So I’ve followed Ashley English off and on for years. I don’t really remember how I found her, maybe on instagram. Maybe through her blog, Small Measure. I don’t recall it’s been so long ago. But I have been collecting her books for some time now. I have the above book, Keeping Chickens, plus A Year of Pies, Homemade Living: Canning and Preserving, and Quench. She also has several other books on homesteading, picnics, and southern cooking (newly released Southern from Scratch). I tend to check books out from the library before purchasing books and I’ve checked Ashley’s books out over and over until I realized I just needed to start purchasing them.
What I like about this book, Keeping Chickens, is that she gives you a lot of information in very brief terms but doesn’t skimp on the information. The book is only 138 pages or so and that includes the index, acknowledgements, and everything in between. The photos are nice and there are several ‘Portrait of a Chicken Keeper’ throughout the book.
The book is divided into ten chapters: what to consider; selecting a breed; obtaining chickens; housing (with several plans); feeding; hatching eggs; raising chicks; health and wellness; eggs; and recipes.
Each chapter gives you the basics of what you need to know including some plans or more specific information about that section. For example, the housing chapter has plans for nesting boxes and a chicken tractor. The feeding chapter has detailed information about all the different things you can feed your chickens, from table scraps to scratch to things you can grow to feed your chickens.
I really admire Ashley, and have for a long time. I would love to do what she’s doing. She has cookie swaps, book group that includes dinner, she writes, she raises her family ‘in a cove in the mountains of North Caroline’. That’s what I’m trying to figure out-how to make a living on the homestead and do the things that I love. I wonder if she’ll write a post for us here on the blog on how she got started? We’ll have to ask. Send her a message folks! Inquiring minds want to know how she does it!
In the meantime, go check out her books. They are good resources to have in your homesteading collection.
Oh, I loved this book so much that I had to take it on the boat with me a couple of weeks ago (see last pic above). What can I say? I like a good book.