Giveaway: Free Range Chicken Gardens and The Fresh Egg Cookbook

Edible gardeners want to eat what they grow. Chicken owners want happy egg-laying helpers. But happy, free-ranging chickens will mess up a veggie patch faster than you can say cotyledon.

And that is the conflict garden-growing chicken-owners face.

Thankfully, Free-Range Chicken Gardens, the new book by landscape designer and chicken expert Jessi Bloom, tells you how to have your cake and eat it to. (Chicken cake? Never mind, moving on.)

You could win this book!

Jessi sent me a review copy of the book so I would have a chance to read it before her virtual release party, happening today all over the interwebs*, and I’m so glad she did.

From Free Range Chicken Gardens I learned:

  • How to train chickens to come when I call. Now six of our hens will run toward me at full-tilt when I say, “Hey, chook chook chook!” because they think I have sunflower seeds. The seventh, the really, really stupid one, gets confused and starts ba-gawking. (Note: six hens running straight at you will induce mild, Jurassic Park velociraptor flash-back panic every single time.)
  • How to turn chickens into a moderately effective weed-controlling yard-crew with paddock-style fencing.
  • How to use groundcover to discourage chickens from going places you don’t want.
  • How terrifically hip and modern expanded metal mesh looks on a chicken coop.

The book provides a good overview on coop building styles and considerations, very basic chicken care info, do-grow/don’t-grow plant lists for the chicken garden and lots and lots of gorgeous inspirational pictures.

But for me, the most valuable thing Free-Range Chicken Gardens offers is insightful evaluation on how to design the coop, run and fencing so that it’s easier to make the chickens an active ally in the garden.

I wish Jessi had published this book last year, before we built our chicken coop. I would have done things a little differently in terms of incorporating paddock fencing into the design.

As it is, I think the advice in this book will really help us put the chickens to their all-around best use while keeping them happier and healthier in the process. It’ll just be a little more tricky to take full advantage of the wisdom now than it would have been a year ago.

People still thinking about getting chickens or upgrading your current coop, I highly recommend this book before you start to build. It’s got great ideas to ponder. Current flock owners, if you are struggling with how to get your chickens to eat the weeds and not the arugula, then this is the book for you, too.

Win a Free Copy, And More

Timber Press, the excellent publishing house for Free-Range Chicken Gardens, has apparently lost their mind and they are giving away free books all over the damn place.

They are giving away a copy of both Free-Range Chicken Gardens and The Fresh Egg Cookbook, which should inspire you with new ideas for what to do with all those backyard eggs.

Yeah, this one too.

To enter to win both books, leave a comment with either your most pressing chicken question (I’ll see if I can find a chicken expert to answer it for you), your funniest chicken story (make us laugh!), the number one reason other than eggs you want chickens (homemade feather bed?), or your favorite egg recipe (title/description is fine, you don’t need to type up the whole recipe).

Feel free to comment as much as you’d like, but only one entry per person will be counted and one winner will be chosen.

Entries will be accepted until Wednesday April 11, 8 PM PST. Winner will be announced on Thursday April 12th.

More Chances To Win

Timber Press isn’t just giving these books away on this blog, they’re also sponsoring a half-dozen identical giveaways around the virtual world. Which means…enter here and then start clicking around, because even if you don’t win the NW Edible giveaway, you might win one of the other ones.

Other bloggers will probably have different ways of entering, since we’re all doing this separately, so be sure to check what the other sites are looking for before going all cut-and-paste on this giveaway.

*You’ll find similtaneous book giveaway contests of Free-Range Chicken Gardens happening at:

NW Bloom: Garden Fowl

North Coast Gardening

Living Homegrown

My Rubber Boots

Sustainable Eats

Our Little Acre


Reminder: Urban Farms Magazine Subscription Giveaway

Also, if you haven’t yet entered yesterday’s giveaway (we’re giving away stuff right-and-left this week!), make sure to put your name in the hat to win a year’s subscription to Urban Farms Magazine by taking the Seed Starting Challenge (it’s easy!).

Bloggers, you can also link-up your favorite post on edible gardening or seed starting and be entered to win a (second, Northwest Edible-sponsored) subscription to Urban Farms Magazine too, if readers pick your post as their favorite!

Good luck, everyone.


  1. says

    Oooh, interesting books. Sending international?? If not, doesn’t matter, I’ll just join in for fun:

    My reason for wanting chickens (besides eggs, poo & scrap eating) is companionship in the garden. Now the neighbours don’t think I am the crazy lady talking to herself in the garden. They think I am the crazy lady talking to her chickens in the garden!

  2. vickie says

    I think my favorite recipe is angel food cake -uses a lot of eggs and taste great. I would love to learn how to have my chickens come to me-sounds like a great book!

