“If your garden fantasies involve chickens, Jessi Bloom is here to make those dreams come true.” —The New York Times
Many gardeners fear chickens will peck away at their landscape. But you can keep chickens and have a beautiful garden, too! In this essential handbook, award-winning garden designer Jessi Bloom offers step-by-step instructions for creating a beautiful and functional space and maintaining a happy, healthy flock. Free-Range Chicken Gardens covers everything a gardener needs to know, from the basics of chicken keeping and getting them acclimated to the garden, to how to create the perfect chicken-friendly garden design and build innovative coops.
Through personal experience and in-depth interviews with other backyard chicken farmers, Bloom, an award-winning garden designer, takes you from her early chicken-raising days, which she recalls as about as easy as herding cats, to the ultimate goal of maintaining a fit flock that will contrast and co-exist with a backyard garden. She gives tips about keeping the backyard from becoming a barnyard; selecting from a diverse palette of poultry from Rhode Island Reds to Easter Eggers; growing the plants that will benefit from hens and beautify a lawn; keeping a simple chicken emergency kit ; regulating coop temperatures; and keeping predators away. Noise reduction ideas will also help keep neighbors potential annoyance at bay. The presentation is enhanced by detailed charts how many square feet of yard for how many chickens, the chicken lifecycle, feedings from egg to chick to pullet to hen for help in creating a chicken-inclusive environment in a variety of settings. Bloom offers a comprehensive guide from mating to medicine that will particularly help beginners, and vivid color photography by Kate Baldwin helps Bloom make a persuasive case.