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Review of Haynes Chicken Manual

A review of this complete step-by-step guide to keeping chickens

Review Of Haynes Chicken Manual

livestock | books | education | smallholding

Haynes Chicken Manual - by Laurence Beeken

The new Chicken Manual from publishers Haynes, better known for their automotive manuals, went on sale in February 2010. It is sold as the complete step-by-step guide to keeping chickens for those who would like to keep chickens for food, showing, or just for the fun on it.

Chicken Manual

The Chicken Manual is split up into seven sections, which are further subdivided as shown below in the table of contents from the book:

1. Introduction
Why keep chickens?
History of the chicken
2. Getting Started
Preliminary considerations
Choosing a breed
The breeds
Getting your chickens
Other poultry
3. Essential Information
Daily care
Seasonal care
A chicken-keeping diary
Feeding and watering
Security and biosecurity
First aid kit essentials
4. Specialist Information
Colours and markings
5. Health Problems
Common disorders and diseases
Internal parasites
External parasites
Environmental and physical issues
Biology and anatomy
6. Further Information
Cooking guidelines
7. Appendices
Contact details
Further reading

The book is very well balanced with lots of pages dedicated to the information which will be of most use and interest to the majority of people, with other topics covered in sufficient detail to get you started but not so much that you get bogged down. In addition to chickens, the section Other Poultry covers ducks, geese, turkeys, and quail in some detail, and guinea fowl, pheasants, partridges, pigeons, ostriches, emus, and rheas also get a mention.

If you have no or very little experience in keeping poultry, this book makes an excellent introduction and is very accessible and easy to read. It is well illustrated with hundreds of full colour photographs, well laid out, and it offers real practical knowledge. The book is just under 200 pages long and covers everything the amateur will need to know to become a good poultry keeper. The Housing section is particularly interesting with its detailed plans for building your own poultry house - a great way to save money and get yourself started.

For those already with poultry experience, this book will still be of interest and use as a fun to read reference guide, with the comprehensive Health Problems section likely to be of particular use.

The selection of Contact Details provided covers everything from ex-battery hens, feed supplies, and poultry housing, to parasite and pest control, rare breeds, and the breed clubs; and the 15 books listed in the Further Reading section are well chosen and will set the keen new poultry keeper off in the right direction to get a really thorough grounding on the subject.

Buy Chicken Manual

The Chicken Manual is sold at a recommended retail price of £19.99 in book shops. Click here to buy Haynes Chicken Manual now at up to 45% off.

Article Published: 10:21, 12th Mar 2010

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