  3. Lisa Cox says

    The main reason we got chickens was for fresh eggs. Since we were in the city, and didn’t know what the heck we were doing, we bought Silkies. No where in my research before we bought did it say that Silkies don’t lay very well. We thought got a chicken, you get eggs. Now it has turned into, the Silkies are my show birds, LOL.

  4. says

    Count me in! I don’t know what my funniest chicken story is, I mean, those feather heads are always doing something dumb. Although, I would have to say it was when they escaped the back yard (pre-fence) and were wandering down the street harassing the neighbors. The best part was when my neighbor from the “old country” just grabbed one of them by their feet, flipped her upside down, and tossed her over the fence. Surprisingly, chickens are like cats and almost always land on their feet!

    As for a recipe, I am a sucker for eggs benedict made with bacon and homegrown eggs. You just don’t get a poached egg or hollandaise sauce like those from homegrown fresh eggs. **Drool**

    And why have chickens? Besides eggs of course, there is the 24/7 entertainment and garden fun. And those girls are the best bed tillers I ever had! Unfortunately, they think they are supposed to till up my beds even after they are planted… I haven’t nailed that one in Chicken Training 101 yet…. But I do love those girls!

  5. Melanie says

    When our chickens were pullets and were getting acclimated to free range garden chicken-hood we lost one of our girls for 4 days. We looked everywhere. The neighbor kids circled the block with us and we knocked on lots of doors, but found nothing. On day 4 after lots searching, crying, and feeling as though all hope was lost, my husband found her. Where was she? In our yard the entire time. It was a miracle really. She had jumped on a stack of pots and they overturned with her inside. The opening was now up against the house. This happened in one of the shadiest nooks in the garden on some very hot days. We never heard her even though we walked by so many times. It was dark in the pots and she was asleep the entire time. My husband had just happened to grab those pots while he was planting a grape vine and there she was. Mrs. Henrietta Kensington was weak and wobbly from dehydration, but other than that she was perfectly fine. She just thought that night had lasted an unusually long time! The next day she was running laps around the yard to build her strength back up (seriously!) and she is now the toughest and most industrious of our girls. No bug is safe with her on the hunt.

    • Just Nick says

      I guess that shows the value of a three day nap. I wonder if I could lock myself inside a clay pot for a while?

  6. Kathy M says

    Pick me! Pick me!! ;-) I’m itching to get some chickens soon. We want them for eggs and meat of course, but the pest control help will be fabulous. Our land is overrun with grasshoppers & we want to keep them OUT of our garden! And as for fave egg recipes… my husband is living proof that real men DO eat quiche – it’s a huge favorite in our house.

  7. says

    Second the velociraptor panic! Yet I want to train my chickens, as I have trained all things dog. It’s my nature. That’s pretty high on my chicken question list. As is when to switch foods, from starter to grower (everyone has a different opinion), and does it really matter?

  8. says

    Oh my, after 30 years of having chickens I have so many stories, I wish at least one would come to mind at this moment. So I’ll just say that my favorite way to have my eggs is just the simplest, poached. Thank you for participating and giving us a chance to some good books.

  9. says

    Yahoo! The NYTimes published an article about homegrown chicken-keeping and cooking with so many eggs, including a reference to The Fresh Egg Cookbook. Both these books look great. My most pressing chicken question: How can I get some? I live in a suburban neighborhood really close to “the country” whose HOA says “no poultry.” What is the typical reason for establishing this rule, and how can I (politely) convince them to make an exception?

  10. Barbara says

    I do not really know anything about the chicken, or very little, but I love eggs: I like the cream, frittata, scrambled eggs, I love pretty much all the recipes with eggs! Thanks great giveaway!

  11. says

    My main reason for wanting chickens is because I miss them. I had chickens and I loved them so much. I love the eggs and their silliness.

  12. says

    Lets see…we currently have 7 layers and 9 new pullets and are looking at 1) expanding our current chicken run (the coop is big enough already given our Mansion building last year) and 2) incorporating smarter gardening into the backyard to accommodate the chickens when they’re out and about while encouraging them not to trash everything :-) So, this offer looks as though it might just be perfect! Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

  13. Darla Miller says

    I can’t wait to start raising my own chickens and eggs – well I can dream! Thanks for the great information :)

  14. Dawn says

    We are always entertained by our chickens-who needs TV? We love the fresh eggs, fertilizer, BUG PATROL, and manure spreading (we also have a dairy cow, so the girls-in search of fly larva-spread the manure for us on our pasture!).

  15. Valri says

    Sadly, I just lost all 9 of my girls last Saturday (foxes/coyotes?) We live in metropolitan area, it was daytime and they were free-ranging in the yard. We had gone for a bit and returned to feathers everywhere and 5 dead hens (I’m assuming the others 4 were carried away). So devastating …. but I am already planning to rebuild my flock.

