Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Free-Range Chicken Gardens - A Giveaway! (Two, Actually)


I think it's pretty obvious that I love my chickens and most of my gardening friends who have them love theirs, too. To be honest, even though I really wanted chickens here at Our Little Acre, love wasn't a feeling I ever expected to have in regard to them. It's like anything we love, I guess - it just happens.


More and more people are learning the benefits of having a small flock, but in reality, we're just rediscovering what our grandparents knew and even took for granted, I suppose. When I got my chickens, it seemed that everyone had a chicken story, usually from their childhood: "My grandparents had chickens..."

Though I wanted the fresh eggs, I'll admit, I had some concerns about having chickens of my own. I worried that they'd destroy my gardens. (It's a legitimate concern.)  I worried that they'd smell bad. (Again, a logical thought.) And I worried that they'd be a lot of work. (I didn't really believe those that told me they weren't.) It turns out that while all of these things are good to think about, none of them is a big issue.

Earlier this year, a fabulous book that deals with these and other aspects of raising your own chickens was published by Timber Press. I met the author, Jessi Bloom, last summer when I was in Seattle for the Bloggers' Fling. We talked chickens and gardens and it was obvious that Jessi knows and loves both; she has chickens, a beautiful garden, and her own award-winning landscape design business, NW Bloom.

Even though I already had my hens by then, I was pretty excited to read Jessi's book. Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard not only provides vital information for those who are considering getting chickens of their own, it's a valuable resource for those who already have them. It's a fun read, too! You can read my full review of it on Horticulture magazine's web site.

Now, here's some fun for you right now. To celebrate the publication of Free-Range Chicken Gardens, Timber Press is giving a copy away to one of my readers.



More good news! Storey Publishing is joining in on the chicken fun by providing a copy of The Fresh Egg Cookbook. I haven't seen this one, so I can't give you a review, but I'm guessing it has a boatload of great ways to use all those eggs you're going to have once you get your chickens. And even if you don't have your own hens, egg recipes are a good thing, right?






Now, there's even more good news in that my blog isn't the only place where you can enter the giveaway! Visit these blogs where you can also enter and increase your chances of winning:

Jessi Bloom at NW Bloom/Garden Fowl
Genevieve Schmidt at Northcoast Gardening
Erica Strauss at Northwest Edible Life
Theresa Loe at Living Homegrown®
Angela Davis at Gardening in My Rubber Boots
Annette Cottrell at Sustainable Eats
Willi Galloway at Diggin Food




Yes, that's right - it's a VIRTUAL CHICKEN PARTY! Aren't you glad you came?





__________________________________
Giveaway details and regulations are here.

WINNERS! Sorry for the delay - I've had router problems, but now the new one's installed and I can post the winners of the books! Congratulations to faithplusnothing, who won a copy of Free-Range Chicken Gardens and to Norm Deplume for winning The Fresh Egg Cookbook. Both winners need to contact me with their mailing address so the publishers can ship out their books!

UPDATE:  As of midnight, April 22nd, I've not heard from the second winner (Norm Deplume). So Random.org chose another winner, and it's Stevie! An email has been sent to you, requesting your mailing address so that the publisher can send your book. Congratulations!

Again, congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to everyone who entered and for all your wonderful comments about chickens!



107 comments:

Kathleen Grube (Seattle) said...

I love that you love chickens. Someday I hope to love them, too. But it gets pretty cold here in the winter time, so I want to be sure to have a nice, cozy coop built for them BEFORE I give in. Maybe next year - a girl can hope!

Thanks for your great blog, Kylee!

Barb said...

Oh, I so want chickens. They would be part of my companion animals, not part of my dinner. Perhaps soon.

Janetta Dobler said...

I love my chickens! A friend of mine has been trying to convince me to raise chickens for a long time. Last summer, I farm-sat for friends and 5 baby D'Anvers hatched. I got to take them home and raise them. The next thing I knew, I was ordering my own chicks, borrowing an incubator and eggs, and hatching, buying an incubator and hatching... I have raised about 65 chickens so far! This hobby has become an obsession!! Lol. ~Janetta Dobler j_dobler@msn.com

Norm Deplume said...

