In a previous post I boldly stated I would review two books in a few days time.  It’s a bit late, but here is an overview of information contained in the first book “Keeping Chickens in Australia”.  As I don’t yet have any chickens, I really don’t know enough to review it from a position of knowledge.  However, as a person contemplating which breed of chickens to buy, and what I should do both before I buy them – and afterwards –  it seems like a great place to start.

Topics covered in this book include:

  • The origin and characteristics of the major breeds, including the colour of the eggs they produce
  • Physiology of chickens
  • How to build a chicken run and chicken coup. This includes scaled down plans with measurements, roosting perches and nesting boxe design.
  • Feeding and caring for chickens
  • Major diseases which can affect chickens
  • Collecting, cleaning and storing eggs
  • Incubators and raising chicks
  • Chickens for various purposes – show, pets, eggs etc.
  • List of poultry associations, clubs.  suppliers and State and Territory Government Departments which are relevant
  • Glossary of terms

The topics are sequenced in the order I am likely to need to the information, and the text is easy to read.  Line drawings are few, but illustrate techniques such as how to pick up a chicken, which feathers to clip when clipping wings, the structure of an egg, etc.  The book describes options, where they exist (for example, what to feed chickens) and provides reasons why one method may be a better choice.  However, if the method doesn’t matter, it will say so, leaving the choice to the chicken farmer.

I think it is pretty obvious that a more detailed book will be required for those who are serious about setting up a chicken farm, but for those who just want a few chickens in the back yard “Keeping Chickens in Australia” is a guide that will provide the information needed to set up and buy the right chickens for the climate, and how to care for them.

When I have chickens of my own, I will revisit this book and provide a more informed book review.