    • Tammie Haley says

      It might have been racoons or hawks as well. So sorry to hear about your loses. That is one of the biggest problems we had when raising chickens on the farm. So heart breaking.

  16. Shauna says

    This is great! My FAVORITE egg recipe is Cheese Baked Eggs. There is nothing more decadent than eggs, cream and cheese.

  17. says

    We have 4 hens that we let free range around our yard when we’re home. I love watching them–they love to all take dirt baths together, so you’ll look over and see a pile of chickens all fluffing themselves, which is pretty sweet. My favorite egg recipe may be homemade Caesar Salad dressing. Coddle a couple of eggs, blend in the food processor with some anchovies, ground mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, & lemon juice, then slowly add olive oil until it gets creamy. Toss with some romaine lettuce and top with shaved parmesan & homemade croutons. It is so much better than any non-fresh dressing and super easy to make!

  18. says

    What a great giveaway! The biggest question I have about raising chickens is: Since I live in an area that gets feet of snow in the winter, what coop design is the suggestef for giving the chickens the best shelter and for keeping them safe? Thank you!

  19. says

    I just applied for an apartment where I could finally have chickens. I’m excited yet nervous about finally getting to join the chicken-keeping party! I am looking forward to chicken poo manure for the garden, and watching the chickens do their chicken things. This book would be great to get before I start building their new coop.

    Btw, I also think herd of birds, particularly waterbirds on land, look like dinosaurs. Flash-back-city!

  20. Tiffy D says

    We want chickens for our gardens (pest control, poop) and I can’t wait to use the eggs in my home bakery!

    I’m just concerned about the extremes in our weather – I’m in TX, so summers mean over 100 for months at a time, and winter it can get down into the 20s. How do I protect them during these extreme temperature swings? We want to get Araucanas, Wynettes, buff orpingtons, and maybe RRs. I have heard conflicting things about using heaters in the winter and how to warm them up without possibly burning down the coop.

  21. Sarah says

    My most pressing chicken question is when my chicks can go outside? They currently live in the garage under a heat lamp and are getting a lot of feathers. I got them on St Patrick’s day when they were 3 days old and I’m just wondering do you have to wait the full 2 months? Shorter? Longer because of the Seattle weather?

    • Tammie Haley says

      We used to gradually get the chicks used to being outside once they were a month old and had gained most of their adult feathers. We would try to get them outside of the barn during the warmest part of the day (usually 12-2pm) for a few hours and then hustle them back in to rest. I seem to recall on rainy days when they were younger we kept them inside the barn, but with the door open. Always had a lamp on if they wanted to go over and warm themselves up.

  22. says

    I’ve been wanting to check out that book… please pick me!
    We have a play kitchen outside for our two boys (ages 2 and 4 at the time). I hear them bustling around, “making chicken.” They call me out to eat what they have made, gesturing towards the play kitchen. And I look through the plexiglass on the oven door to see a very patient, though thoroughly annoyed hen looking back out at me. Baked chicken. She was the only one not amused.

  23. Raquel Padilla says

    The number one main reason I want chickens are because they are sooo darn cute! I love to sit and watch their antics for hours. I have a garden but no chickens of my own….YET!

  24. Em Walker says

    My funniest chicken story goes to when I was a kid. My then stepfather had farmers on both his mother’s and father’s side. We’d go to visit his grandfather and visit the baby piggies, cows, and chickens. Well, I was fairly young, maybe 4 or 5 I believe. Papa had all sorts of colors of chickens and I’d seen them all growing up in Nebraska. Only, I’d never seen a black chicken, not once. So, I was fascinated with it. Papa, noticed and told me that black chickens tasted better than all the rest of the chickens but, there was only one way to catch them! You had to sprinkle salt on it’s tail and it would slow down enough for me to catch her and bring her i for supper! LOL So, as you can imagine I spent forever trying to chase the chicken! For a couple of years I always chased the chicken! Until the last year…..when for some reason I cannot recall, I ended up with most of the coop chasing me! Never chased a chicken again! :D

  25. Marina says

    Six of my chickens are disciplined, two are not. I need them all to run over when I call, but I don’t know how to teach them! I want to win Jessi’s book, I know it will prove to be very helpful.

  26. says

    I would love for my children to grow up with chickens but I have it a hurtle, apparently its ok for those in a big city to have chickens but where I live (a little town in north Idaho) if you live in town they are not allowed if you have less than an acher. I am hoping to talk with the city to see if I can have a few. As the ordnance reads right now I can’t even have rabbits, which I also want. What would you suggest if my country town won’t let me have more than a dog and cat? It will be so sad :(

    • Tammie Haley says

      Dress the chickens and rabbits like dogs and cats. If we can dress dogs and cats like rabbits, and whatnot, why not chickens. I know most towns don’t like the idea of all these animals running around their yards because of the the noise and smell. Ask them for a trial run varience in the rules.

