The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market GrowersPaperback
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- Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co
- Format: Paperback | 416 pages
- Dimensions: 203mm x 251mm x 25mm | 1,043g
- Publication date: 17 June 2013
- Publication City/Country: White River Junction
- ISBN 10: 1603582908
- ISBN 13: 9781603582902
- Illustrations note: Color Photos, Tables, and Line Drawings Throughout
- Sales rank: 36,622
The most comprehensive guide to date on raising all-natural poultry for the small-scale farmer, homesteader, and professional grower. The Small-Scale Poultry Flock offers a practical and integrative model for working with chickens and other domestic fowl, based entirely on natural systems. Readers will find information on growing (and sourcing) feed on a small scale, brooding (and breeding) at home, and using poultry as insect and weed managers in the garden and orchard. Ussery's model presents an entirely sustainable system that can be adapted and utilized in a variety of scales, and will prove invaluable for beginner homesteaders, growers looking to incorporate poultry into their farm, or poultry farmers seeking to close their loop. Ussery offers extensive information on: The definition of an integrated poultry flock (imitation of natural systems, integrating patterns, and closing the circle) Everything you need to know about your basic chicken (including distinctive points about anatomy and behavior that are critical to management) Extended information on poultry health and holistic health care, with a focus on prevention Planning your flock (flock size, choosing breeds, fowl useful for egg vs. meat production, sourcing stock) How to breed and brood the flock (including breeding for genetic conservation), including the most complete guide to working with broody hens available anywhere Making and mixing your own feed (with tips on equipment, storage, basic ingredients, technique, grinding and mixing) Providing more of the flock's feed from sources grown or self-foraged on the homestead or farm, including production of live protein feeds using earthworms and soldier grubs Using poultry to increase soil fertility, control crop damaging insects, and to make compost-including systems for pasturing and for tillage of cover crops and weeds Recipes for great egg and poultry dishes (including Ussery's famous chicken stock!) And one of the best step-by-step poultry butchering guides available, complete with extensive illustrative photos. No other book on raising poultry takes an entirely whole-systems approach, or discusses producing homegrown feed and breeding in such detail. This is a truly invaluable guide that will lead farmers and homesteaders into a new world of self-reliance and enjoyment.
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Harvey Ussery has been developing his whole-systems poultry husbandry for decades and has been writing about chickens and other fowl for Backyard Poultry since the inception of the magazine in early 2006. He has also written numerous articles for Mother Earth News and Countryside & Small Stock Journal, and has published in American Pastured Poultry Producers Association's newsletter, Grit!, over the years. Ussery has presented at national and local events on poultry, homesteading, and energy and sustainability issues, and maintains a highly informative website, themodernhomestead.us. He lives with his wife, Ellen, in Virginia.
Booklist- Whether prompted by the economy, a do-it-yourself philosophy, or a concern for the good earth, more Americans are contemplating, when codes and ordinances permit, raising fowl. Long-time poultry farmer Ussery shares his and "guest" experts' expertise and tips in a remarkably easy-to-follow text featuring lots of black-and-white photographs of flocks, structures, feeding, and even methods of slaughtering. The language is straightforward, even entertaining at times. (How could you not chuckle at "Reading the Poops," a guide to fecal health?) What's more, Ussery provides an encyclopedia of chicken and other fowl care, encompassing everything from anatomy and species selection to feeding, breeding, and selling in the local market. The other experts add their perspectives, as in "Adventures in Slug Heaven" (about slug control). Altogether, there's no better introductory reference on the joy of home-raising chickens. Appended material covers making trap nests, a dustbox, and a mobile A-frame shelter; duck confit; a feed-formulation spreadsheet and spreadsheets for tracking egg and broiler costs and profits; and a comparison of natural and industrial eggs.