Review of Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry: Breeds, Care, Health by Leonard S. Mercia


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 Coverage: Poultry, including chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and game birds.

Date: 2001

ISBN: 1580172636

Pages: 343 including index


This is an excellent book that covers most aspects of poultry raising – including housing, selection, processing, health, and production of both meat and eggs. Also included are chapters on specific issues for chickens, turkeys, waterfowl, and game birds.

While this isn’t as in-depth as a work devoted to just one type of poultry, it is an complete overview of the subject, with plenty of information on all aspects of poultry raising. There is a whole chapter devoted to the biology of birds, with others on feeding, housing, raising chicks, how to increase your flock, management of both laying animals and meat animals, as well dealing with butchering and egg processing.

There are plenty of illustrations throughout the work, as well as handy charts detailing things such as feeding, growth rates, and manure information, among other details.

Especially useful is the chapter on game birds – this is a subject not covered in many other works and gives information on guinea fowl, quail, partridge, and pheasants.

I found the various diagrams of various suggested housing to be especially useful – they were easy to understand and would be relatively simple to use to build your own. Another useful section covered sex-identification of chicks – which basically boiled down to “let the experts do it” but was still useful to this semi-neophyte.

Each chapter on a specific type of bird had a listing of some suggested breeds, which although not exhaustive, was helpful for a basic introduction to the various options. At the end of the book is a glossary to help the newcomer to understand the vocabulary used.

While no book can substitute for hands-on experience, this book should be on the shelves of anyone thinking about getting started with raising more than one type of poultry. Even if you aren’t sure if you might get into other bird types, this would allow you to explore other options later, especially at the price – list is $18.95 but Amazon carries it at $13 or so new, with used books running much less.


Usefulness to the beginning prepper: 6 of 10

Usefulness to the advanced prepper: 5 of 10