  27. Paula Morhardt says

    I would love to have not only fresh eggs, but tick, earwig, Junebug eating machines in my backyard! Am sooo tired of picking ticks off the cats, the chickens could eat the ticks, and provide entertainment for the cats! (who really are a bunch of wimps, the chickens may scare them to death…..)

  28. laura says

    # 1 reason we want chickens other than eggs = poop. it’s not glorious, but it’s honest.

  29. Judith says

    I live in ticky woods in North Carolina. I do want chickens for eggs, for manure to add to the compost pile, and to use as chicken tractors, but I know they can also help control ticks. I probably have a relative of Lyme disease (STARI) that is common in the Southeast and for which there is no test. I’m having trouble keeping ticks off my dogs and cat. Ticks are a pressing concern, but it’s hard to narrow it down to one reason for having chickens–they are so useful, and beautiful too! (And I need information on building a coop!)

  30. Rosemeri says

    I really need this book. I don’t have chickens now, but I have been thinking about getting some. I’m just afraid I don’t know how to care for them. Please count me in.

  31. says

    Besides eggs & poop, I think chickens would be fun companions to have around when I’m outside working in the garden. They make me smile, and who couldn’t use more of that?

  32. says

    My first encounter with chickens was when my grandma sent me to the store ( 2 building away from her house) to get a live chicken that she wanted to keep in her backyard. I went like a good girl, 4 or 5 years old, the man turned the hen upside down and told me to hold her by her feet…… going back home the chicken started to flip her wing really hard, I got scared and let her go, started to run and the chicken following me running and flipping…. she followed inside the house until she saw my grandmother ..then she laid down…Grandma said “I see you brought the hen home” she was laughing.
    Now almost 60 years later I want to start a new relationship with the chickens…. (thanks to my daughters and son in law, they promised me that they will help with the care and expenses)
    Do you think that I may get new friends?

  33. says

    we are keeping chickens for the first time. i told a friend i have a love/hate relationship with them, but have concluded i have a want to like/do not like relationship with them. i am much more uncomfortable around them than i thought. it has been slowly changing into an enjoyable experience, day by day, which has been quite fun.

  34. Kait says

    Ooh, cool book! I love to use my roosters to till my gardens in early spring. They eat all the weeds, plow, and fertilize for free! Hoping to get some hens soon.

  35. Kim says

    I’m so glad I noticed this book from your facebook post! I was going to start constructing my first chicken coop this week, but think I should read this book first (hope I win the giveaway ;) ). I have a full on kitchen garden but I’m afraid the chickens will just ruin it if I let them wonder around it during the day. I was planning on making their Run as big as I could, but have limited space for it. I’d feel bad about not letting them wonder around as much as possible. Is there anything totally wrong with just leaving them in the coop/run all the time?

    • Tammie Haley says

      If their coop is big enough and you have plenty of fun food and entertainment they should be fine. However, if they are too “cooped” up they will start fighting with each other. It is a sign of stress.

  36. Linda A. says

    My family has a recipe for Shawm torte (I’m not sure I can spell it though…) It’s pretty much a merengue with whipped cream and strawberries on top. Delish! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  37. says

    I keep chickens because they’re comedic relief! Having them entertains my husband, who works from home, while he’s stuck on never-ending, dull conference calls of doom. They’re fun to watch and eat oh so many bugs too!

  38. Julia B says

    I don’t have chickens yet, but hoping to in the next few years. Besides the eggs, I’m really excited about the deep composting stuff you have going on. Question for the rest – if we’re also thinking of getting a dog, how do dogs and chickens get along, how do you teach them to get along?

    • Tammie Haley says

      We grew up with dogs and chickens. It all depends on the dog and the chickens. We had a Springer (a water loving bird dog) that we trained to stay away from the chickens. He would however chase any other type of bird out of the yard. Most of our chickens ignored the dog as well. Our little Banny hen (who acted as our guard hen and mother to ALL the baby chicks) made SURE the dog remember how close he could come to the flock (usually 3 ft and no more.)

  39. joyce says

    I have 2 funny chicken stories from my childhood; my grandmother raised chickens (where my love came from i guess) One day my older cousin, who had grown up in town & her husband (who was a country boy) were visiting ; Grandmothers chickens were free range, long before anyone knew what that word meant; anyway we were sitting on the front porch, watching the chickens in the front yard. You know, the exciting country life; well soon the show got real exciting, because one of the roosters & one of the hens became, shall we say “friends with benefits”. Everyone else ignored the show, except for the city cousin, who screamed to husband, “that rooster is going to kill Aunt Emma’s hen, make him stop!” She thought they were fighting!

