The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An all-natural approach to raising chickens and other fowl for home a

Average User Rating:
  • Title:
    The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An all-natural approach to raising chickens and other fowl for home and market growers
    Harvey Ussary
    Buy URL:
    The most comprehensive guide to date on raising all-natural poultry for the small-scale farmer, homesteader, and professional grower. The Small-Scale Poultry Flock offers a practical and integrative model for working with chickens and other domestic fowl, based entirely on natural systems.Readers will find information on growing (and sourcing) feed on a small scale, brooding (and breeding) at home, and using poultry as insect and weed managers in the garden and orchard. Ussery's model presents an entirely sustainable system that can be adapted and utilized in a variety of scales, and will prove invaluable for beginner homesteaders, growers looking to incorporate poultry into their farm, or poultry farmers seeking to close their loop. Ussery offers extensive information on: The definition of an integrated poultry flock (imitation of natural systems, integrating patterns, and closing the circle) Everything you need to know about your basic chicken (including distinctive points about anatomy and behavior that are critical to management) Extended information on poultry health and holistic health care, with a focus on prevention Planning your flock (flock size, choosing breeds, fowl useful for egg vs. meat production, sourcing stock) How to breed and brood the flock (including breeding for genetic conservation), including the most complete guide to working with broody hens available anywhere Making and mixing your own feed (with tips on equipment, storage, basic ingredients, technique, grinding and mixing) Providing more of the flock's feed from sources grown or self-foraged on the homestead or farm, including production of live protein feeds using earthworms and soldier grubs Using poultry to increase soil fertility, control crop damaging insects, and to make compost-including systems for pasturing and for tillage of cover crops and weeds Recipes for great egg and poultry dishes (including Ussery's famous chicken stock!) And one of the best step-by-step poultry butchering guides available, complete with extensive illustrative photos.No other book on raising poultry takes an entirely whole-systems approach, or discusses producing homegrown feed and breeding in such detail. This is a truly invaluable guide that will lead farmers and homesteaders into a new world of self-reliance and enjoyment.
  • a24e16dc_B00AKJ0E9I-51OZS-eEQZL.jpeg

Recent User Reviews

  1. popsicle
    "If I could only have one chicken book"
    Pros - Practical, Comprehensive, photos of processing
    Cons - see review
    This is easily my favorite book on raising fowl. It is absolutely the most comprehensive book I own covering everything from: why to raise chickens, obtaining chicks, manure, processing birds (with photos!), mixing feed, performance spreadsheets, etc.

    I appreciate that there are only brief descriptions of breeds the author has experience with. I have other books that attempt to give an overview of many breeds--of course they always leave out so many breeds I wonder why they bother.

    If you want to raise birds sustainably, this is your book. The author argues that you should only order straight run chicks; and you should process your extra cockerels, cocks and hens. I have several books that have just a paragraph or two about processing, with maybe a photo or two. This book has a nice photo spread detailing processing, including accepted humane kill methods. Is this book all you need to be confident in your first processing experience? No. However, this book is the clear winner in describing processing compared to all the other general chicken rearing books on my shelf.

    The main negative I have about the book is regarding frequent mentioning of issues such as peak-oil. I'm fairly conservative and went to school for resource management--while I don't disagree with much of what he says, I think it will turn a few people off to the many important things he is saying. Considering my degree in natural science I very much appreciate that he does seem to cite his sources (I will admit I haven't looked at what his sources are).
    BlackHackle likes this.

User Comments

To post comments, simply sign up and become a member!
  1. BlackHackle
    This is one of the best books on my shelf! It beats all the hundreds of others I have
  2. ejcrist
    I just received the book today and haven't read any of it yet, but I skimmed the index and glanced through some of the topics that interest me such as making your own feed, and from what I can tell so far this is really a great book! It covers a lot of stuff I'm really interested in and I can't wait to read it.
  3. mymilliefleur
    Very helpful review! Definitely my favorite book too!
  4. popsicle
    I wasn't actually discouraging people from buying the book due to mentions of peak-oil, however I find it completely reasonable to think that somebody perusing the book at a book store would come across some of his mentioning of it and put the book down and look at other books--which is why I think it's a negative aspect to the book.

    As I mentioned, this is hands down the best poultry book I own, and I own several--I collect books more than I do chickens.
  5. buckbye
    Peak-oil is a very, very minor element in this book. It would be silly for someone to allow their feelings on the issue (or non-issue, as the case may be) to discourage them from reading what is some truly excellent work by Mr. Ussery on integrated poultry management.
  6. popsicle
    "Peak-oil" is the theory that we've already or soon will have maximized global oil production, and that oil will then become more and more expensive. "Peak-oil" people say that once that happens there will be global strife/war due to the fact that oil is involved in everything. It was a hot topic when I was in college, but with developments is Bakken, etc, I haven't been hearing as much about it.
  7. 3riverschick
    What's peak-oil?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: