Plomondon books vs Salatin's for Beginner?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by babalubird, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi. I've been looking at and reading the reviews on Amazon.com about the old farm books on chickens republished/updated by Plomondon's publishinc company. Has anyone here used them and do you recommend them?

    We are brand new at this and have a super steep learning curve to overcome. Those books on Amazon are...

    1. Success With Baby Chicks: A Complete Guide to Hatchery Selection, Mail-Order Chicks, Day-Old Chick Care, Brooding, Brooder Plans, Feeding, and Housing
    Robert Plamondon (Author)

    2. The Dollar Hen: The Classic Guide to American Free-Range Egg Farming [Paperback]
    Milo M. Hastings (Author), Robert Plamondon (Editor)

    3. Fresh-Air Poultry Houses: The Classic Guide to Open-Front Chicken Coops for Healthier Poultry [Paperback] (Does this one have enough info on portable pens?)
    Prince T. Woods (Author)

    4. Ten Acres Enough: Small-Farm Self-Sufficiency Through High-Quality Produce. A Back-to-the-Land Adventure from 1864 [Paperback]
    Edmund Morris (Author), Robert Plamondon (Editor)

    5. Feeding Poultry: The Classic Guide to Poultry Nutrition for Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Gamebirds, and Pigeons [Paperback]
    Gustave F. Heuser (Author)

    Do you find these books updated enough and have you found them valuable and viable in their information in today's farming world?

    Thanks.
     
  2. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know nothing of any of them. I love Chickens for Dummies!
     
  3. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, thanks, Bethany, but I see the Dummies book is aimed at backyard chicken enthusiasts. These books are supposed to teach chickens as a profit-making business. That's why I was really interested in this series of books, if indeed, they deliver the knowledge as promised.
     
  4. Ahab

    Ahab Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know most of those books, and have recently read The Dollar Hen and Fresh-Air Poultry Houses--though in the original form, and not Plamondon's update. The original books are fine--chicken biology hasn't changed since the 1870s, the intelligence of humanity hasn't changed since the 1870s (except possibly for the worse), agriculture was then a primary occupation for much of the country (now, it's either an expensive hobby or an endless indenture to the banker) and thus written about seriously by informed people (both those books had the participation of state agricultural colleges).

    Of course you have to filter century-old data through a modern lens, but the underlying suppositions from vintage agriculture books are typically solid--the golden age would be the scientific era, from around the 1880s through the 1930s. In the late 1940s, chemical companies began to influence courseware in agricultural studies, and the goal, implied or overt, was to engineer agriculture so that ever fewer people produced ever more food. Which is the opposite interest of most people on, say, a backyard poultry forum. Information from the golden age of American agriculture is far more scaleable.

    Back in the early 1990s, when I was working for a New York publisher, I started reprinting a lot of these out-of-print, out-of-copyright agriculture books, though we didn't update them: just added a context-setting foreword from someone knowledgable in the particular field (kind of the way Penguin continues making royalty-free money reprinting Dickens and Hardy and Austen).

    I'm not sure how much Plamondon has updated these books, or what extra value he adds to the cover price. To wet your toe inexpensively, download Kindle Reader from the Amazon Web site (assuming you don't already own a Kindle or an iPad with Kindle Reader), and download the books for free (you can find them easily with a bit of deft googling, including many other useful archival titles). Your investment is zero, other than a little time, and if you find them useful, then it might be worth your while to see how they've been updated, and whether the extra fee is valuable to you.
     
  5. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow. Thanks for all the good info. I don't know if I can figure out how to use the kINDLER DOWNLOAD as I'm pretty tech-challenged, but I'll give it a try. Been interested in that for a while anyway.
     
  6. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oops sorry.[​IMG]
     
  7. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens (though I really draw a line at milking a cockeral!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and Chickens for dummies though it is written for the american market. Any other book that you can recomend would be welcomed.
     
  8. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started my Chicken Coop adventures in B.C. (Before Computers) and was very much inspired by the works of Robert Rodale of the Organic Gardening group. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rodale_Institute

    See
    my BYC page of my Coop and run that has been in use for over 15 years. The mulberry trees were inspired by them along with the sub-ground level dirt floor with Deep Litter method.
     
  9. AlbionWood

    AlbionWood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Plamondon's FAQ has a lot of useful information - if you haven't yet, I recommend reading everything he has there. I too am intrigued by some of the books he has reprinted/updated/published, and am hoping someone here has read them and can offer a review. Based on how well he conveys information on his Web articles, there's a good chance they will be useful.
    http://www.plamondon.com/poultryfaq.html
     
  10. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Albion, for that FAQ link. It was really good reading and very useful info. I traversed his site a number of times but never read his FAQ page, shame on me! Glad you drew it to my attention.

    Based on that FAQ and the reviews on Amazon.com, which, for most part, are pretty good, I just may have to break down and order the books once I have a few free shekels.

    ,
     

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