Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gardening With Free-Range Chickens for Dummies - book review

Due to a crazy, but not-so-fun schedule (not complaining, just yearning for more TIME), it's taken quite awile to read this book written by co-author's Bonnie Jo Manion ( and Rob Ludlow (

And, at 244 pages of solid content covering nearly everything anyone would be likely to wonder about chickens-integrated-with-gardens, it's not one of those 'quick reads', anyway. That's good because whether you already own virtually every book written about poultry, or are just now thinking about getting your very first chickens this book alone will provide both the necessary basics and most likely, at least a few new gems that will enrich the knowledge you've already accumulated, even if you're already experienced at both landscaping and chicken care.

For total beginners, this book fills the bill if you only own one book about raising chickens - and you do need at least one, you know (-: ! In addition, its concentration on integrating your chickens into your landscape for their enjoyment and good health, the curb appeal of  your property, and the addition of fresh veggies and other edibles to go with those cherished eggs (and for chicken edibles) is priceless.

You'll find information about every ingredient to landscaping products, fencing, construction materials, and its all concentrated upon providing a good home for your chickens while, at the same time developing your land into a place of beauty and bounty. There's a section reminding you of the plants to avoid that will be poisonous to your chickens to ingest, a detailed discussion on creating a "layered garden", and even designing innovative housing for your chickens that fits into your overall landscaping plan.

There's no lack of important information on caring for your chickens, selecting a breed, or protecting your precious pets from predators, either. Like all the "Dummies" books you'll find the familiar icons that provide helpful tips, vital bits of information, warnings, and additional information you may be interested in. It's well organized and easy to understand for both young people and adults. and, there are great photos, landscaping models, and illustrations included that will add to your reading enjoyment.

As the authors point out, the trend toward raising chickens is in full swing, so if you're just considering joining this sustainable movement that includes chickens in your backyard you won't be a slow adopter. Like most books nowadays you can get this one in ebook form, too. In the U.S. the hard copy retails for just under $20 - so treat yourself or get it as a gift that will be sure to be appreciated! That magical gift giving season will be here before we know it.

Note: I was informed that one lucky reader would be able to win a free copy of this book, too! Watch for a new post where I'll give you all the details! Study up on your chicken facts, too - so you'll have a good chance to become that one lucky contestant!

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