I want chickens. I've wanted them for many years, but now my parents have built a house on the old family farm (most of which is rented to the neighboring farmer(. I want to convert one of the old horse pens into a coop and have a small flock of birds. Hoping to get it all built this summer...

vickie said...

We have chickens-I could definetly use a egg book-I need more ways to use up all those eggs! It would also be interesting to read how to start a garden for free range chickens.
vickie
vmorgan456 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Kara said...

I dream of moving my family out of the city to a sweet little country homestead- with chickens!

texasmomquilts said...

We want chickens sooooo bad. Can't wait until it's an option for us (hopefully very soon!)

Deb said...

We have chickens...and I'd really like to read how to combine them with a garden...since we are planning a pretty big one this year! :)

faithplusnothing said...

We have chickens and we love them, and their eggs!
annwwins@yahoo.com

Kathleen at Rose Prairie said...

I have chickens for many years now and just find them so amusing. I would love a chance to win a book so I can just learn something new on my feather friends.

Jenny said...

I don't have chickens but my next door neighbor does. I care for her chickens when she's traveling & get to keep all the eggs they lay while she's gone. I love them & feed them a lot of my garden scraps.

I'd love to win either book!

Jess said...

This is awesome! Thank you! I want chickens very much but currently live in a neighborhood where HOA says no poultry. Any tips on getting around that?

Tiffany Dyer said...

We really want chickens! They would be great for the garden and can't wait to use the eggs in my home bakery.

Britt (pigbook1@gmail.com) said...

I want chickens, but worry mostly about predators. Also a little about the other things (what to do in the New England winters). Mostly, though, it's predators that stop me from doing it.

Nicky @dirtandmartinis said...

I've been wanting chickens for a long time now. After seeing how yellow the yolks are from an organic egg...that's what sold me. I still have a lot of research to do since keeping chickens would be more difficult for me since I get a lot of snow in the winter.

Jennie said...

I would love to have a few chickens. My parents have lots of chickens, and growing up I'd always pick a favorite chick and tame it - they made great pets.

Darla Miller said...

I am dreaming of home grown eggs and tending chickens in my garden...just have to wrestle with the home owners association. But who couldn't be bribed with some fresh eggs :)
Darla Miller
darla.miller@earthlink.net

Momma Peg said...

Thrilled to find your blog! We have lots in common: NW Ohio (Lima), gardening - veggies and flowers, 13 cats, and a love for chickens. I have not had any for 20 years and I miss them! Every spring I long for them again and this needs to be the year to build that coop and make it happen! :) I plan to follow your blog all the time now.
Peggy

Dawn said...

I have chickens and love them! I would enjoy very much owning these books-thanks for the opportunity to win them!

Dawn said...

we love our chickens and would appreciate these books tremendously. Thanks for the opportunity!

Liz said...

We have four lovely chickens, and I hear you on the love part. One of ours went missing for a night about a month ago and I was devastated. Luckily our neighbor found her about a quarter of a mile away the next day! She's an adventurer.

Unknown said...

I dont have chickens currently, would love to have them thought. I just started planting my own fresh vegi's like spinach and lettuce. Would love to have my own fresh eggs as well.

Raquel Assal
raquelassal@gmail.com

Jake n Kait said...

I love my four little hens too! They are so funny and endearing. I've had this book on my amazon wishlist and would love to win!

Marina said...

I have been asking my husband for chickens for over three years, ever since we bought our half acre. That opportunity came up only a couple of months ago, when we saw an ad on craigslist which we couln't pass up. Since then I have added two more hens (Araucanias) to my flock for a total of eight. They are a joy to have! Especially to my two kids, who love to run across the yard to feed the hens and gather their eggs.

Raquel said...

This sounds like a great book and one that will help me convince my wife that we need chickens more than ever AND thatchickens can live in peace with our garden. Thanks for the give-away!

JandDsmom said...

I'm doing chickens for the 1st time since I was a girl on the family farm....back when I didn't think paying attention mattered! lol So, any chance to win a book that could help me get the Camillas happy, I'm all for!! :)

Green Zebra Market Garden said...

