In recent years, as increasing factors threaten the world’s honeybees, beekeeping has gained new interest and new respect. Mother Earth News has joined in the fight to save the honeybee and other pollinators, and in these pages you will find advice, tips, and personal experiences from novice to expert beekeepers from every walk of life and from every corner of the country.
Keep chickens with less work and more joy! Free yourself from the burden of daily hen-tending tasks, and go on vacation without worrying about your flock. How? Turn your backyard into a hentopia: a chicken habitat that keeps your flock safe, clean, fed, and entertained, with less work left over for you. From the Vending Machine Feeder to the Refilling Rainwaterer, author Frank Hyman’s innovative building projects are designed to save time and money while taking the best care of your chickens.
This essential guide collects the Chicken Whisperer’s personal tips, tricks, and suggestions for reducing waste, repurposing materials, and recycling everything else. With this book, chicken keepers will save money, improve production, support sustainability, and use fewer resources overall.
With the Chicken’s Whisperer’s step-by-step insights and how-to secrets, your life with chickens will be more fruitful, less expensive, and better for the planet.
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.
Caughey shares her advice in an engaging way so that kids understand what it means to keep chickens and what kind of housing, food, equipment, and care the chickens will need to thrive. She also suggests lots of creative activities sure to spark enthusiasm and imagination, such as speaking chicken, creating a veggie piñata for the flock, and making a chicken fort in the backyard.
For ages 8-12.
Bee populations are plummeting worldwide. Colony collapse disorder poses a serious threat to many plants that rely on bees for pollination, including a significant proportion of our food crops. Top bar hives are based on the concept of understanding and working with bees' natural systems, enabling top bar beekeepers to produce honey and natural wax while helping bees thrive now and in the years ahead.
Advanced Top Bar Beekeeping picks up where author Christy Hemenway’s The Thinking Beekeeper left off, providing a wealth of information for backyard beekeepers ready to take the next step with this economical, bee-friendly approach. Hemenway shares:
While continuing to emphasize the intimate connection between our food system, bees, and the well-being of the planet, Advanced Top Bar Beekeeping breaks new ground in the quest to shift the dominant agricultural paradigm away from chemical-laden, industrial monoculture and toward healthy, diverse local farming. See what all the buzz is about with this must-read guide for the new breed of thinking beekeeper.
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.
Would you like to start your child on a journey of self-reliance and love of the outdoors?
A sustainable source of ideas to help your children learn the ins and outs of animal husbandry, Barnyard Kids encourages children to get outside, enjoy nature and reap the benefits of their hard work.
This fun and creative book by Dina Rudick will guide your family through fun opportunities, learning about keeping chickens, milking cows and rearing sheep.
It's time to get your little farmhands dirty. Help them grow to be self-sufficient, happy and healthy!
If you keep bees or are interested in keeping bees, Beekeeper's Lab is the book for you. Filled with 52 beekeeping and hive-inspired projects to keep you involved with your bees and hive all year long. The tutorials are brief, accomplishable, and rewarding. Try a new technique each week with how-tos and sidebars with tips that are perfect for including the whole family. Beekeeping a fun and educational for the whole family to enjoy and is a highly impressive skill to possess!
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.