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Reader Reviews: The Small-Scale Poultry Flock

Harvey Ussery’s new book The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers has been out for five months, and homesteader-bloggers are loving it.

Each week we’re hearing more from folks who have learned useful tips from Harvey to improve their flocks, feed them sustainably, house them comfortably, and use them as part of a whole-farm system of cooperating creatures.

Here’s a handful of snippets from recent posts.

From Care2:

If Harvey Ussery were stranded on a desert island and could bring only one thing, he would bring a flock of chickens. “They would feed themselves by foraging over the island, keep me supplied with eggs, one of the most perfect foods,” says the Virginia homesteader and author of The Small-Scale Poultry Flock. “In the process, they would continually improve my island’s soil by working in plant covers and their droppings, increasing its productivity for whatever food crops I was able to grow. Hens who went broody would hatch out chicks to renew the flock each year.”
From Simple Green Living:
“In Part One, Getting Started, the first chapter is called “Why Bother?” and it proceeds to give a full answer, from the amount of joy they can bring you, to the contribution your own chickens and eggs bring to your ability to eat better, to the horrors of commercial chicken raising and the related food safety issues, including the  massive amounts of antibiotics and arsenic that commercial chicken raisers feed. He adds in Peak Oil and financial meltdown as further good reasons for raising your own chickens….Reading The Small Scale Poultry Flock  is like having an extended series of conversations with your favorite uncle who happens to know darn near everything about chickens!”
From Temperate Climate Permaculture:
“This is hands-down the best book on raising chickens (and other poultry) that I have read… and I have read a lot. …While not using the word “permaculture” very much, this book is all about modeling the natural biological systems of chickens to produce healthy eggs and meat in a stress-free environment.  Using the principles outlined in this book, we can almost eliminate all harmful chemicals, unnatural activities, and poor health from our home poultry flock.  These principles can and have been expanded to large, commercial-sized flocks as well. I cannot recommend this book enough.  If you plan on having chickens or waterfowl at your home, homestead, or farm, then I feel that this book is a must have.”
From Milkweed Diaries:
“Ussery’s book is thorough, detailed, funny, smart, and grounded in immense respect and care for the animals that he’s describing….It reminded me that we are not really being honest with ourselves if we think we can have eggs without chickens dying. Chicken lovers ordering day-old chicks from hatcheries are either contributing to male chicks being killed at the hatchery (if ordering pullets only) or will have some extra roosters to deal with down the line (if ordering “straight run” or unsexed chicks). In terms of true sustainability with farm and homestead systems, the issue of culling has to be addressed. We can either outsource it, which is what we’re doing if we buy female chicks from a hatchery, or we can be responsible for it ourselves.”
Thanks, bloggers!


Why Modern Wheat Is Making Us Sick

Why is modern wheat making us sick?  That’s the question posed by author Eli Rogosa in her new book Restoring Heritage Grains.Wheat is the most widely grown crop on our planet, yet industrial breeders have transformed this ancient staff of life into a commodity of yield and profit—witness the increase in gluten intolerance and ‘wheat […] Read More

Recipe: How to Make a Simple No-Knead Einkorn Bread

If, like author Eli Rogosa,  you are allergic to modern wheat, it may be time to investigate baking with einkorn.Rogosa suffered miserably from bloating, malabsorption, and indigestion for many years. No doctor could help her, but when she removed wheat from her diet, the symptoms vanished. Her vitality returned with the added bonus of pounds […] Read More

Michael Ableman’s 15-Point Urban Food Manifesto

What if farms and food production were integrated into every aspect of urban living—from special assessments to create new farms and food businesses to teaching people how to grow fruits and vegetables so farmers can focus on staple crops.That’s the crux of Michael Ableman’s Urban Food Manifesto, which has been ten years in the making […] Read More

Q&A with Michael Ableman: How Urban Farming Can Improve Society

Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood.Street Farm is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing […] Read More

Hop Grower’s Handbook Wins Silver for Garden Writing

We’re “hopping” for joy at Chelsea Green for authors Laura Ten Eyck and Dietrich Gehring as they’ve been honored with a Silver Medal by GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators for their book The Hop Grower’s Handbook.Laura and Deitrich won the prestigious honor in the Writing category for a technical/reference book of greater than 120 […] Read More
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