I have a backyard flock of urban chickens and I recently got both of those books from the library. They're great and I'd love a copy of them for myself!

Rosemeri said...

I would love a copy of this book. I want to get chickens, but am worried that I don't know enough about caring for them. This would sure help. I already have a garden, so chickens would be a great addition.

Lesa W (lwisch1@gmail.com) said...

I don't have chickens yet, but want some, very much.

Pam Jones said...

We just finished our Chicken Tractor, we decided that a mobile coop was best for us. I find it very relaxing just to watch them run about. Looking forward to the Austin Chicken Coop Tour to see how others spoil their chicks!

Brent and Becky's Bulbs (Jay) said...

Brent, Becky and my wife Denise want chickens. I have/had your same concerns, but also add "time" to the concerns. We get fresh eggs from a local chicken farmer and they ARE the best ever!

goodkarma said...

I've been wanting chickens for a few years now. Maybe this is finally the year I'll get some! I definitely want to check out this book before I do though.

Ashley, the Accidental Olympian said...

one of these days I'll have my own chickens, but until then I'll collect books like this and dream of my "some-day" chicken brood!


accidentalolympian (at) gmail (dot) com

oregonsunshine said...

I have chickens. Or, rather, I currently have 3 week old pullets. I had chickens in Oregon, before we moved to Georgia for a job relocation, and it's taken some time to have them again. I love having chickens not only for the eggs, but for their silly antics and comedic relief as well.

Michelle said...

What a great article! I have had chickens for 5 years now. They love to be held and follow me around when I am gardening. My Granddaughter loves to help collect eggs. What a joy to have!!

stefpark said...

My husband surprised me with 7 chicks and a duck for my birthday---best birthday gift EVER!
I have been wanting chickens for Merced Gardens& Nursery since we became new owners last April. We are designing a permanent home for them on our 3 1/2 acres. For now they are happy in our spare bedroom---yikes! And so another adventure begins at "the Gardens"

FYI www.mercedgardens.com

Judy F. said...

I'd love to have a few chickens, but don't know where to start. This book is just what I need!

nicole said...

We have 15 hens-black australorps-that we love-good layers and great personalities. I looked out our back door the other evening, after a rain-the chickens were all over the beautiful green grass with the sun shining off of them-no prettier picture anywhere! Love your blog-I don't garden much, but love to look-and love cats too!!

Julie Kroske said...

I don't have chickens ( yet) Shush, Don't tell Dave I said this! Someday, when the dogs are too old to chase them, I think I may give in!

jess s said...

I have chickens. I expected that we would like them a lot, but we actually love them. We've become "chicken people" (inventing drinking games, for example, where you drink anytime a chicken appears on tv) and I can't imagine ever *not* having them in my life.

Platypus said...

I'm dreaming of making chickens a reality in our household! I think, maybe, we can make it happen next spring. That means I have a whole year ahead of me to research and scheme and plan and prepare! This book will definitely be a help, as will reading all the urban homesteading blogs I'm currently reading. You guys rock! :)

Sher said...

I hope to enjoy (love perhaps???) chickens as you do in a couple years when we move to our 3 1/2 home. The plan is to start small until we get the hang of it. I have been pinning and reading to help prepare for the adventure ahead.

Mary Hysong said...

I have chickens again after a pack dogs destroyed my last flock. They are now in Fort Chicken Knox, surrounded by a 6 foot fence and electric fence wires. (the dogs went over 6 foot chicken wire to get the last ones, I'm hoping the addition of electric keeps them out now)

Love my biddies; they all have such great personalities and are so much fun to watch; fresh eggs and great compost are just great by products of chicken watching!

Georgie said...

I love our chickens! There's only a trio of them, but I could watch them for hours. Each one has her own unique personality and their antics are hilarious. I never thought I get eggs AND therapy from the girls!

Connie said...

I had issues with my neighbor's chickens destroying my gardens,which I mentioned to Kylee, but I always wondered if I could without destroying my beds and this book sounds very interesting to read. With the price of food going up I think it might be about time to start. Thanks for the great blogs!!

Jennifer said...

Hi Kylee, After seeing your review of Free Range Chicken Gardens, I went out and got a copy! Please enter me in the draw for the second book. Thanks!

