If you want to liven up a social gathering (in real life or online) just ask people who keep chickens if you should put a light on during the winter or if you can mix your own feed or what kind of bedding you should use. These questions, and others, are chicken hot topics and I guarantee you’ll get divided answers from people who “know” and who will defend their opinions with equal passion.
I normally try to stay out of such messes. Life has enough drama without me trying to convince everyone that my way is the one right way to keep chickens. I don’t have strong opinions on keeping chickens, other than, if you decide to keep chickens you need to take care of them and have a plan for when they stop laying.
But there are many other people who do have strong opinions and are very vocal about those opinions, treating their opinions as fact. Often times it’s hard (especially for a new chicken keeper) to know if the person is stating facts or factly stating his opinion.
When we first started keeping chickens I read a blog post by a well known chicken blogger that said she used sand in her coop and run, I thought it sounded like a good idea. Not too long after that I read another post from another well known chicken blogger who said it was dangerous to use sand in the coop and run,her arguments sounded good too. Then I started looking at their facebook pages, and came across some of the rudest comments I have read online and not just from the facebook “fans” but from the bloggers. I don’t even go to those pages any more.
Meet my friend, Jessica of 104 Homestead, who is not shy at all of walking right into these kind discussions and presenting facts. If you follow her blog you know she’s great at listing the pros and cons of various topics based on facts, not just on her experience. And she’s taking on these topics in her new book, Chicken Hot Topics – Controversial Husbandry Practices.
In Chicken Hot Topics you’ll find information on space requirements, bedding (yep, even sand), diets, eating egg shells, parasites, wing clipping, breaking a broody hen, supplemental lighting, heating the coop, euthanasia, dispatching aged birds and lots of extra resources.
One thing I really like about Jessica’s writing is that even when she’s giving the facts and citing studies, her writing style is fun and engaging. I also like that she doesn’t try to convince you to do anything, she is well aware that you are smart enough to make decisions that are right for you and your chickens.
So, if you’re interested in getting the facts surrounding controversy in chicken keeping, I encourage you to get this book. You can get the ebook directly from Jessica’s site and you can get the print edition from Amazon.
And for fun, Jessica has agreed to let me give one of you a free digital copy of Chicken Hot Topics. Use the form below to enter.