I had high hopes for Day Range
Poultry by Andy
Lee and Patricia Foreman, so perhaps that’s why I was
disappointed. Here’s what you should expect:
- An honest account of why the authors no longer believe that
chicken tractors are for everyone. (See my analysis of chicken
tractors vs. day range for more information.)
- An explanation of their specific day range model, used to pasture
thousands of chickens and turkeys. Basically, this is the same as
Joel Salatin’s egg-mobile — a moveable but semi-permanent coop
surrounded by pasture. Poultry are let out into areas marked off
by portable electric fence and are moved at intervals.
- A good explanation of incubation and hatching (my favorite
chapter of the book.)
- Easy to read with lots of illustrations.
Unfortunately, you need
to expect these negative qualities as well:
- A shallow feel, without data that would allow you to take their
experiences and tweak their model to apply to different settings.
- Spelling errors, repetition, and jumpiness, with the contents of
many chapters not matching the title. (A good editor could have
worked wonders with this book.)
- Large font, so the book holds much less information than you’d
guess from the page count.
I hate to say it, but
this book offers little of interest to the backyard
enthusiast. Day Range
Poultry is an
explanation of how to make a part time living by raising chickens in a
manner better than the industrial model — if that’s what you’re
interested in, this book should be on your shelf. However, if
you’re just trying to figure out the best way to raise chickens on
pasture on a small scale, their model of 1,000 Cornish Cross broilers
per acre with a feed
conversion rate of 4:1 won’t give you any ideas.
your flock with POOP-free water.