Sharon Liljedahl sharonlilj@aol.com said...

I am so excited to have found your blog and facebook page. We have hens now and are getting more very soon. We also have geese and ducks. All for pets and eggs of course. Hope to win your book or the Egg recipe book. Wish me luck. Have a great day. Thanks.

Linden said...

I love chickens and, finally, so does my husband!

Thank you for the chance to win a book that will help me be a better owner (and another that will help me cook their output in more creative ways!)

Linden
dorking at acsalaska.net

Christina Jewell said...

At the moment I am wanting chickens. We are trying to overturn city law preventing us from keeping chickens, but until then I'll keeping reading blogs and admiring for afar.

Debbie said...

I would love to have chickens. Soon, I hope :) I'm still in the planning stage and my city just recently passed an ordinance allowing chickens. Thanks for the opportunity.

Jill said...

I don't have chickens yet but am anxiously waiting to move out to a farm so I can get some of my own (no chickens allowed in my suburbs)!

sherri pekks said...

my husband is ALMOST done with our chicken coop. we joke that we have an under construction urban farm. so fun!

Jenny Lee said...

We have a small flock of chickens and until this point it has really been about eggs and manure. But recently our little boy, 17 months old, discovered the ladies and our relationship to the chickens is changing. He loves to chicken watch! So cute.

Abbie Richardson said...

Thanks for all the advice! We are wanting chicken and my cousin just got baby ones and they are soo cute!

April Tuell Angels Homestead said...

I owned chickens for the first time last year, but had my entire flock of 18 wiped out over the course of 10 months by raccoon’s, foxes, and a hawk. That number also included 3 brand new chicks that one of my chickens had just hatched. I was devastated, but have decided to try again, as soon as me and my husband finish building our new bigger, and stronger chicken coop. These books would be great, since I am also planting a garden for the first time this year. Thanks!

Hether and Martin said...

We are just getting started with chickens. We moved this winter and have been busy digging up the yard and getting our garden plots set up. The chicken coop plans are in place and we need all the inspiration and advice we can get! So excited about this book!

twe said...

We have had chickens, raised for meat. They got so big they pulled themselves up to the feed box and stayed there!!

BrandonMoeller said...

I don't have chickens but am fascinated by them in the garden, and would love to read more about them.

tbos said...

I have chickens, and am going to add a few guinea hens to the flock this year...And, I am from Ohio, now living in Idaho. Nice weather you are having! Not so nice here....

Stevie said...

Would love to read this book's tips. I keep guineas in my garden b/c chickens eat everything----veggies first and bugs last! Stevie@ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com

Anonymous said...

I have chickens and love watching them in my yard and my neighbor's yard. Thanks for the chance to win!

Ted
leatherheadanddorking@yahoo.com

Mel said...

I love chickens and will hopefully be able to convince my husband soon! I love reading about your little acre!

Cass said...

We have 4 chooks in a chook tractor, and another six pullets in a chook pen.

Kay said...

I really want some hens, but they're technically illegal inside city limits. We're working on it...

Lauren Scheuer said...

Woo hoo! A virtual chicken party! I've got chickens -- five of them. I've had them for four years, and still can't stop laughing. Best things that ever happened to me. Obsessed and smitten.

Gypsy Meadows said...

I have chickens! And I love them! We currently have 7 (including 3 baby chicks). They are endlessly entertaining and wonderful composters.

tmcbee132 said...

Love love your blog and we love love our chickens!! I agree with you, seems as if the love just happens as soon as those precious little babies come into your life!!!

WondunnaManor said...

We are building a new house on 1/2 acre block. We are 58 and haven't lived anywhere we could chooks since I was 7. We have made a mansion design (to match the house)chicken coop and can't wait for our backyard to be clear enough to begin it's construction. Then we can introduce some new feathered friends to their new abode.

Dobieslady1 said...

Love our chickens!! Chicken raisers are some of the nicest people - friendly, supportive, and down-to-earth. This has been such a blessing!!!
~Janetta j_dobler@msn.com

Mama K said...