  40. joyce says

    2nd funny chicken story from childhood…..My sister was about 4 or 5 , somehow she managed to catch a baby chick. She brought it into the house, gave it a bath, sprinkled it with baby powder & wrapped it up in a doll blanket……..When she showed me her prized baby chick, I (being the smarter older sister) informed her it was dead. At this point, she ran though the house screaming “Joyce killed my chicken” For months she went around telling anyone who would listen, that i killed her chicken…..See i need to win the book so i won’t kill any more chicks!

  41. says

    Now that we have dandelions coming up all over our yard, our new favorite pasttime is digging up dandelions and feeding them to the girls. We might collect a gallon in a day (yeah, we have some dandelion issues). My 3 year old puts his arm through the wire to drop the dandelion clumps down to eager, milling “chickies”. Then we started finding worms in an area that will be covered over soon and not benefit from worms anyway–my little guy loved taking the wiggly squishy worms over and feeding them to the girls as well. The first couple were just like the dandelions–four chickens milling as he dropped worms down to them–but once the girls realized that this was even better than the dandelions, they became gradually more frantic until one of them flew up and snatched the worm right out of Charlie’s fingers. He stood perfectly still for a moment and then ran to me screaming hysterically. “Are you hurt or scared?” I asked. “Sared!” he sobbed. “The chickie thought my thumb a worm and flewed up and peck at me!” Once he calmed down, he found that this was a story that got a lot of response from listeners and has been telling it over and over to anyone who will listen.
    By the way, for any other readers with small children, For Small Hands, a Montessori catalog has real leather work gloves for tiny people. Charlie now puts his crocs and gloves on by himself before going outside. He knows how to be prepared.

  42. says

    Wow, I would love to win a copy of each of those books. I don’t have chickens now, since they aren’t allowed in my town. But I would love to have them some day. My favorite egg recipe is scrambled eggs with cheese mixed in and on top. This is also good if you happen to have any extra veggies, bacon, sausage, etc.

  43. Arrianne says

    We like to eat Crepes most mornings. I put squash or beet puree in the batter and I serve it with powdered sugar and sliced fruit. I found a really yummy recipe for Eclairs with an eggy, cooked badder to make the pastry. Like a pop-over. SOOO Good and rich filled with vanilla creme and topped with chocolate. OR Flourless Chocolate Cake.

    We’ve had a few funny experiences with the chickens over the years. I think the best is when a really broody hen chased a dog we were sitting all the way across the yard and back into the house. She was SO mad and he was so scared of her!

  44. Cheryl Castillo says

    Love egg salad, and would love the benefits of chicken poo in the compost/garden ;o)

  45. Tammy says

    Well, when I started reading this post, I was of a mind that I wanted chickens for the eggs and the compost and the experience of being a (somewhat) urban homesteader. NOW, I want chickens for all that AND for all the tick-eating, garden-tilling, entertainment! I have so much to learn! Please enter me in the contest. I want re-live Jurassic Park! LOL.

  46. says

    Besides eggs, I love chickens for eating bugs, weeds seeds and weeds. Besides that they will eat even yucky produce and leftovers (BTW they love maggots! eeew) At the moment I have four hens and a roo. Really funny, the roo is twice the size of three of the girls (they are just coming into lay and not that big yet) but he is sooo henpecked! He runs from them if they fuss at him when they get to the treats first! So much for my idea of home hatched chicken dinners!

  47. says

    I would love to have chickens! Right now I’m just in the dreaming/planning stage and enjoying fresh eggs from other people’s free range chickens when I can get them. My favorite egg recipe is egg-in-a-basket. It’s so easy: Melt one Tb. butter in cast-iron skillet, tear a hole in a slice of bread, but bread and torn-out piece in skillet, crack one or two eggs and add them (as is or scrambled) to the bread-hole. Cook to desired doneness, flipping halfway through, and happily devour :)

  48. says

    Last night I made a quiche in the oven with Dandelion greens, stinging nettle, and mustard greens. I used my grass fed lamb and cheese and 10 farm fresh eggs. Oh, soooo goooood!!!!!!!!

  49. Matt says

    I call my hens by jiggling my key ring.

    Here’s a question: My three hens will be joined shortly by three pullets. How do y’all introduce them to each other so the inevitable conflict will be minimized?


  50. says

    I would love to win this book! A thing that I like about chickens…..Well I like that they eat all the pincher bugs that annoy me. The second reason is because they help my plants grow!

