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Thinking About Chickens? Meet 4 Chicken Owners
Category: How-To Projects, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"
We asked Ashley English, author of Keeping Chickens, to tell us about her experience and offer some of her chicken wisdom. Here is our exclusive interview with Ashley, and three other chicken keepers:
Meet Ashley English
Womanswork: What are some of the ways someone can acquire chickens?
Ashley English: With the resurgence of interest in keeping a flock of backyard chickens, it’s now easier to find chickens than ever. I always encourage people to look locally from resources such as feed & seed stores, area farms, and places such as Craigslist or local classified ads. An area veterinarian might also have suggestions for acquiring birds locally. Online hatcheries such as Murray McMurray and My Pet Chicken are places to look if you can’t source nearby or if you are seeking out a specific breed.
Womanswork: How do I choose between different types of chickens?
Ashley English: What type of bird might work best for you might not work best for another. Consider what your needs are (do you want chickens for their eggs, for table purposes (meaning to eat), for both eggs and table, for show) and then go from there. Such individual needs will help you determine if what you’re looking for is a bird known for prolific egg laying, or that’s particularly good to eat, or that has lovely plumage (feathers). From there, decide if you want to get birds as chicks, pullets (females under 1 year of age), hens, or males, as there are pros and cons to each.
Womanswork: Will chickens cause damage in my garden? How can I prevent that?
Ashley English: If you allow your flock to free range, bear in mind they will scratch and mar the landscape in their hunt for bugs (chickens are insectivores primarily, so bugs are what they really want to eat most of all). They’ll also take opportunistic pecks and nibbles of anything that interests them. Should you wish to keep them away from, say, some prize-winning rose bushes or your heirloom tomatoes that are just beginning to ripen, then you’ll need to put up a barricade.
Womanswork: Do chickens get rid of ticks?
Ashley English: It’s bugs that chickens truly want to consume. Ticks are part of that category, making a free-ranging flock an ideal low tech means of keeping tick populations in check in your area.
Womanswork: What can I expect in terms of egg production from my flock?
Ashley English: A pullet will begin laying eggs at some time between 16-18 weeks of age. She’ll be her most prolific in the first two years of her life. After that, egg-laying tapers off, but doesn’t ever cease entirely. You’ll want to keep that in mind as your flock ages, rotating older birds out (if you choose to do so, via culling-you can also simply allow them to age which is what I’ve done, with some members of my flock now 6 years old and still laying, albeit about every other day or so) and younger birds in.
Keep in mind also that chickens may taper off laying during the winter. They get their cue to lay from a signal in their pituitary gland. When there is less then 14 hours of sunlight in a day, the gland sends a message to curtail laying, and conversely to resume production of eggs when there is more than 14 hours of sunlight in a day. Bear in mind also that in late summer/early autumn, chickens will shed their feathers, or “molt.” When this happens, they will not be laying eggs, as the calcium that would otherwise go into shell formation will be re-routed to form the quills for new feathers.
Womanswork: How do I keep my chickens safe, while giving them enough freedom?
Ashley English: The predators present in your area will be based on your geographic location. Where I live, which is in a deeply forested mountain cove [in North Carolina], there are aerial threats (from chicken hawks and owls), climbing threats (from raccoons), and “wiggling”, above-ground threats (from snakes and weasels). To keep my flock safe, I have attempted to install predator-proofing lines of defense in numerous ways, from overhead netting to buried fencing to barbed wire atop the fencing. Ask other chicken-keepers in your area what kinds of threats are present and prepare and fortify their housing accordingly.
Meet Shayla Grover
We discovered our second chicken owner through Instagram, where she has a popular page @letsgetsomechickens. After falling in love with her photos of chickens and pigs cohabitating on her Cape May, NJ farm, and the captions that went with them, we asked her to tell us about her experience as a chicken owner.
Womanswork: What kinds of chickens do you have, and how did you choose them? How many do you have?
Shayla Grover: We have about 450 laying hens right now, and 100 2 week old Ameraucanas in the brooder. For production purposes, we have a lot of Rhode Island Reds – they make up about 75% of our current flock. I don’t have anything against Reds personally, but I do find them a tad boring. Some of my favorite breeds, chosen mostly for their docile and friendly dispositions, are Australian Australorps, Turkens (people tend to either love or hate them, I think they’re cute!) and Ameraucanas. These three breeds are all great layers as well, plus everyone always loves the green and blue tinted eggs of the Ameraucanas!