I got a couple chickens on a whim last spring and fell in love. Started with 2 then 4 then 7. This spring I've picked up another 6. Our chickens have given so much more than just eggs to my family. I can honestly say that raising chickens has changed my life. (as corny as that sounds)

Jessica said...

I *think* I want chickens - and that's part of why I'm thrilled about this giveaway. I'm a bit afraid of the birds, and what they'll do to my existing garden, so here's hoping for the knowledge to help combat that!

Andrea said...

I've got them and have problems keeping them out of the garden (and my neighbor's garden - yikes!) Can't wait to check out this book. Thanks!

Theresa said...

I've seven very happy chickens, for just one year now. I'm still trying to figure out how to grow some crops just for them, and keep my ity-bitty seedlings safe from their scratching and pecking. This book is perfect--one of a kind and very much needed for our growing population of chicken keepers!

HerbShed said...

We Love-Love-Love our little hen! We're in town and have a little white pet Silkie hen who gives us a wonderful fresh egg almost every morning. She recently lost her mate, so we are on the look-out for a new one for her.

Kincaidkid said...

I so want to start a "chicken family" on our couple acres. I know that our daughter and my mentally diabled brother (that lives with us) would gain so much joy and entertainment from the them. We have a little building that will work perfectly for the coop! So...now I just need the chickens!!! :) Oh, and the books would be awesome too!! :)

Elizabeth Rose said...

I want chickens one day so badly! I've wanted them for so long. But until I move to a new house, I'll only be able to admire them in others' yards. One day....

Anonymous said...

I had chickens many many years ago but just got chickens again a week and a half ago! I love watching them and spend time every morning just hanging out and watching them do their thing. My favorite is dust bath time. I am also putting in a lot of garden space this year! This book would be amazing for me at this moment. - Deb - synergyrenewed at gmail dot com

daisy said...

I have wanted chickens for a couple of years now, but our present living situation doesn't allow it. So, for now, I am reading up on them so that I'll be better prepared when we can have them.
Enjoy your girls!

Barbara said...

Chickens, chickens....reading about them, planning in my mind about them, picturing them in my backyard. Getting closer to having some "girls" pecking around my yard. Would love to win.
Barbara

sarahethereal said...

I LOVE all my 16 chickens, my kids and I can’t stop picking out new baby chicks every time we go to FHA. We started with 4, and now they have taken over the yard! We have a summer and winter home (the green house) for them and the only place they are not allowed is the deck (I have to have a poop free zone). I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my yard to beautiful and chicken friendly. A CHICKEN WONDERLAND of Happiness.

Tamara Barnes said...

We've had five girls for two years and we just got four more chicks. I LOVE my chickens...there is no such thing as a dumb cluck.

Kirsten McCulloch said...

(Just popped over from NW edible life - Hi!)

I have chickens, and love 'em. I've had them on and off almost ever since I owned my own home (which means about 15 years I guess), but never perfected getting them to not detroy the gardens they're exposed to!

Although back at the beginning when we had only Silkies and bantams it was more they wouldn't dig up the weeds! :)

Epicurealgirl said...

Our Little Acre: Free-Range Chicken Gardens - A Giveaway! (Two, Actually)Ever since visiting my husband's Aunt's and Uncle's house with neighborhood chickens and peacocks being regular visitors to their front and back yards it came as a humorous surprise to learn that 'feral' chickens flock together, are led by the rooster (even feeding them the rooster would step forward first followed by the flock) and then, to learn that they roosted in their trees at sundown only to leave by sunup really was a surprise. Up to then I thought chickens in nature hid and nested in low lying bushes - but how would I know never having raised them? NOW that we're getting closer to owning a place on some land ideas I have about chickens might become reality since husband has raised pigs, ranches cattle and even chickens so his experience and a book on gardens for chickens or a cookbook for the bounty sounds like a great fit! Good luck to all who enter and thanks for the opportunity!

Jim McCormack said...

I got chicks 9 weeks ago. What a great experience. It keeps getting better.

Jennifer said...

We have chickens and are increasing our flock. With so many I want to make sure the yard stays nice.

Jacqui said...

I would love to have my own chickens! I grew up with them and have been wanting them ever since leaving home!

Ms. Figgy said...

