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.
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.
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.
What's the buzz about the growing popularity of backyard beekeeping? Providing habitat for bees, pollinating your garden and producing honey for your family are some of the compelling reasons for taking up this exciting hobby. But conventional beekeeping requires a significant investment and has a steep learning curve. The alternative? Consider beekeeping outside the box.
The Thinking Beekeeper is the definitive do-it-yourself guide to natural beekeeping in top bar hives. Based on the concept of understanding and working with bees' natural systems as opposed to trying to subvert them, the advantages of this approach include:
Top bar hives can be located anywhere bees have access to forage, and they make ideal urban hives because of their small footprint. Emphasizing the intimate connection between our food systems, bees and the well-being of the planet, The Thinking Beekeeper will appeal to the new breed of beekeeper who is less focused on maximizing honey yield and more on ensuring the viability of the bee population now and in the coming years.
From crayons to cough drops, cookies to candles, Beehive Alchemy offers a comprehensive introduction to incorporating the miracle of bees into everyday life.
Beehive Alchemy is a continuation of Petra Ahnert's bestselling Beeswax Alchemy. With this new book, beekeepers (and bee lovers) will learn about the benefits and attributes of beeswax, honey, propolis, and more, alongside a full range of projects and techniques to process and harness the amazing gifts of bees. Inside, you'll find instructions to make Ahnert's award-winning hand-dipped birthday candles, the classic French dessert canelé bordelais, and much more, including:
Fiber crafts, such as knitting, weaving, and crocheting, continue to surge in popularity, with sites like Ravelry (a social media community for the wool obsessed) gaining more than 6 million members. Artists are seeking quality, raw materials in greater numbers. The cottage industry of supplying not only raw fleece but handcrafted yarns is strong.
Janet Garman has a small fiber flock (including Pygora fiber goats) and shares her expertise, as well as interviews, tips, and advice from fiber farmers and craftspeople across the country.
She offers the basics of properly raising sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, and rabbits, with tips on selecting animals, feeding, housing, breeding, and health care. From there, instructions are provided for shearing, sorting, skirting, washing, picking, carding, combing, and spinning the wool. Enthusiasts will also find recipes and instructions for natural, plant-based dyes and advice for selling your finished yarn.
The international bee crisis is threatening our global food supply, but this user-friendly field guide shows what you can do to help protect our pollinators. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation offers browsable profiles of 100 common flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees that attract bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. The recommendations are simple: sow seeds for some plants — such as basil, rhododendron, and blueberries — and simply don’t mow down abundant native species, including aster, goldenrod, and milkweed. 100 Plants to Feed the Bees will empower homeowners, landscapers, apartment dwellers — anyone with a scrap of yard or a window box — to protect our pollinators.
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!
The age-old question of which comes first is finally answered in Chicken and Egg! For the purposes of egg-centric chicken keepers, it's the egg! A new approach to chicken keeping, Chicken and Egg is specifically geared toward hobby farmers and casual chicken keepers who wish to produce eggs of a particular color, flavor, and type. Whether the reader desires the delectable turquoise eggs of the Araucana or the chocolate brown eggs of the Blue Copper Maran, learn how it's possible to put the egg before the chicken. Written by two expert poultry breeders and specialists, Andy Cawthray and James Hermes, this new colorful handbook offers an edifying overview of the natural history of chickens and the science of egg production so that keepers better understand how to care for egg-layers, improve the quality of their eggs through diet and housing, and maximize their egg production for years to come. The authors have rounded up a few dozen chicken breeds and offer their hardboiled advice about which hens offer the most egg-cellect daily output.
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.