Chickens have become the mascot of the local food movement. A desire for sustainable, clean, wholesome food and superior soil quality has led more and more suburban and city dwellers to keep lying hens in their backyards and gardens. Across America municipalities are allowing, and even encouraging, residents to keep laying hens within city limits.
Learn how you can:
Learn how others:
By the co-author of Chicken Tractor, Backyard Market Gardening and Day Range Poultry. City Chicks is a revolutionary way of keeping and using chickens by thinking "outside the coop" and "inside the city". More than 100 photos, drawings, and tables give visual clarity.
The imaginative and entertaining style of writing is combined with hands-on, real-life experience to bring you one of the most complete and authoritative books on micro-flock management.
Author: Patricia Foreman
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.
Author: Greg Judy
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.
Author: Denis Hayes, Gail Boyer Hayes
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.
Author: Judith D. Schwartz
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.
Author: Pat Foreman, Andy Lee
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.
Author: Tracey Stewart
Contain a small flock of sheep or a small herd of goats with this complete fence system. When properly electrified, ElectroStop® is effective for controlling the movement of meat and dairy goats, flighty breeds of sheep or to enclose rams and bucks. Add rolls (up to 4 more) to create a larger enclosure. 42" tall installed.
ElectroStop® is best when used as a temporary boundary fence that is moved often (daily or weekly).
Look to semi-permanent ElectroFence® if the fence will be moved less often (seasonally).
Starter kit includes these essentials:
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. Jennifer delves into the eggs themselves and explains reproductive systems, egg anatomy, and how and why different colors are distributed to egg shells. Jennifer 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.
Author: JENNIFER SARTELL
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.
Author: Janet Vorwald Dohner
The Mushroom Hut @ Fox Farms is a small-scale diversified working and teaching farm. They are a registered nursery, licensed seed dealer, grain dealer, and dairy goat farm. This book includes recipes and information regarding their workshops, from simple-cheese making, tapping maple trees using sumac spiles, making flower essence jellies, growing hops and bloody butcher corn, and much more.
Author: Susan Tipton-Fox
Many gardeners fear chickens will peck away at their landscape, and chicken lovers often shy away from gardening for the same reason. But you can keep chickens and have a beautiful garden, too! Fresh eggs aren't the only benefit — chickens can actually help your garden grow and thrive, even as your garden does the same for your chickens.
In this essential handbook, award-winning garden designer Jessi Bloom covers everything a gardener needs to know, including chicken-keeping basics, simple garden plans to get you started, tips on attractive fencing options, the best plants and plants to avoid, and step-by-step instructions for getting your chicken garden up and running.
For anyone who wants a fabulous garden where colorful chickens happily roam, Free-Range Chicken Gardens is the guide that will bring the dream home to roost.
Author: Jessi Bloom
Looking to start raising rabbits for meat? Wondering how you can keep those pesky wild rabbits out of your garden? Grit’s Guide to Backyard Rabbits is the answer to all these questions and many more. Inside this 96-page guide you'll find more than 69 keys to a successful rabbit-raising enterprise.
Follow the simple instructions to help your rabbitry dreams move from concept to reality, with easy-to-follow rabbit housing plans. Discover how to cook with rabbit meat. Learn the best time to start breeding rabbits, and how to care and feed your pregnant does. Read how to keep your rabbit healthy by following basic guidelines.
Other articles include:
As communities across the country amend urban bylaws to allow backyard flocks, more and more of us are enjoying the pleasures and rewards of keeping hens in the garden.Her book is stuffed full of practical advice on keeping the garden both gorgeous and productive and hens happy and healthy. Langford includes dozens of simple and elegant recipes from her own kitchen, as well as contributions from celebrated chefs.With beautiful photographs, illustrations, and garden plans, this book is sure to become a favorite of avid and aspiring backyard farmers alike.
Author: Signe Langford
A single information-packed volume with everything a hobby farmer needs to know about farm animals, this new, comprehensive manual to selecting, caring for and breeding livestock brings forth the expertise of six hobby farmers, each of whom has real-life on-the-farm experience with the animals she discusses. With exhaustive detail, the authors offer complete coverage of chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, cattle, pigs and rabbits, including the housing, health care, special needs, advantages and challenges of each.
Author: Sue Weaver & Ann Larkin Hansen
Goats have provided humankind with essential products for centuries; indeed, they bear the noble distinction of being the first domesticated farm animal. From providing milk and meat for sustenance and fiber and hides for clothing and shelter to carrying packs and clearing brush, there isn’t much that goats cannot do. Managing goats successfully requires an understanding of how nature designed them to thrive, including nutritional and psychological needs, as well as how to identify a problem and intercede before it’s too late.
For more than a decade, Gianaclis Caldwell and her family have operated Pholia Farm Creamery, an off-grid, raw milk goat cheese dairy. In Holistic Goat Care, Caldwell offers readers a comprehensive guide to maintaining a healthy herd of goats, whether they are dairy goats, meat goats, fiber goats, or pet goats. Holistic Goat Care will empower even novice goat owners to confidently diagnose and treat most of the ailments that goats might experience. For the experienced goat farmer, the book offers a depth of insight and approaches to treatment not found in any other book. Caldwell places special emphasis throughout on holistic, natural, and alternative approaches to caring for goats, including information on:
Whether your herd is two or two hundred, this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive book will help you keep your goats healthy, safe, and productive, and give you a deep and enjoyable insight into the wondrous creature that is the goat.
Author: Gianaclis Caldwell
Author: Sue Weaver
A MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR RECOMMENDED PRODUCT FOR WISER LIVING!
The Hot Shock PRS-B 50 Solar Energizer Kit is a solar electric fence energizer and charger, with a 0.50 joule output. It arrives ready to use for powering your fence. The unit removes a steady 50 mill amperes per hour from the battery, which in turn must be recharged by the solar panel. Poultry fencing can be ordered by clicking here.
Author: Premier 1
Best-selling author Melissa Caughey knows that backyard chickens are like any favorite pet — fun to spend time with and fascinating to observe. Her hours among the flock have resulted in this quirky, irresistible guide packed with firsthand insights into how chickens communicate and interact, use their senses to understand the world around them, and establish pecking order and roles within the flock. Combining her up-close observations with scientific findings and interviews with other chicken enthusiasts, Caughey answers unexpected questions such as Do chickens have names for each other? How do their eyes work? and How do chickens learn?
Author: Melissa Caughey