People, by nature, tend to cling vehemently to what they believe for a variety of reasons and the area of animal husbandry is no exception. As a result, first-time farm animal owners can be assaulted by a variety of misleading information and arguments on the internet when they are trying to learn how to care for their new additions to their farm or homestead. One area where I have found this to be very prominent is on the subject of chickens. With backyard chicken keeping becoming more popular the masses of new chicken owners looking for information is growing rapidly. Daily, I see arguments on various chicken keeping oriented Facebook pages about what type of litter to use in your coop, which vaccinations, if any, your chickens should receive, what to feed, how to treat various illnesses, and the list goes on. And on. And on. As do the debates. Trying to get good information as a new chicken owner is frustrating and I have been there. Sifting through the crazy, the mundane, the interesting, and the just flat wrong. There are some great books out there on chicken keeping, but if you are like most people I know, reading a 350 page manual on chickens can be a bit daunting, and while those types of books are certainly good reference material and something worth investing in and reading, sometimes something that is simple, fact based, and straightforward is the best place to start. I recently had the opportunity to review a book that meets those very requirements.
Chicken Hot Topics: Controversial Husbandry Practices by Jessica E. Lane takes a strictly fact-based approach to answering many of the questions you may have about raising chickens. Using scientific studies to back many of the ideas that she puts forward in the book, you are left with no question as to what practices are best. Jessica avoids anecdotal evidence, myths, and personal ideas, setting them aside to give you just the facts you need to make good decisions regarding your flock.
I did find that, for me at least, a few of the sections left me wanting more. For example, the section on bedding left me feeling as if I was not presented with some solid facts regarding the pros and cons of traditional bedding. However, I felt that the section covering sand as coop litter was well written and contained exactly what I needed to help me decide if sand was right for my flock. The sections that I felt were a little scant on information were few and far between however, leaving me with an overall very positive impression of this book.
The one aspect of the book that I found surprising was that despite being fact based it was entertaining and engaging unlike many books that feel dry and dusty. The Fun Farmer Facts in each chapter were a great addition and the Husbandry Hints were very useful.
I highly recommend that every new chicken owner take a moment to pick up this book. You are sure to find it entertaining and informative.
*Disclaimer: I wrote this review prior to becoming an affiliate and I have rendered my unbiased review to the best of my ability. I enjoyed the book, and I like the idea of what the author attempted to promote with this book, so much that I joined the affiliate program in order to offer it for purchase. If you chose to purchase the book as a result of this review, please be aware that I will receive remuneration which helps to support this website.