  51. says

    While chickens are hilarious _all_the_time_, my favorite chicken story involves the alleged-pullet who grew into a handsome buff orp rooster. Around the time he started coming into his roosterness, we discovered his burning hatred for our italian greyhound. IG’s are such sweet, submissive, cuddly animals; I have never met an aggressive one. And boy howdy, they are *fast* when they run – part of being a greyhound, I guess. Even though the dog never so much as bothered the hens, the rooster would chase the IG around and around the garden relentlessly, squawking and flapping his wings, and somehow keeping up with the very fast dog, who ran for his life. It really ruined my plans for training the IG to guard the chickens, as he is now terrified of them. Mr. Rooster found a new home on a farm shortly afterwards, and I hold out hope that they have a dog he can chase.

  52. Kimberly C says

    I suppose I don’t have a pressing chicken question, but I’ve been bogged down lately by researching different breeds of chickens and haven’t found a concise guide to backyard chicken breeds (in regards to behavior & egg variations) in internet blog form. I’m just dreaming right now, but there is a glimmer of light that maybe next year chickens could happen as part of our household.

    Kirkland, WA is in the process of adjusting their rules on backyard chickens. As it currently stands, they only allow 3 hens and no roosters unless you have a huge property.. though I’ve never heard of it being reinforced. Apparently they’re working with Seattle Tilth and some concerned citizens to adjust the limits as a result of the backyard food movement. Yay!

    I think the additional benefit of chickens for me would be amusement and joy, and poop. I was the little kid that loved to chase chickens around peoples yards so I could pick them up. I suppose that’s not a great way to treat a chicken, thinking back on it.

  53. Tammie Haley says

    My favorite chicken story was from a friend that lived down the road from us. Seems they had one chicken of the group that HAD to have fresh water. Every time the chicken decided it wanted a drink it would come to the house window and start pecking until someone would let it into the house. Once in the house it would jump up to the sink and wait for the water to be turned on. Once it had it’s fill, it would hop down and go back outside.
    Now don’t start thinking this chicken was super smart. This was the same chicken that would almost drown in a rain storm because it wouldn’t know to go into the barn and roost. The family had to scoop the chicken up and carry it inside. Hmmmmm maybe it WAS smart and just was waiting for the pampering.

  54. Sharon says

    I just found your site. We like German pancakes. It uses six eggs and is very easy to make for breakfast.:) Like your site.:)
    Sharon :)

  55. Tanya says

    My favorite egg recipe is simple, and comes from my cousin Annette: scramble a bunch of eggs till almost set. Stir in a large scoop or cream cheese, some chopped scallions, and some flaked smoked salmon. If you don’t have salmon on hand, use fancy salt for flavor. Done! Delicious!

  56. Maggie says

    Oooo…my old neighbors back in NH had chickens in their backyard who would regularly hop the fence and wander about in my backyard, eating bugs and making happy chicken noises. Aside from eggs, I really just enjoy watching chickens explore the world. Plus it’d be great to have someone to feed tomato hornworms and other garden pests too instead of just squashing them with my trowel! Sadly my current apartment lacks enough space to house (and feed) chickens, but I hope that someday soon I’ll have space to keep them!

    Favorite egg recipes…mmm…poached eggs in polenta for breakfast or challah (when I need to use up a lot of eggs at once).

  57. says

    So we just got chicks and need to build a coop. Seems like lots of plans take small pieces of wood and nail them together. Why not just use large pieces of plywood and nail them to 2 x 4s? Just curious.

  58. Mary W. says

    I am very interested in creating a self-sufficient lifestyle. I’m honestly not too thrilled about livestock, but chickens don’t ask me to touch their udders, either. :) I am also excited about their wonderful dooky in my garden, ha ha!

  59. says

    My funniest story of having chickens was when I was about 7 years old. We had a good dozen of chickens and the mean ol’ rooster who owed our entire yard. One evening my Mother had broken a glass bowl making jello. After cleaning up the mess and I was chosen to take out the brown paper bag of trash. I had only walked a few feet away from the house when the rooster jumped on top of the coop.
    He stared me down,
    I froze….
    “Dear God, not that crazy rooster!!!, please….”
    He was fearless, hopped down from the coop and proceeded with lighting speed towards me. Instinctively, being a girly girly and still frozen in fear, I screamed and squeezed the paper bag {I don’t know why I did this} as hard as I could. Ripping through the paper and into my skin, the glass cut my arm.
    I felt the stab… while continuing to scream I looked down at my arm, which now had a deep gash in it. When I did not immediately bleed, I screamed even louder,
    and for some reason or the other I thought I had died…
    literally died.
    Not knowing how I was dead, I stopped screaming and looked for the rooster, who was now only a few seconds away from me…
    time slowed down,
    The Matrix special effects where now playing in my vision,
    for a split milla-second I looked away from the evil rooster {who was almost upon me} and back at my arm, which at this point started bleeding. With the all the medical knowledge a seven year old could have,
    I realized I was still alive…
    alive at least until the rooster got me…
    alive enough to scream a Harry Carry “mmmmMMMUuuuUUuttttTTTHHhheerrrrrr!”
    With Ninja speed and skills, my little five foot nothing, Mexican Mama came running out of the kitchen door, whirling and twirling her broom over her head like she was Bruce Lee swinging nun-chucks or Luke Skywalker twirling his light-saber. She was yelling things in Spanish words I knew I was not allowed to say,
    let alone think…
    words that made the mean ol’ rooster blush and run in shame.
    It had to have been the words, because every swing my Mama swung, she missed him. Not once did she make contact with that bird and yet it ran….
    it just had to have been the words.
    She was Super Woman in the flesh with an apron, a broom and some unrepeatable Spanish, my Mother became my hero and the rooster became our dinner.