Womanswork: How do you keep your chickens safe, while giving them enough freedom?
Shayla Grover: We have been lucky (knock on wood) in that we haven’t had too much of a predation problem. Our biggest threat is from hawks, during their fall migration. Cape May is a hot spot from late August through December, when 50,000 hawks of 15 different species pass through. Sadly, it is just a part of raising chickens that we will lose a few to them. Our three roosters also do their best to keep an eye out for danger and warn their ladies to take cover.
Chickens instinctively know that when it starts to get dark out, it’s time to go home! Even our most adventurous free rangers “come home to roost” each night. They simply need to be closed in at night and let out in the morning! Of course, you want to make sure the coop is predator-proof before locking your girls in there!
Womanswork: Getting eggs. What to expect with that. Do they lay in winter?
Shayla Grover: Even though our ladies are free-rangers, they are mostly good about laying in their nest boxes. There are a few rogue nests around the farm that I check each day, and I am sure there are more that I will just never find!
Young hens, called pullets, will start laying eggs at an average of 6 months old, and depending on their breed and living conditions, will lay 200-300 eggs a year for their first couple years. The older ladies start to take it easy, so it’s a good idea to add new girls to your flock before they stop altogether!
Production absolutely goes down over winter. Hens need 15 hours of light a day to lay eggs, and you can encourage year round laying by using artificial light inside the coop, but we don’t do that. I think that our ladies have earned a bit of a vacation, and lucky for us, we live in a very seasonal area, so the demand for our eggs declines just as production does!
Womanswork: How do the pigs relate to the chickens?
Shayla Grover: Well, the chickens and pigs aren’t cohabitating on purpose. Some of the chickens just seem to like living with the pigs better than they like living with their own kind! I can’t really blame them, it’s always warm and cozy with all that piggy body heat, and the pigs get all the good slop too! The pigs don’t seem to mind either, since some of the hens lay their eggs in the pig’s bedding, literally “breakfast in bed” for the pigs! We did hang a few milk crates from the wall of the pig house to try and save some of those eggs from becoming pig snacks, and most of the “pig chickens” use them now. And, I’m not going to lie – seeing baby piglets cozy up to a hen the same size as they are is pretty darn cute!
Growing up, we always had a couple dozen chickens around. My Mom let each of us help put together the chick order, and it was (and still is) so much fun to pour over the catalog, trying to decide which breeds to select.
I attended college in Philadelphia, and definitely missed having chickens around! I am, admittedly, a “crazy chicken lady,” but I could honestly just watch them interact all day. Chickens are such a quintessential part of life to me, and their cheerful peeps and clucks, and silly mannerisms, absolutely make my day every day!
Meet Eve Winslow
Our daughter Eve Winslow is our third chicken keeper interviewee. Eve lives in a very cold climate, Woodstock, VT, so she brings a little different perspective to the topic.
Womanswork: What kinds of chickens do you have, and how did you choose them?
Eve Winslow: I became a chicken owner on June 20th, 2013. We got Annie, a Buff Orpington hybrid hen from a friend who needed to find a home for her. Two weeks later we got Merriweather, a Barred Rock hen, and Penny, a Rhode Island Red, from a local person who breeds heritage chickens. I wanted 3 different breeds to learn about their different personalities and different eggs. And they look pretty together. I had planned to add new ones each year, but for now I’m committed to owning a flock of 3. They produce the perfect amount of eggs for two people, it’s easy to clean their coop, and it’s not as likely that predators will catch their whiff.
Womanswork: How do you keep your chickens safe, while giving them enough freedom?
Eve Winslow: We have a very secure chicken coop behind our house that used to be a milkhouse. That’s where they spend the night and most of the winter. Nate built an outdoor chicken coop on wheels (chicken tractor) that we move around the yard so they always have fresh lawn to scratch for bugs and other things. They stay in the moveable coop part of the day, but they also get to free range for about 3-4 hours each day as long as I am outside with them or in my upstairs studio, which has a view of the backyard. After Penny was attacked and nearly killed by a fox this summer, I have gotten into the habit of calling out to them from my studio about every 20 minutes (crazy?), just to make sure they’re staying close to home. I’ve started to train them to respond to my call by giving them treats when they come. It works!
