The library is a great source for all things chicken

With backyard poultry farming making a comeback in recent years, many questions need answering before you take the big plunge, whether you are a newbie or a seasoned chicken fanatic. How many chickens do you need? Do you want them as pets? Are you raising them for eggs or meat? (Just don’t tell the chicken!) What kind of housing is necessary?

These are just a few of the questions that you’ll need to address before you get started.

You will be pleasantly surprised at how many resources are available at the library to help and guide you to a very successful courtship with the chicken world and make this adventure fun and entertaining — spoken by a true chicken lover! Read on for some of my personal recommendations. And don’t forget to check out the city of West Linn’s website ( for the rules and regulations about keeping chickens.

“Chicken Coops” by Judy Pangman

This book covers a broad range of chicken coops with 45 different plans including conversion of existing structures currently available on your property.

“Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens” by Gail Damerow

This is an informative book for both beginning and experienced chicken owners. It covers breed selection, health issues, building feeders and shelters, how to collect and store eggs and more.

“Free-range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard” by Jessi Bloom

This book will guide you through steps on how to protect your garden and allow your chickens to help your garden to grow and thrive. It also offers options for attractive fencing and the best plants and plants to avoid.

“City Chicks: Keeping Micro-flocks of Laying Hens as Garden Helpers, Compost Makers, Bio-recyclers and Local Food Suppliers” by Patricia Foreman

Looking for one more way to live sustainably? Clean, wholesome food and superior soil quality has led more and more suburban and city dwellers to keep laying hens in their backyards and gardens. This is a good resource for the beginner and experienced chicken enthusiast.

“Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading With 125 Recipes” by Janice Cole

Want some good recipes to use up your egg-cess? This book has everything from Cinnamon Breakfast Popovers to Fresh Peach Custard Pie. The recipes are interspersed with quirky, entertaining stories and wonderful photos from this seasoned chicken keeper.

“Murray McMurray Hatchery’s Chickens in Five Minutes a Day”

You can’t go wrong with this newly published book written by the owner of a hatchery that publishes one of the most informative sales catalogs around and ships more than 2 million chickens and other fowl every year. Unlike most other books, this one deals with chickens used specifically for eggs, not meat. It gives the reader the easiest route to fresh eggs and tried and true shortcuts for tending chickens.

— Bobbie Kelly is a library assistant at the West Linn

Public Library.

Contract Publishing

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