- Why Bother?
- The Integrated Small-Scale Flock
- Your Basic Bird
- Planning the Flock
- Starting the Flock
- Manure Management in the Poultry House: The Joys of Deep Litter
- Pasturing the Flock
- Managing the Pastured Flock Using Electronet
- Mobile Shelters
- Putting the Flock to Work
- Chickens in the Garden
- A Question of Balance
- Thoughts on Feeding
- Purchased Feeds
- Making Our Own Feeds
- Feeding the Flock from Home Resources
- Cultivating Recomposers for Poultry Feed
- One Big Happy Family
- Protecting the Flock from Predators
- Helping the Flock Stay Healthy
- Managing the Winter Flock
- Other Domestic Fowl
- Breeding for Conservation and Breed Improvement
- Managing the Breeding Season
- Working with Broody Hens
- Butchering Poultry
- Poultry in the Kitchen
- Serving Small Local Markets
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock is my all-time favorite poultry book. I think it’s worth the price. The other nine books I have read don’t go into nearly as much detail on natural feeding. This book has a short chapter about commercial feeds, a chapter on making your own feed, another on feeding the flock from home resources, and a fourth on growing worms and other “bugs” for them. It contained wonderful color pictures, and the information on natural care and feeding was more comprehensive than any other book I’ve ever seen.
The rest of the book was also excellent. The chapter about housing had several great ideas, especially using open-air structures. Another good area was putting the flock to work – tilling, composting, enriching the soil, and more. Those chapters were aimed at chickens, but some areas apply to ducks as well. I completely support his all-natural outlook, and he gives so many wonderful ideas that even the most limited flock owners can find something to do to reduce their feed costs and feed their flocks more naturally.
One problem is that the author doesn’t have experience with everything and thus leaves out other options in some areas. He only describes the breeds he has raised, and only discusses electronet as fencing. (Electronet doesn’t work in our circumstances.) Also, there is a chapter about deep litter (which certainly has remarkable advantages, but isn’t necessarily the best for every duck owner), but the author doesn’t discuss other options for bedding.
Also, you would need an additional book to learn all the specifics of raising ducks. The author focuses on chickens, mentions other poultry here and there, and has one chapter devoted to ducks, geese, guineas, and turkeys. Fortunately, most of the information about chickens also applies to ducks.
Nevertheless, because of the all-natural approach, I think The Small-Scale Poultry Flock is definitely worth owning, whether you have chickens or not.