Womanswork: In such a cold climate, do your hens lay in winter?
Eve Winslow: During warm months we get about 3 eggs a day, one from each hen. In the winter we get a little less than that, but their production doesn’t fall off that much. We don’t give them supplemental light, which would increase their production in winter because each hen lays just so many eggs in a lifetime and we have no need to hurry them along. After about 2 years of age their egg laying production will drop off a little, but it can keep going until they’re about 5 years old or even sometimes longer.
But I do open the door to their coop in the winter to let light in during the day. And I also bring them a hot breakfast most mornings made of oatmeal and mashed squash or sweet potato, with a little grit mixed in to aid digestion and crushed oyster shell for calcium. We don’t heat the coop because if we were to lose power the sudden cold could cause them to go into shock. On a couple of very cold nights we did turn on the heat lamp, but I’m so concerned about fire that I was checking them constantly during the night. Chickens do acclimate to the cold and they huddle together and puff up to stay warm. Their water bowl is heated but on a very cold night I take that out of the coop because the moisture it produces can cause frostbite.
Womanswork: What has surprised you the most about having chickens?
Eve Winslow: I was not expecting them to be so charming. And they each have a distinct personality like people. Annie is at the top of the pecking order, even though Merriweather is the largest. They have their favorite spots on the roosting bar and I can hear them argue and squabble about who gets to sleep where, but in the end Annie always gets her way. I know I anthropomorphize them alot, but it’s been so much fun to see their individual personalities take shape. Before I got them I was planning to cull the flock for meat, but that would be impossible for me to do now. As long as they live they have a home here.
Meet Dorian Winslow
I decided to write my own account because I was a chicken owner and my experience may be instructive to others.
Tom and I got our chickens from a friend who ordered them in the mail. Yes, the US Postal Service will mail day old chicks all over the country. Usually when you order by mail you have to meet a minimum of 25 chicks or so. Our friend only wanted about 15 so he was looking for homes for the others. We committed to 3 and then left them with him to incubate in a warm cage until they were about 3 months old. In the meantime we prepared our chicken coop. We converted a small lean to shed on the side of our garage into a coop, then added an 8-foot long chicken wire run on the outside that was connected with a little swinging door built into the side of the coop.
We picked up our pullets in May and showed them their new home. They seemed happy, especially because we let them free range all the day long when we were at home. They were Araucana chickens, known for their beautiful plumage and friendly-to-people personalities. I named them after three female literary giants: Eudora [Welty], Jamaica [Kincaid] and Harper [Lee]. In August my husband and I were traveling out of town when we got a phone call from our neighbors: the first egg had been laid. It was a beautiful pale blueish green, which is another hallmark of the Araucana breed of chicken. Click here for a video with me and my chickens.
Unfortunately it went downhill from there. We got attached to the chickens and thought of them like pets and they got taken, one by one over the course of the next year, by foxes during broad daylight when everyone was home and even our dog was about.
We have not been able to figure out how to keep our chickens safe while giving them an enjoyable free ranging lifestyle, so for now we are chickenless. If we figure it out we may try again.
66 thoughts on “Thinking About Chickens? Meet 4 Chicken Owners”
“Keeping Chickens” looks like an eggsellent, well-researched guide with great reviews. We’re looking for chicken tractor ideas and egg recipes. My 9 year old daughter wanted chickens after seeing “Food, Inc.”
Hi, I just retired, bought a house in Western Massachusetts, and moved from Illinois to finally live in New England where I’ve dreamed of being since my childhood in Los Angeles. The house came with a chicken coop but I’ll have to build a secure above- and below-fenced area like Ashley since my property is wooded and near conservation land with many predators. I want to try to adopt rescue hens for eggs but I think three will be all I’ll want (though I already have a baker’s dozen names!) and am only concerned about winter care so I plan to get serious next spring. I’d love a copy of Ashley’s book to help me learn the ins and outs of this new venture. Thank you!
After 16 years of renting, I finally have a backyard and I want to be a crazy chicken lady too!
Thank You, This was very informative and it made me want to raise chickens even more.
I love your gloves and have 4 chickens of my own, but no eggs yet. They are 30 weeks old. I ware my gloves when cleaning the coop and yard work. Would love to win a copy of Ashley’s book.
I inherited 3 chickens when I bought my property. So I am “learning as I go”. Would love to have a great book to go to as a resource. You can always learn something new 🙂
I love my hens, even though winter has set in and I still need to spoil them. My rooster still lets me know when the sun is coming up! Love learning more about chickens.
Great interviews. I’m hoping to get chickens next year. These were just the sort of questions I am wanting answers to. Thanks!
I would love the book. My daughter has 4 chickens, and I would love to know more about them; the kind to buy, why chickens do not need a hen, etc.
The whole subject is fascinating.
would love the book. My daughter has 4 chickens, and I would love to know more about them; the kind to buy, why chickens do not need a hen, etc.
The whole subject is fascinating.
I already have a large flock of chickens, but I have found there is always more to learn. My latest and greatest find is Itzy Bitzy Farm and her book Gardening for the Girls. You might want to look her up, facebook or blog.
I would love to win Ashley’s book, as I own a small flock of hens and always enjoy reading and learning as much as I can about keeping chickens! I follow Ashley on IG as well as Shayla and love their feeds!!
Thank you for the opportunity to win this great book!
The title of your blog post asks, “thinking about chickens?” My answer is “yes!” My husband and I just left the city grind behind, relocating from Chicago to Marshall, a small mountain town in western NC to live a slower, simpler more meaningful lifestyle. And funny enough, chickens have been a driving force behind our decision. We knew we wanted land to start growing our own food and we have dreamt about having chickens and possibly goats. When Ashley posted about her book giveaway here I had to come over and check y’all out. I have already added a pair of your gloves to my list to “Santa” this year and I can’t wait for Spring get my hands in them. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to researching all about making our mini-homestead a reality. I can just see myself hunkering down by the fire with this book. Thanks for considering me for the giveaway! Kindly, Kris
Newly retired,I’m leaving crowded Vista,Ca for Council,Idaho.The new place is 24 acres of pasture,
barns and a burro. I enjoy gardening & am looking forward to learning about 4 seasons. As a kid I was
in 4H had sheep and calves.My grandparents raised
turkeys and chickens for sale. I don’t want to do anything commercial, just want to reconnect with the
farm girl I once was!
I’d like to win this book to give to my daughter and her family. They have 6 beautiful laying hens who provide them with lots of eggs almost everyday. They built them a deluxe chicken tractor with a back door so they can occasionally roam. They have trained their dog to herd them so they don’t stray into the canal at the back of their lot. Although they are doing well with this first try at chicken rearing, they could really use the information in this book. Thank you.
My twin sister, who lives in Maine, has been raising chickens for several years, and loving it. She would be so happy to benefit from all the good stuff in your book…it would be a gift. Also, my daughter, who just had her first child, and has a farm-like backyard in western Mass., would love to start raising chickens in 2015 so her family can have “farm fresh eggs”, and her son can reap the benefits and joys of having animals (birds) to take care of. Who would be the lucky recipient if I was a winner? Thanks, Julie
I’ve been thinking about keeping chickens for the past couple of months. The book sounds like it might be a good resource.
As a child we raised chickens for meat. I have moved back to my childhood home after 4 decades in cities and would like to raise chickens for eggs. I am interested in learning how to keep chickens safe and laying.
I would love the book for my friend, Darlene. She has chickens and has taught me so much about them. I am thinking of getting them myself but have more to learn first. I think I would read it first, lol and then pass it on to her!
I live in southern Michigan and want to have a small chicken flock so much! My sister in California has had chickens for 30 years and as a high-end landscape architect, she encourages her movie-star clients to keep chickens. She does that by showing the how well the chickens integrate with her own showpiece garden. So I have genealogical reasons 🙂 but I also have a half acre permaculture “farm” that would immensely benefit from the presence of a controlled chicken flock. The fertilizer, insect control, and general peace of the farm will be great with chickens. My hesitation has been how to keep them in winter in Michigan, and yet I know I can do it, since a few friends already do!
I have two grandchildren ages 7 and 9 and they are at the right age to take on some chores on my small farm. They both live in the city and come up in the summer. I would like to have a few chicken for them and I need to decide what I need to get started and how to keep the chickens safe and happy. I would use them for eggs and some bug management!
Hi, I left a comment right away in October but it never posted so I’m trying again! I’ve recently moved to rural Massachusetts from Illinois and my new home came with a hen house. I need to build a protective fence around the coop because of predators, but then I’m planning to try my hand at chickens for eggs! I’m a city girl and an academic so I need all the advice I can get–from the ground up. I’d love to read more along the lines of the the interviews above. Thanks for considering me for a prize book :))
I was raised on a farm with chickens for our personal use. They were free range and I only remember feeding and watering them. Now almost 40 years after watering/feeding those chickens I plan on getting some this spring. I know there are things I need to know to keep my flock happy and healthy. I love to read and would really enjoy the chicken book.
Hi from Nashville y’all! Thinking about building a coop in my “newish” urban food garden. Allowed to have up to 6 hens. Would love to read.
This book is on my Wish list! I’d love to have a copy. Thanks so much for the chance! 🙂
Would love to win Ashley English’s Book keeping Chickens I have 4 and love to learn new stuff!
I’d love to win a copy of the book. I’m in my first year of owning chickens. I’m amazed how hardy and personable they are. They’ve survived this dreadful winter despite my inexperience. I think the book would help me better chicken keeper to my girls. I still have so many questions! Can you tell how I can catch one of them laying an egg? I’ve seen one hatch, but I’d love to see one lay an egg. I get several different looking eggs. One is large and unevenly colored. One is smaller and spotted. Do different chickens lay the eggs, or could it be the same chicken? How can I keep them from getting out of their enclosure? And on and on …
As a child we raised our own chickens. Then of course’ I went off to college and away from country life. Now that I am retired and living back at the family farm, I would like to return to raising chickens again. The book would be sure to inspire me to carry through with this goal/plan.
When I was growing up, we always had a large flock of chickens….for their eggs and meat. It was my job to shuck the corn and feed them after school. I recently learned we can have chickens here in the city…..with some restrictions,
of course (no roosters, etc.) and I would like to have two or three chickens for their eggs and to relive some childhood memories. Your book would be a great help in accomplishing this.
Aloha. Your book would be very helpful as we are always learning how to care for our hens.
We are keeping chickens here in Hawaii on the island of Kauai. We started with two Plymouth Rocks about 6 years ago, Gracie and Star. Star has since passed on but Gracie is still with us in her separate coop and yard. About 4 years ago, we got one Rhode Island Red, Rosie, and two Aracuna cross-links, Suzie and Sally. They have a tractor with coop and yard separate from Gracie. Two years ago, we got 5 more Rhode Island Reds and 4 Plymouth or Barred Rocks. These girls have not been named but were built a big tractor coop and yard that we call the “Tank” which is moved every other day with a lot of effort.
Laying has been mostly good with time out for molting and reduced sunlight. We usually average 6-9 eggs total a day from all chickens.
We are getting ready to built a permanent coop with a big, long yard for them to roam, eat bugs, scratch, etc. We are always learning. My 27 year old niece, Lindsey, who lives with us, has taken up the main responsibility for our hens. She has become quite adept at speaking their language. She would love to read your book. Thanks & Mahalo.
I am wanting to start raising chickens this year. We hope the granddaughters will enjoy the fun of gathering eggs and the whole process.
We are just getting ready to build a chicken coop as we plan on getting some chickens. We have a lot of questions though so this book would come in very handy. Thank you for the opportunity!
I would love this book since my significant other and I care for his invalid brother’s chickens and peacocks and finches ( house birds). They are a handful. Plus we play music for them all day and night to keep any critters away from trying to get in and kill them and with the winter weather some heaters on to keep them warm and not getting sickly.
Omg! What a great book!
Got your catolog and it talks about the keeping chickens book.I entered back in October, when is the drawing for this book?
Donna, we did a drawing about a month ago and gave away two copies of the book, one to Kris (commented on Nov. 19th) and another to Karen (also Nov 19th). We will do another drawing in about a month. We will review all of the comments again before awarding the final book. Thank you so much for your comments!
Last week I was driving down a local residential block in my area & saw 4 chickens (one white & 3 brown). I went home that night & told my husband I want to raise some chickens. We have an acre of land & my husband has been out on disability for over a year now & is so bored out of his mind. He was a carpenter & really loved what he did but to go back to that full time is impossible for him. Anyway last summer the guy from Brooklyn NY became farmer brown & we grew some nice vegetables. It kept him busy watering them & weeding them. We bought a raised standing garden bed from Costco so he wouldn’t be bent over pulling weeds. Now I want chickens & he can help build a little chicken coop. This will be a nice project for us to work on it together. Then I get your catalog & looking through it I see the “keeping Chickens” book giveaway. This is too much of a coincidence. ????????????????????
We live on a small ranch in Wyoming with horses and yaks, and we know that chickens are the next members we will add since we love eggs (currently buying local), cooking, and taking care of everything here in our wonderful world. As a young child I raised chickens and guineas on our NC farm and my husband has raised chickens, turkeys and geese the past and is readying himself to build a custom chicken house. We could use your advice and I bet the book by Ashley English is full of great tips! Love your products and your excellent customer service and appreciate your attention to what works for women!
I first read about Ashley English in the Country Woman magazine, April/May 2013 edition. At the time, my husband had started keeping bees, and that summer I got my first 6 hens. We live in a suburb of Detroit, MI. Since our start, we have honed our urban farming skills, but still have a lot to learn, and would love this book as a resource. We have been able to educate many neighbors and friends about both bees and chickens, and enjoy harvest day, where we open our doors to many visitors who participate in honey harvest. We also love checking the nest boxes daily for fresh eggs! I also LOVE women’s work gloves, and have used them taking care of the honey bee hives and working with the chickens. I have a pair and so do my mom and sister.
I have been wanting to get a few chickens for the past several years; I think it would be a fun hobby since I’m at home and in the yard working most days. My five granddaughters would benefit from helping with the care of the chickens and also love to eat the “poppy eggs” in the morning. The book would be a great resource for me to make sure I’m taking care of the hens correctly and give me ideas needed for a first-timer. I have 1.6 acres and would love to have the critters, the eggs, and the poop for my garden!
I love all books about chickens. It is nice to hear about other chicken books available. I get tired of another author (not to be mentioned) continuously plugging their book. Looks like some folks are more in need than me, maybe I will hit up the library for a copy. Love your products!
We just built a huge run for our 17 chickens and 2 ducks. What an amazing learning experience it’s been! This book sounds super informative so I’ll have to check it out.
I’d love a copy of Ashley’s book. We’ve just bought some property on a river and I’m dying to raise chickens to supply us with eggs. I need to learn as much as I can about these little beauties and how to protect them from the many predators (coyote, bobcats and neighbor’s dogs – so far)we’re seeing.
I wonder if Dorian Winslow has ever been to the “Fresh Eggs Daily” website or Facebook page where she would find wonderful suggestions and examples for keeping chickens safe in a free range or semi free range situation? My niece keeps chickens in Texas and finds “Fresh Eggs Daily” very helpful.
Addicted to birds of all kinds (see my blog for my watercolor sketches of birds and nature!), I am finally getting ready to erect a coop and get some lovely birds this year.
In fact, I already have selected names — Holly (Hollandaise), Bernie (Bernaise), and — if I get a rooster (probably not?) — Alfred (Alfredo). I love my garden and I love to cook, so what better addition than some lovely ladies to provide me with eggs and entertainment?
I would love to have this wonderful resource to encourage my future flock!
Having friends who have chickens and a son in Utah who has chickens, I am seriously thinking of having chickens of my own. I love the freshness and bright yellow yolks of home chickens. I believe the book would give me valuable information. Thank you for having chicken information on your website.
I have always wanted to have chickens. Since I don’t know the first thing about raising chickens Ashley’s book would be a perfect way to get started!
I was the city kid who spent weekends visiting the various relatives’ farms in Tennessee having a blast growing up. Now I want to relive those fun times and start my own flock.
I would love to have a copy of the book to get me started correctly. I have a favorite chicken too, those fancy ones with the feathers on their feet (looks like they have on slippers in the yard ; )
I love eggs so much that I’m sure I would never fail to find a new recipe for all those fresh, tasty, colorful gems. With the current shortage of eggs/chickens due to the bird flu it also seems like the perfect time to get started with my own coop!
I have plenty of room for chickens but wonder how difficult it is and how noisy (lol). This book would help me immensely.
I would love to win this book for my mom. She recently moved back to the home she grew up in in Northern Michigan after she retired (and since her dad passed away). She’d like to start raising chickens this summer like they used to when she was a kid. It’s been a long time since she’s had chickens and this book is an excellent resource. There have been a lot of improvements in the way chickens are cared for in smaller flocks. Her grandfather used to be a chicken farmer and he was called “chicken Charley” during the great depression. Chicken raising is in her blood, but she just needs the right resources to be successful!