how to raise homestead flocks for eggs, meat and money. Loads of photos and diagrams make important information visual and easy to understand.
Process birds in your backyard with exact, step-by-step explanations. Over 50 processing photos and diagrams—to let you do it right, efficiently and humanely each and every time.
This incredibly popular hands-on book is a grass-roots best seller. It has helped thousands of folks have better gardens and has rekindled an interest in the backyard flocks and heritage breeds of poultry. It has literally, changed the lives of millions of chickens all over the world by taking them out of factory farms, and putting in the gardens where they are happier, more productive and healthier.
Having chickens has never been as easy and fun as with Murray McMurray Hatchery's Chickens in Five Minutes a Day.
This from-zero-to-go guide to raising a flock of chickens in your backyard gives you the easiest route to amazing fresh eggs, as well as tried-and-true shortcuts. Tending chickens becomes a snap with this handy book's help.
McMurray Hatchery has been sending out birds for home flocks for nearly 100 years and is one of the biggest names in the industry, shipping more than 2 million chickens and other fowl each year. With this experience comes knowledge: on how to raise fun and productive chickens the easy way, on simple feeding, the best coops, worry-free watering, hygiene, and pest control.
Raising chickens is one of the most rewarding home farm activities you can share with your family. The great flavor of the eggs, as reflected by the bright orange color of the yokes, is unrivalled by those found in supermarkets. Chickens also make great pets, fun to watch and keep around. Now it's easier than ever with the smart techniques and approaches prescribed by one of America's most well-known hatcheries.
Framed by the author's personal experience with backyard hens, Chickens: Their Natural and Unnatural Histories explores the history of the chicken from its descent from the dinosaurs to the space-age present. En route, author Janet Lembke surveys chickens in ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the 19th century, and modern times, including the role of chickens in Jewish and Muslim practices. She also investigates the birds' contributions to science and their jaunty appearances in literature. Eggs receive a chapter of their own, as does chicken cuisine, comprising recipes from the Roman Empire to today's favorites. Stories about chickens appear, too, often written by those who keep them, including the painter Grandma Moses, the man who holds Cleveland's Farm Animal Permit No. 17, and Brenda, who had to give her young roosters a talking-to for behaving like sheep.
Chickens have only recently come to a sorry pass in the Western world, where broilers and laying hens are factory-farmed. Lembke investigates the fate of such birds and explores the sustainable, humane alternatives to raising birds for meat and eggs.
A celebration of the chicken in its every aspect, Chickens is sure to delight the chicken fancier, the backyard chicken keeper, and everyone concerned about where our food comes from and how we can treat animals more compassionately.
This book explains: How to choose and purchase a quality animal and how to help preserve rare breeds; Equipment, housing and fencing; Moving and handling; Feeding, nutrition and pasture; Pig health care and common diseases; Selecting a boar or sow for breeding, hogging, farrowing, taking care of piglets and pedigree breeding; Preparing for slaughter, butchering and subsequent storage; and Showing pigs in competitions.
Comeback Farms takes up where Judy's previous book, No Risk Ranching ended. Here, he shows how to add sheep, goats, and pigs to existing cattle operations. He details fencing and water systems that build on existing infrastructure set up for Management-Intensive Grazing. Sharing his firsthand experience (the mistakes as well as successes), Judy takes graziers to the next level. He shows how high density grazing (HDG) on his own farm and those he leases can revitalize hayed-out, scruffy, weedy pastures, and turn them into highly productive grazing landscapes that grow both green grass and greenbacks.
From leading ecology advocates comes a revealing look at our dependence on cows and a passionate appeal for sustainable living.
In Cowed, globally recognized environmentalists Denis and Gail Boyer Hayes offer a revealing analysis of how our beneficial, centuries-old relationship with bovines has evolved into one that now endangers us.
Long ago, cows provided food and labor to settlers taming the wild frontier and helped the loggers, ranchers and farmers who shaped the country’s landscape. Our society is built on the backs of bovines that indelibly stamped our culture, politics and economics. But our national herd has doubled in size over the past 100 years to 93 million, with devastating consequences for the country’s soil and water. Our love affair with dairy and hamburgers doesn’t help either: Eating a pound of beef produces a greater carbon footprint than burning a gallon of gasoline.
