Author(s): Fred Hams
Poultry keeping has increased in popularity in recent years and can be a richly rewarding pastime. Whether your interest is in collecting fresh eggs to eat, owning a pet, keeping a pure breed with historical associations, knowing the source of your food or achieving a level of self-sufficiency, poultry also make naturally inquisitive and interesting companions to have around. This lavishly illustrated guide provides all the information that you need in order to start keeping poultry at home. A buyer's guide shows you what features to look for in healthy poultry as well as the best sources from which to buy them. Choosing a breed that is appropriate for the space in which it will be kept, as well as one with a nature that is suitable for your requirements, is discussed in detail. Included, too, is a guide to providing suitable housing, such as making your own chicken coop, nest box and outdoor run with adequate security and ventilation. Essential information is provided on feeding, hygiene, identifying and treating ailments, and good poultry husbandry. If breeding poultry appeals there is advice on achieving success with an incubator, choosing a broody hen, rearing chicks and introducing new hens to an established coop. The second half of the book is a lavishly illustrated guide to poultry breeds. It is divided into sections covering foundation breeds and manmade breeds with each subdivided according to type of poultry. A final chapter looks at popular goose, duck and turkey breeds. Each breed is illustrated with a stunning photograph, and the accompanying text discusses the history and key characteristics of the breed as well as its living requirements and the possible egg yield. Whether you are interested in keeping a few hens in the back garden, selling eggs for profit, breeding birds for sale or exhibiting pure breeds, this informative and authoritative guide, written by a leading expert and international poultry judge, provides all the information that you need to become a confident poultry keeper.
Fred Hams started his own poultry farm in 1960. Later, he was employed by Wye Agricultural College as a poultry technician and by an environmental health department as a poultry meat inspector. Fred has served on the Ministry of Agriculture's Genetic Resources committee and is a founding member of the Rare Poultry Society. He helped start the poultry fanciers magazine Fancy Fowl, and since 2004 has served as consultant to the best-selling Practical Poultry magazine.