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4.9 out of 5 stars60
4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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VINE VOICEon 8 June 2013
I have bought or been given every one of the RC series to date and as a relatively new hen keeper (we have a small mixed flock of hybrids bought as point of lay a couple of years ago) I was keen to add this title to my collection. It's well written, doesn't patronise nor assume knowledge a newbie probably wouldn't possess. It covers a lot of ground quickly, and would be a superb gift for anyone thinking about acquiring their first chucks. What I would have liked is a little more coverage on different breeds and perhaps some more illustrations of DIY henhouses ... our very expensive kit house is falling to bits and we want to build a new one before winter, so I was hoping for some ideas ... but these are minor issues. The recipes look fantastic, whether egg based or meat based, although I really cannot imagine us keeping hens for meat, we get much too attached to the ones we keep for eggs. Having said that, I did appreciate the section on how to kill a hens humanely ... if you keep hens you may well have to deal with a sick or injured bird quickly. I wish this book had been out a few years ago, but better late than never!
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on 27 November 2013
Before getting my 4 Orpington hens earlier this year I invested in several chicken books/manuals and I can honestly say this is the best one. I know it's not to everyone's taste but I was particular interested in the dispatching chapter, this is something that everyone who is considering breeding chickens should consider in depth.
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on 4 October 2013
We bought this book when we first got our chickens because we trust the River cottage series and needed some guidelines. (Also, the other chicken-keeping books we found all seemed to be American which wasn't all that helpful.) We have found the book very useful and helpful. An excellent addition to the RC range. Now we need one on ducks :-)
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on 21 September 2014
I have several River Cottage Handbooks and this one doesn't let the side down! Informative at a really easy to understand level - we are new to chicken keeping and I wanted a good reference point and this certainly fits the bill (or should I say beak??!)

Mark's passion for these feathery friends comes across really well and apart from anything else, it's as really good read! It covers starting up, feeding, breading, despatch and recipes.

Would definitely recommend.
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on 15 July 2013
This is a first class and quality book that is fully featured with an intelligent layout and excellent examples. Highly recommended.
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on 1 October 2013
A superb book for anyone thinking of keeping chickens. As ever great stuff from River Cottage and packed with useful stuff
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on 16 June 2013
I have always wanted to keep chickens, especially since as a child I used to help my relatives look after theirs.

I have bought several books over the years as a source of reference but in all honesty Mark's book here is an all-encompassing one and guides you through every step, I cannot recommend this book enough.

Out of the several books that I owned on starting out with chickens I have kept only two; this one by Mark, and the second by Suzie Baldwin (who is also our local poultry keeper and supplier) called "Chickens - the essential guide", I would say that together they are all you need to have to read and to help you on your road to keeping chickens.

As a previous commentator says, as part of the River Cottage series this book is just excellent and it continues the high standard that all the other RC books have.

Well done again Mark.
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on 13 July 2013
I purchased this for a friend who already keeps chickens. They said the book was very enjoyable and would highly recommend it.
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on 13 April 2014
Another River Cottage great buy this one on Chickens. I am new to keeping chickens (not purchased yet) but wanted to do appropriate research first and this book is excellent for every aspect of keeping chickens. A superb informative read that I am really enjoying. Chickens are on order today.
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on 8 July 2013
Bought this book for my husband as a birthday present as he has taken over the welfare of the 2 Wilkie chickens we got for Easter. From the running commentary we are getting, he obviously is enjoying reading it. Lets hope he finds the method of improving egg production. Highly recommended.
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