The book begins by tracing the coevolution of cows and humans, starting with majestic horned aurochs, before taking us through the birth of today’s feedlot farms and the threat of mad cow disease. The authors show how cattle farming today has depleted America’s largest aquifer, created festering lagoons of animal waste and drastically increased methane production.
In their quest to find fresh solutions to our bovine problem, the authors take us to farms stretching from Vermont to Washington. They visit worm ranchers who compost cow waste, learn that feeding cows oregano yields surprising benefits, talk to sustainable farmers who care for their cows while contributing to their communities, and point toward a future in which we eat less, but better, beef. In a deeply researched, engagingly personal narrative, the Hayes provide a glimpse into what we can do now to provide a better future for cows, humans and the world we inhabit. They show how our relationship with cows is part of the story of America itself.
Cows saving the planet? Why not? An idea that sounds preposterous begins to make sense when you take a soil's-eye view of our current ecological predicament.
In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems-climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition and obesity-our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Where do cows fit in?
Cattle, like all grazing creatures, can, if appropriately managed, restore land and help build soil. Rebuilding soil is only one aspect of this important, paradigm-shifting book. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, because certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil-"green water"-in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility.
Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy and an antidote to those awash in despairing environmental news. It is also an important call to action on behalf of the soil-and, by extension, those of us who benefit from it.
This is the book that tells you just about everything you need to know to raise poultry on pasture, from the egg up through processing. Based on years of hands-on experiences -- both success and failures -- the authors hold back nothing about the realities, advantages, disadvantages and rewards of small-scale poultry production systems for income and community food self-sufficiency. Offering hard to find information on raising turkeys, small-scale breeder flocks and incubation production, the book also includes a foreword by everybody's favorite contrary farmer, Gene Logsdon.
The more we know about the animals in our world and the better we care for them, the better our lives will be. Former veterinary technician and animal advocate Tracey Stewart understands this better than most, and she’s on a mission to change how we interact with animals. Part practical guide, part memoir of her life with animals, and part testament to the power of giving back, Do Unto Animals is a gift for animal lovers of all stripes.
This isn't a typical egg cookbook or guide to raising chickens, Epic Eggs takes a deep dive on the eggs themselves and tells you how to raise birds that will produce the best eggs you've ever seen. It may be true that most poultry found on small homesteads or in backyards especially are viewed as pets, but they are inarguably pets with benefits--namely eggs. In Epic Eggs, homesteader and writer Jennifer Sartell looks at the eggs of the most common types of poultry you’d find in your backyard: chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas, and quail. Don’t jump to conclusions! This isn’t an egg cookbook or a guide to raising poultry. Sartell delves into the eggs themselves and explains reproductive systems, egg anatomy, and how and why different colors are distributed to egg shells. Sartell will show you a variety breeds of birds, and what sizes, shapes, and even colors of egg they produce; from white to blue, brown, chocolate, olive, and speckled, plus heritage breeds and how to breed for specific colors. Illustrated with fantastic color photography of eggs and their birds, Epic Eggs goes on to address how to optimize living conditionsand diet for the healthiest and most-flavorful eggs, the process of grading and storing eggs, and the eternal washing debate. There’s also discussion of nutrition, baking, cooking, preserving, pickling, and dehydrating. The book ends with advice for homesteaders looking to create business plans and a section on troubleshooting.
From familiar breeds such as the Border Collie, Corgi, and Dachshund to the lesser-known Akbash, Puli, and Hovawart, Janet Vorwald Dohner describes 93 breeds of livestock guardian dogs, herding dogs, terriers, and traditional multipurpose farm dogs, highlighting the tasks each dog is best suited for and describing its physical characteristics and temperament. She also offers an accessible history of how humans bred dogs to become our partners in work and beyond, providing a thorough introduction to these highly intelligent, independent, and energetic breeds.