I am looking forward to having chickens some time in the next year. I grew up with chickens...all that manure scooping, all those delicious eggs, and all the cute noises they make as they scratch and forage!

Melissa said...

I want chickens! I just need to convince my husband... I am also excited about the books!

Sandy said...

Our little town just got approved earlier this year allowing poultry within the city limits. I am sooo excited! I am in search of the right set of plans for a portable coop right now. Thanks!

ten said...

right now, we're looking forward to getting chickens - had to leave ours behind (with a great new family) when we moved. and, so far, the fixer-upper people house has taken precedence over building a chicken house.
thanks for the chance to win these cool books, ten

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I am loving my new chicks, Best thing I have done in a long time.

K. Henderson said...

Must have this book!

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

I have a yard full of free range chickens - and I love every clucking one of them :) I'm glad I found your blog!

Betsy said...

Oh I am so glad that I found your site. We are debating on chickens right now and the main debate is what they will do to my garden. I would love fresh eggs but I need to have my garden produce. I can't wait to read more of your posts! Thanks.

redhott said...

I have chickens and love them. Despite their destructive ways. Lol. The books seem awesome.

Mandy said...

I have so enjoyed your writing and your awesome pictures of your chickens! they looks so healthy and beautiful.
I just bought my first chickens! 4- 8 week old Silkie Bantams, they are living in the house for the moment until it gets warmer here in NJ at night. It's still in the 30's at night.
I ordered a coop from Green Chicken Coops in MI, I can't wait to for it to come!
I've taken my 4 silkies our for a warm afternoon and they just love it! they scratch and flap sand on themselves, fight over the red bud flowers and chase bugs! I have 2 buff and 2 silver partidge. They are so beautiful and have such intelligent eyes.

I'm so sad you lost one of your girls,.....made me cry.
Mandy in NJ

Curt Siters said...

the reason I should have this book
is because I really need to look
into the why's and hows
of animals smaller than cows
with my girlfriend I'll be off the hook

we don't have chickens as of yet and this book would go a long way to help us understand them and their requirements so that they may have a wonderful life and all of us benefit each other.

Evelyn Vincent said...

I've had ducks and Bobwhite Quail, not chickens yet. I will have chickens soon though. Being an avid gardener and wanting my animals to be free-range I am looking forward to the info in the Chicken Gardening book to help me better understand their needs and form a wonderful working relationship and loving connection. Since my gardening focus is on heirlooms and endangered native plants I surely can use a wealth of information while I'm enjoying a delicious egg recipe while creating my plans. Thank you!

Nancybeth said...

I would love to a few chickens but alas, my town has rules and my yard is just not big enough. But I could live vicariously with this book.

Khadijah said...

We don't have any chickens right now, but they are a huge part of our plans for the near future! This book looks like an incredible resource for our venture.

Shanyn said...

We just got 4 chickens this spring and are planningn a part time free range chicken friendly backyard. I would love to have these books as resources!! Oh, and I am loving my chickens already too-also something I didn't expect!!

Jeannie Van Popta said...

We are getting chickens any day now, so excited!
fallen_angel62@hotmail.com

Beth (Bebe) said...

My chickens are the highlight of many of my days. Learning to understand their personalities is my newest undertaking. I've always enjoyed them but never gave much thought to their individuality. Having them freely ranging around our property gives much more opportunity to witness personality quirks. I would so love to know how to continue to combine chickens and gardens without so much garden destruction!

Sue D said...

We already have chickens and love them and their eggs.
slrdowney at hotmail dot com

signatureWHITE said...

I would love to raise chickens! Don't have any at the moment.

Carmen Nuland said...

We love having chickens. Unfortunately, we've had a bad spring for predators and are now down to just two.

Kylee Baumle said...

WINNERS! Sorry for the delay - I've had router problems, but now the new one's installed and I can post the winners of the books!

Congratulations to faithplusnothing, who won a copy of Free-Range Chicken Gardens and to Norm Deplume for winning The Fresh Egg Cookbook. Both winners need to contact me with their mailing address so the publishers can ship out their books!

Again, congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to everyone who entered and for all your wonderful comments about chickens!

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