  60. Georgie says

    We have 3 chickens and one of them has been walking around for the last 6 months with no feathers on her bum at all. Yeah, she’s the lowest in the pecking order and right now she’s got this single tail feather sticking straight up in the air, almost like she’s waving her “I surrender” flag. Any suggestions to get Meanie Mildred, Queen of the trio, to stop the pecking?

  61. Jen Teal says

    I need convincing when it comes to chickens; an enthusiastic book might help. I love and am very protective of my landscaping but would also like to have eggs, compost, and the experience for my children. Best egg recipe is my sweet noodle kugel.

  62. Cacklebuzz Farm girl says

    We have five hens….started raising for eggs……now it’s all about their “entertainment”value.
    This winter I fixed them hot oatmeal with sliced apples for a tummy warming breakfast……after about three days they climbed the stairs of the deck, lined up at the backdoor (glass paned) and knocked til I brought breakfast out.
    My question is how to allow them to “free range” without scratching up the vegetable and perennial beds.

  63. Lindsey says

    Poop! I love what chicken poop and the straw it saturates does for the compost heap!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  64. says

    Now that my cats are approaching their sunset years, I am ready to plan for some chicks (hopefully with the help of these books :-)).

    I have to wait for my cats to pass, not because of what they would do to the chickens, but because of my cats’ (well, cat’s really) fear of chickens.

    When we moved to a homestead in the Santa Cruz mountains, our landlords had chickens who roamed freely. After a week of acclimation confinement inside the house, Chester, my eldest cat, tore out the front door just as soon as he was able only to literally come to a halt, mid-stride when a gorgeous Americauna strutted by. Chester followed the bird’s every move from the safety of our porch, gave me a hiss and then marched back into the house, where he stayed for another two weeks. Poor guy.

  65. Chelsea Wipf says

    Both books sound wonderful! My favorite eggy recipe is called Zong-Xi Eggs…Eggs with an Asian kick. Delicious!

  66. Sharon Liljedahl says

    Please enter me in the contest to win one of the books can’t wait to read them both. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  67. Shane Kaufman says

    My wife sometimes makes free range eggs with finely chopped spinach from the garden and the best cheese from the fridge all mixed up. That’s eating!

  68. Jerilee Costa says

    My favorite way to eat our eggs, currently, is the simple but delicious eggs benedict. With plenty of chives.

  69. Deon says

    The main reason I want chickens is for my daughter to have a close connection to where her food comes from and chores related to taking care of animals and contributing to the household.

  70. jaime says

    Just today, my husband was out working in the yard and found a DOZEN eggs hidden in the ferns. Silly chickens started hiding their eggs a bit too early for Easter.

  71. KatieD says

    Our three chickens are pest control experts. I usually keep them out of my containers, but when the weather warmed up, I saw that my chives were covered in aphids. I briefly considered digging up and replacing them, but instead gave the chickens unfettered access. They picked the sad-looking plants clean in an afternoon. Now, my chives are lush & aphid-free. Marvelous!

  72. Christina says

    If there were no longer any eggs I would be sad to longer have cornbread! I love cornbread and that would have to be my favorite thing to use them for.

  73. Debbie says

    I would love to have chickens. Soon, I hope :) My favorite egg dish is one that my grandmother used to make called “Easter Egg Bake.” Thanks for the opportunity.

  74. says

    I’ll give a try.
    When I was kid I spent summers here in Italy at my grandmothers house. She had many chicken. One day us kids in an old enciclopedia found out that you could hypnotize chicken. You take a chicken, calm it down by stroking it and place a small stick between the eyes, very close. Slowly you move the stick slightly away from the chicken to about 10cm. You put down the chicken and place the stick in front of them. All us kids (we were like 10 dirty brats) ran into the coop and started chasing chicken to hypnotize them. It took us a while but we managed to get most of the chicken completely still staring at their stick. So cool, all of them lying around.
    So I really need that book because I’m just starting out with chicken in the middle of the city and the only thing I really know about them is how to hypnotize them.
    As far as recipes are concerned I can give you many italian ones: pasta alla carbonara, frittata etc.

