My wife, the Gardening Goddess, found “Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance: Reflections on Raising Chickens” by Martin Gurdon at the local library and I just had to read it. Partly because my dad and brother were both reading “Zen and the Art of motorcycle maintenance” one summer and partly because Ericsprojects.com used to list “and chicken maintenance” on the top banner.
Martin and his wife take on chickens for companionship more than for eggs or the table.
His stories are light hearted and well written. There are tales of pet hens, smart hens, sick hens, run-away hens, a chicken called “Satan” and one called “baggy chicken” and various experiences with roosters, including one called “Zoro”.
While I truly enjoyed reading the book for the tales, I also found it to be full of useful information. Through Martin’s experiences, questions like “Do you need a rooster in order for the hens to lay eggs?” are answered.
Martin also learned that not only will you need space for your chickens, you will also need some place to put sick, injured or aggressive chickens. We call our isolation space “the henitentiary” (click here for pictures).
Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance by Martin Gurdon is a “must read” for anyone considering raising chickens. It’s entertaining and informative.