Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Backyard Chickens Easy

I feel like an old timer to this Backyard Chicken phenomenon! You've probably heard: small flocks of chickens, suburban farming... it's big! Everyone's doing it. But when we brought home our first little chicks, eleven years ago, we felt like genuine pioneers! And were we ever green. We even called ourselves the Jolly Green Ranchers. I really was winging it, which as it turns out was okay, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have been happy to pick up a helpful guide, like the one coming out from McMurray Hatchery, Chickens in Five Minutes A Day.

Look! It's our dear Lady Betty Orpington! Can you believe she will be five years old next month?

I've had a chance to take a sneak peek at this straightforward and practical guide to raising chicks, and keeping small, backyard flocks. The book has personal stories, the history and experiences of a family and hatchery raising chicks since 1917. They've asked me to share my thoughts on this new book... it ships May 14th. My first impression: I like it! All the basics are covered, and for extra reading and interest they include illustrations, examples of coop styles, different breeds, and the points of view of different McMurray employees, in sections they call "Hints From The Hatchery." If you've ever wondered about ordering chicks through the mail, you'll enjoy a little backstory from one of the oldest and most trusted hatcheries around.

Raising chicks and keeping chickens has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. And. It really can be easy. Don't leap into it the way I did, like a headless chica! Chickens in Five Minutes A Day can guide you, and set you in the right direction, so that your own chickens will not only be easy to enjoy, they will be safe, healthy, and happy in your backyard.

Spring is chick time! Pre-order your book today, if you are thinking of starting a backyard flock, or if you simply want to refresh your knowledge about the joys of chicken care. Would you like a chance to win a free copy of Chickens in Five Minutes A Day? McMurray Hatchery is offering their new book to one lucky Chickenblog reader! Leave a comment here, at Chickenblog, and your name will be tossed into The Fez! Link to us on your Facebook page, and we'll give you two chances to win this book. Do it, for yourself, or a friend, or your school library. Chickens are hip, and cool, and this is your chance to get the scoop on some of the fun! We will draw a name on the first day of May.

These were some of our first eggs, from our first trio of sweet hens.
I still love finding fresh eggs from our backyard flock!

17 comments:

  1. hi there chicken blogger, truck driver extraordinaire!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lady Betty's baby picture is so cute. No wonder you love them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Viva las Chicas!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mail order chicks... that cracks me up!

    ReplyDelete
  5. A question from a city dweller: How much time do you devote to your chickens a week (on average)??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm... well, if I were set up as efficiently as they demonstrate in "Chickens in Five Minutes a Day," then it would probably be less time consuming. They can be attended to in 5-10 minutes per day, but my personal interest in them and satisfaction in taking care of them has me with them for longer times. We are building a secure and efficient coop and run, and soon my time taking care of them will be minimal, and my time being entertained and amused by them will be even more enjoyable!

      Delete
  6. You are a pioneer! In this and so many other things.
    I dream of having my own backyard flock...but so far we haven't been in the right living situation yet. Someday, someday. In the meantime, I adore living vicariously through you Natalie!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dean and I enjoyed the gorgeous chica portraiture!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've always loved Lady Betty Orphington - so much so that I also have an Orphington named Betty. I've followed you, on and off, for many years and even though I have friends in the "Chicken in the yard" business, I've learned a lot from you over the years. I will always have chickens loose in the back yard - well as long as I can manage it ... I just love sitting and watching them ...
    Yvette

    ReplyDelete
  9. 11 years?! You really are pioneers. We've had our chickens for 2 years now and are thoroughly enjoying them and their eggs. Wish we'd had a nice book like this one when we started though. Mistakes were made, learned from, and made way for new ones. ;) Keep on posting pics of those lovely feathered ladies too!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, do I remember that. We were given adult birds, and no experience. Wildest dingbats I ever dealt with. And they hid eggs, the next spring I recall about 30 birds! AIIIGH, to put it mildly! I concentrated on Rhode Island Reds, but recently picked up some Buffs. I like both. But for temperament, Buffs are best!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yay! Book giveaway!! And oh! I know so many people who would love this handy book!! Putting out the word now!

    I love seeing the baby Betty photo again! I remember it well!

    We need ChickenBlog fan t-shirts... mine would say, reader and fan since 2004! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. A book shelling out concise and no-nonsense info about raising chickens--sounds good even to non-chicken farmers. You were one of the first to scratch the surface of urban chicken farming, Natalie. Great photos, too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hooray for chickens, and even more hooray for simple-chicken keeping! I'm all about efficiency, can't wait to learn more!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh man! Everything I typed disappeared because I didn't sign in Google correctly!! SQUAWK!!!!! Chickas rock and so do you!!! Jen Rat (I can't remember passwords to my accounts!)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for sharing your life with us through this wonderful blog! You are truly an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting.