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Book Review: The Small Scale Poultry Flock

November 23rd, 2012

If you don’t listen to the podcast, you didn’t hear my review of The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers. Since I love this book so much, I wanted to make sure to sing it’s praises here in case you didn’t hear my glowing reviews on Cultivate Simple.

Just about every chicken related book in print has come across my coffee table, many of them were good, this is the best overall. Most other chicken books I’ve read are what I would call “fluffy” full of useful information, but to a lot of meat. With this book it’s chocked full of just about everything you want to know. There’s definitely a lot more substance to this book making it well worth it’s cost.

How good is this book? Good enough for me to buy for my library. No other chicken book has received a place on my bookshelf. If you’re at all interested in raising chickens, ducks, or geese I cannot recommend this book enough. It covers everything too, from rearing chicks the all natural way and mixing your own chicken feed, to how to use chickens to till your garden and how to butcher them when the time comes. This book has it all!

The funny thing about this book – I purchased a copy right after we moved and accidentally forgot to change my address at Amazon. Since I was so keen on getting the book and didn’t want to wait the month until I headed back to Ohio, I purchased a second copy. The Ohio copy was given away as a prize on the podcast. We had the listeners comment and use the word chicken or one of it’s derivatives in the comment and we chose the most creative one. If you didn’t listen or read the comment head on over to this post to read them, some folks were very creative!

Do you have any great reference books to recommend that are worthy of a place on the library shelf?

11 Comments to “Book Review: The Small Scale Poultry Flock”
  1. amy on November 23, 2012 at 9:42 am

    You may already have this one but….having lived my entire life in the country…I still found this book invaluable….Carla Emery’s, Encyclopedia of Country Living.

    Reply to amy's comment

  2. judym on November 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Story’s Raising Chickens was more helpful to me than any of the other books I read. like you, I found a lot of books I read were fluff. I’ve been wanting to check out your book for some time. Now I definitely will.

    Reply to judym's comment

  3. Ann on November 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I love Steve Soloman’s “Gardening in Hard Times”. It is such a good common sense, back to basics book on vegetable gardening. I have read a gazillion gardening books but when I read this one, I figuratively threw all the rest away.

    I have the Storey’s book on chickens but do not find it to be all that helpful so I will immediately go buy this one and use it to improve the quality of my chickens lives.

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  4. Hazel on November 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I have read and purchased several chicken books and Ussery’s is by far my favourite. While I think it would also be handy for those with urban flocks, I find that it does a great job of covering the middle ground between books and material targeted at very small flocks and the larger industrial approach. I built the pasture shelter in the Small Scale Poultry Flock and found the instructions to be very good and worth the purchase price of the book on their own. (The pasture shelter was only my second carpentry project… the first was a plant shelf so the instructions needed to be good!)

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  5. EL on November 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I think it depends on what I’m doing. I love working with stones, so one of my favorites is “The Backyard Stone Builder”. You might find it useful in Maine. I doubt if it’s in print anymore. Another is “Water-wise vegetable growing” which is quite useful in the west where we might have a fair amount of drought during the summer.

    But I have a lot of flower books, as I like them as much as vegetables. I guess that my seed saving and growing books cover both and allow me to grow a lot of native plants that I would otherwise not be able to grow.

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  6. Ken Toney on November 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Most of my books stay on the shelf and are referred to a couple of times a year. But Eliot Coleman’s “Winter Harvest Handbook” stays on the end table beside our bed. I re-read it every year and refer to it for planting schedules in our high tunnel.

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  7. angie h on November 27, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Can you add a “bookshelf” tab or link? I can’t keep up with your recommendations! I know you list them on your side bar, but there is only so much room!! I know you have tags for “books”, but….

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  8. angie h on November 27, 2012 at 10:33 am

    …like a larger version of the book images along the side :)

    Reply to angie h's comment

    • Susy on November 27, 2012 at 10:40 am

      That’s in the works for the new blog redesign.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • angie h on November 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm


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  9. Kaytee on November 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I’m planning to get chickens in the spring so I was glad to hear a recommendation for a good book. I bought it Black Friday and it’s now sitting on my coffee table! This is just the type of book I was hoping to get. Thank you so much for these book reviews.

    Reply to Kaytee's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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