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Best books on raising chickens/goats?

883 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  oneotamama
I didn't know whether to put this here or in pets, but pets was full of cats and dogs, so I decided to put it here...

We are moving onto an 8 acre plot with a great solar house. I've always wanted to raise a small amount of chickens as "pets" and for eggs, as well as goats for fun. I'd like to adopt if a chicken from being killed or goats from being neglected.

The thing is, I know NOTHING about either one! Does anyone have any good reading where I could start? Or advice?

And this is going to sound like the most silly question, but do you need a rooster around all the time to get the hens to lay? Or do they just do it themselves?
Also, when your chickens stop laying, what do you do? I could never kill them, or give them to someone to kill. Do they live long?

Now that I've probably completely humiliated myself with these silly questions, I will wait for a response...

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I like Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens and Storey's guide to Dairy Goats. Living with Chickens is also a good starter book. You don't need a rooster. They can live several years and as they get older their production will decrease, but you could still keep them. My advice would be to start with a few hens, not just a single one. Chickens are very easy to care for. You can make a pretty simple coop for them, let them free-range during the day , give them food and water, etc. Goats require a little more work as far as housing, care, etc. If you wanted goats just for pets, pygmy goats may be a good choice, but you would want to get more than one because goats are herd animals. HTH
I would recommend getting Barnyard in Your Backyard. It has several contributing authors, but it's edited by Gail Damerow. It has excellent advice on raising chickens, ducks, geese, goats, rabbits, sheep and cattle. It's written so that it's very easy to understand even for the beginner. I know this b/c I am one!!

We're getting rabbits in about 8 weeks and pygmy goats in 3-4 weeks. Both for pets.
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