  75. Miina says

    Trying to figure out this how to build my own chick brooder thing. What do you suggest for how to build one? Also, I am so curious to learn chicken speak. I am going to spend so much time with my chickens that I will know who is talking and what they are saying. I read in a book that you can identify a chicken by the voice. This will be such a fun learning experience!

  76. Cass says

    What a great book idea. Hubby and I are just modifying our garden to incorporate our chooks.

    Best chook memory. My 1yr old was eating a rissole near the chooks. Next thing I know she is chasing the chook who is now in possession of the rissole…. There was a pause where she stopped, looked at the chooks, looked at her empty hands and comprehended the loss!!!

  77. says

    I want chickens because they provide hours of entertainment. Watching them scratch and cluck and get excited about finding bugs is way better than watching TV and is so relaxing!

  78. Lévis says

    I have a funny story that happened this past Monday. We were given the opportunity to get 10 Rhode Island Red for free from our farmer who is scaling back his operation. Having to build a chicken tractor in a week-end in my garage meant that I had no time to put in a window or add a run to the tractor, not crucial yet as it is still cool here and no green grass yet. The hens adjusted well to the new coop and a week later, I managed to put in a good size window to allow more daylight into the coop. The hens would walk up to the window from time to time and have a peek at the outside world and enjoying the extra hours of light. The next day, I bought some chicken wire and with the help of my daughters, held the wire in a circle to allow the hens to get some fresh air and enjoy the day. Later on that afternoon, I put them back in the coop for the night and all was well. The next day, I got home from work and the rest of the family stayed in town, so I thought it would be nice to let the “girls” out, so I did – by myself. They stayed out for a couple of hours but when the time came to put them back in the coop, one of them escaped from the makeshift run. She was hanging between the house and the coop, where the other nine hens could see her from the window. All of a sudden, the started to throw themselves into the window thinking that was the way out to freedom! It was hilarious, especially when you consider that they lived with the new window for over a week and never paid much attention to it!

    Thank you and congratulations on your blog.


  79. says

    Other than eggs we want chickens for meat, diversity, self-sufficiency and meaningful work for our daughter. :)

  80. Mari says

    You can train chickens to come when they are called?!? Why did I not know this earlier. I will take to start a training program with our girls promptly.

  81. Sheila says

    I’m looking for some assistance with my Speckled Sussex breed. It is the only one in the chicken yard that has lost her tail feathers. This was noticeable during our very wet fall and winter. Now the others are taking to pecking her. I’ve read that garlic infused olive oil sprayed on the affected area may help. Please advise. I could really use the books as well. Thank you.

  82. ted says

    I love chickens for their eggs, but really I get just as excited about their poop and how well it revs up my compost! Thanks for the chance to win.

  83. Sam W says

    I grew up on a farm with chickens (or chooks in my version of english) but my kids will be city kids so this is a small part of my childhood that they get to experience. Quiche and real, homemade custard are up there on my feel good egg recipes.

  84. says

    Totally want those books! I love making my eggs into custard. I make a stove-top pudding style custard that is so yummy. My eight hens are hilarious most of the time and they come to me calling “here girls” while shaking a container full of scratch.

  85. Hyla says

    This book is haunting me!!! I saw it in the book store a few weeks ago and when I went back to purchase, they didn’t have it in stock. They re-ordered but said it would be another week because it was coming from the publisher rather than a distributor. Geesh. I want this book already!!
    Right now I have a pressing chicken question. I have a broody chicken that is being picked on by another chicken. Most of the time the broody hen stays in the nest but I shoo her out a couple of times a day so she’ll eat and get some exercise, but as soon as I do, one of the other chickens starts pecking at her. Got a whole beak worth of feathers this morning. Is it related to her broodiness? The one doing the picking on has always been at the top of the pecking order but all of the sudden she has become even more aggressive with this particular hen. I’m not sure what to do about it.

  86. says

    I wanted chickens because I have never had chickens in my life, so at 64 I got 32 cute, rare Delaware white chickadees and have loved and babied them ever since. They give me at least 2 dozen eggs a day that we sell to folks who drive by and see our adorable sign my daughter painted for us. Makes me feel like we have an actual farm, and yes, we do! Since I’ve always wanted a farm, the sound of these happy critters clucking away makes me feel all warm and secure inside.

  87. says

    Chickens are a hoot…best pets we’ve ever had! I draw the line at putting diapers on them…but I do love them! Hope to win the gardening book!

  88. says

    I wanted to get chickens for their eggs, but also because i wanted some pets that my family would consider strange. I have spent my life thus far being the odd ball of the family.. i figured i had to keep it up even into adulthood. Also chickens are so funny, they make many laughs.

  89. Pamina says

    Just curious … For a book giveaway like this, do the publishers get our email addresses?