The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Thrifty Chicken Breeds

Thrifty Chicken BreedsI've got two rounds of book excitement to share with you this week.  First of all, I have a new ebook out!  Thrifty Chicken Breeds sums up our experiences over the last five years trialling different types of chickens and keeping track of their foraging abilities and of how much it cost to keep the chickens fed.  The result is a recommendation on types of chickens perfect for the homesteader who wants her birds to pay for themselves, plus tips on how to breed an even more self-sufficient homestead flock.

Thrifty Chicken Breeds is only 99 cents on Amazon (or free to borrow if you have Amazon Prime), so I hope you'll splurge a buck!  Early sales make a huge difference in an ebook's future, so I'm not setting this ebook free on Friday the way I usually do.  Instead, I've set aside a limited number of free copies for those of you who are willing to leave a review on Amazon (email me if you're interested), and once I have enough reviews to help the book reach strangers, I'll set up a free period on Amazon.  I announce those freebies on my book email list, so head over here and sign up using the form on the sidebar if you want to know when this and other ebooks are free. 

The Naturally Bug-Free GardenSecond, I revised the manuscript of The Naturally Bug-Free Garden to send to Skyhorse, and as always happens when I know I won't get another stab at a book for quite a while, I went over the book with a fine-tooth comb and also enlarged it.  If you've already downloaded a copy of the first edition, pay attention to your inbox and Amazon should give you an opportunity to upgrade to the second edition for free in the near future.  And if you haven't got the book yet, now's your chance to enjoy a sneak preview of the same text and photos that will show up in bookstores in spring 2015!

A huge thank you to everyone who reads and reviews!  And please don't forget that you can always read my ebooks on any device using these free appsStay tuned for some excerpts from Thrifty Chicken Breeds, coming up as this week's lunchtime series.

This post is part of our Thrifty Chicken Breeds lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Purchased, will leave a review later! But as I was skimming through it, I was curious about your opinion of barred rocks, which I have been raising for four years now. I'm very surprised you rate them so low. In my region, they are a very popular breed for what I feel is good reason. The chicks available at feed stores don't seem at all to be bred for looks. Everyone I talk to about them seems to agree that they are on par with Rhode Island reds in every aspect except for aggression. Our strain is apparently an exception for that because our original rooster was the meanest chicken I have ever seen. Our hens are also very flighty, the opposite of what many say about the entire breed. I'm also surprised that the rate of lay for your barred rocks was so low. Our flock lays an almost equivalent amount to our neighbor's rhode island reds. I use a chicken tractor, and our birds are always very eager to eat almost all vegetation and search for insects. I've even seen them eat baby mice. I am aware that different bloodlines can mean very different results though, so I don't blame you for your opinion of them. But I think if you're interested in another strong dual purpose bird, barred rocks are worth giving a second chance.

Comment by Roberta Mon Jun 9 16:31:06 2014

Roberta --- I'll have to give them another look due to your high praise. It would definitely be interesting to compare their feed conversion rate and laying abilities to that of our Australorp-based hybrids.

Thanks in advance for your review and retroactively for buying a copy! I really appreciate it!

Comment by anna Mon Jun 9 16:48:35 2014

I admit I'm being a bit biased in my statements, really. I haven't given many other breeds a chance, so I will definitely look into your recommended breeds as well. Just another little note: I've kept our bloodline in a closed flock for four years before purchasing new blood this year. I did notice one major difference in the current flock versus the new guys. Our birds have very prominently reddish-orange and orange eyes. The new bloodline I purchased this year has dull, greenish-yellow eyes. I take this as evidence that they could be mixed with something else. These new birds also seem much calmer, not exactly a good trait in my opinion. I'm very leery about mixing them with our birds, and I intend to pay very close attention to any major differences in foraging or egg-laying.

Comment by Roberta Mon Jun 9 17:19:56 2014
Purchased your ebook and hope to get it in book form. Have not gotten to read it yet will have to wait till I get home, I have a dumb phone and have to down load an app. to the desktop. Looking forward to it and hope buff orpington are high on your list. Have never had them before but from what I read it would be the best for what I am wanting to do with them. Thought about black australorp as well though.
Comment by James Tue Jun 10 09:51:32 2014

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