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The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming, Produce Your Own Grass-Fed Meat, Gather Fresh Eggs, Collect Fresh Milk, Make Your Own Cheese, Keep Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cattle, & Bees Paperback – Mar 23 2011


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The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming, Produce Your Own Grass-Fed Meat, Gather Fresh Eggs, Collect Fresh Milk, Make Your Own Cheese, Keep Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cattle, & Bees + The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! + Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 1 edition (March 23 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603429697
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603429696
  • Product Dimensions: 27.5 x 21.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has a lot of helpful information and great diagrams to go along with it. It was really nice to also be able to look at an overview of what adding different animals to my hobby farm would be like as far as work, feed, and feasibility. I have goats and have a lot of books and resources on them but I still managed to find the goat section in this book to be helpful thanks to its simplicity and organization. Worth every penny!!
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By A. Prevost on March 8 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I read it for the first time, I cried, and it's no jokes...My eyes still get all watery even just talking about it after several months from receiving it. I've never had a better book than this, there is so much useful information that I've even used for my own pet bunny concerning its health. A pet! Not just farm animals! This one and the original are pretty much a must have in any homesteader's library as it's full of good stuff, well illustrated and concise.
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By Kat on July 2 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book. I already had the first one and I enjoyed the set up of the first book. I was not disappointed in this. Its a great first book if looking for general information about breeds and such.
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Format: Paperback
I have been a wee bit overwhelmed with information on starting raising critters on our acre. This is a fine beginning. Sometimes the trickiest part to getting a job done is getting started. I feel confident enough using this one as the basic guide to building and over all care of the critters we will have soon. I like it lots and lots in a jelly tots box!
:D
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 65 reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Nice reference for small-scale farm animal raising May 18 2011
By Kristi C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am a big supporter of buying local, and while I do not live in an area where I can own most of these animals (except bees, currently), I found this resource to be comprehensive for someone either researching or getting started in small-scale farm animal raising.

Gail Damerow puts together a well-researched book on various farm animals that could be owned by people looking to find raise animals for food, but who do not necessarily have the space for a full farm. Each chapter takes a different animal and discusses what you may want to look for in breeds, housing, feed and basic health care for them. For instance, in the chapter on chickens there is a section on different breeds, how to collect eggs and check if they are good for eating, feeding, watering and housing your chickens, handling chickens in the coop and transporting them, and general health concerns. Additional chapters on other poultry such as turkeys and ducks follow.

Poultry isn't the only meat souce in this book. It includes from the smaller "keep a couple in your garage" rabbits to pigs to cows. Sections on the various cuts from the animals are listed, but no need to worry about the details of butchering. Those are recommended to be left to actual processors or other books. The chapters on milk providers, goats and cows, give general descriptions on breeding and milking the animals.

Beyond the individual animal chapters, I like the extras that are included. Similar to its predecessor, The Backyard Homestead, there are illustrations in the front showing how much you can actually support on one-tenth, one-fourth, or one-half an acre of land. The glossary is extensive but not overwhelming, the black and white line illustrations are descriptive and meaningful to the text, and the resources in the back supplement the strong foundation this reference creates.

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals is a great source of information on chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, rabbits, goats, sheep, cattle, pigs and honey bees, all of which are quite suitable to the suburban, or, if you are fortunate enough to have zoning laws in your favor, urban resident. If you are looking into owning any of these animals, I definitely recommend adding this to your shelf.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Indepth for the novice. Oct. 12 2012
By Little Miss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good read for the experienced or inexperienced alike. Long chapters about each aspect the book covers. Well written and easy to understand. Some information more suited to the hobbiest then someone looking to turn a profit or save money in certain types of agriculture. Some of the breed proprietation seems to be leaned towards heritage or non-common types. Not a great book for those who grew up roughing it on the farm. A good informative read to the city dweller. Reviewed by The Goat Farmer, not Little Miss his wife.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A good overview June 19 2011
By Kristina Seleshanko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Backyard Homestead is probably the best book available for those who'd like to become more self-sufficient when it comes to food. As you can see from my review of the book (here), most of that volume is dedicated to growing vegetables; there is far less information on raising livestock. However, the same publisher recently released The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals; this is unquestionably the best book on the market for those in the suburbs or country who like the idea of raising animals for eggs, milk, and meat, but aren't sure where to start.

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals consists of one chapter each covering the topic of chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, rabbits, bees, goats, sheep, pigs, and cows. Each chapter lays out the basics of how to raise the animal, including housing and feeding requirements, and how to keep the critters healthy. There are also tips on choosing an appropriate breed, keeping predators at bay, and general ideas on whether or not you're likely to save money raising your own.

The editor, Gail Damerow, also offers a visual on how much room is needed to raise certain animals through three drawings at the front of the book. Each offers an idea of how a homestead could proceed, showing how properties (each with a typical house and a veggie garden) could be laid out. For example, on the smallest property (1/10th of an acre), bees, rabbits, and chickens are shown. On the largest property (1/2 an acre), bees, rabbits, pigs, waterfowl, poultry, and 1 cow or 2 steers and either 2 goats or 2 lambs, are suggested.

At the center of the book is a folded color chart picturing the most common breeds raised for food; while this is pretty, I didn't find it very useful - although I did like how some small silhouettes at the bottom of the chart give an idea of the size of each breed mentioned. Aside from this, my only real complaint about the book is that it rarely address difficulties urban homesteaders face, like coming up with space, keeping kids safe, and addressing the concerns of neighbors.

But despite certain limitations, this is still is the best book I've found on the topic. It's clearly not meant to be the only book you'll want on how to raise your backyard livestock. You can and should read as many books as possible on how to raise the animals you select. But The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals is an great one stop source for making decisions about which animals you can - in all practicality - raise in the suburbs or country. I recommend it!

Kristina Seleshanko, Proverbs Thirty One Woman
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Never thought I'd like it - but I do! July 11 2011
By Didi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book with a giftcard and probably would have never bought it had I not - but I'm surprising pleased. It has a nice thourogh overview over several popular backyard animals. The chick care is good although it refers you to Gail's other book on raising chicks for more in-depth stuff (like incubating eggs at home.) I loved the section on goats and learned some new things that I didn't know before - even after owning one, going through kidding with her and now milking her for 4 months, which I think is impresive. There is also a full color pull out poster type chart in the middle of the book which I think is a nice touch - it helps to see and read sometimes. I am very glad I have this book and have learned alot from it. I have had it stacked with my encyclopedia of country living by Carla Emery which says a lot - however, I won't compare those books, it is a good book to add to your library.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great starting point Oct. 12 2011
By Jolene Pirrone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I like this book much better than The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!. Because it is a narrower topic, the material was covered in a much better way. This is not the all-encompassing reference, but it gives the newly interested all the information they need to get started. They cover all the major breeds or the most popular farm animals in easy to understand, no nonsense language. The pros and cons of different animals and methods are discussed. It is also presented in a positive, even inspiring way. My kids love it too - they are very intent on getting chickens and my daughter is learning about caring for rabbits. Great book.

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