Tonawanda News


February 18, 2014

Reading the 'Chook book'

Tonawanda News — Once I started reading words like “odour,” “behaviour” and “Animal Welfare Council,” I knew I was abroad.

The five chickens that I obtained a few months ago are still eggless and I wanted to do a little research. I picked up the book “A Family Guide to Keeping Chickens” by Anne Perdeaux to learn more. The book just came out this month and is available on Kindle or in paperback on for under $15.

I received the paperback edition and the book itself is really high quality, heavy for its size and 272 pages long. Inside, there are a couple of full photo spreads and many of the pages have colorful illustrations, photographs, quizzes for kids and quick facts to test your chicken knowledge. For example, in Australia chickens are often called “Chooks.”

The book says that two of my chickens, Seramas native to Malaysia, are sometimes kept inside homes in their native land. “Eggs are tiny (five are equivalent to one standard egg) and not very plentiful,” the book says. “They are confident, friendly birds, easy to tame.”

The Serama Club says that the Serama is a “living work of art,” and I would have to agree. Hillary Cluckton and Attila the Hen are very confident, often the first ones to greet us as we let them roam the yard — and when they are done with us, the prance around with their tails held high and chests sticking out. As they’re the smallest breed of chicken in the world, the book says they may be suitable for those with limited space.

Silkie chickens, like my Egg-atha Christie, were noted by Marco Polo after his travels in the 13th century. Perdeaux says Marco Polo wrote that silkies “which have hair like a cat, are black, and lay the best of eggs.” Wonder where my eggs are? Perdeaux does go on to say they aren’t the most prolific of layers, but are enthusiastic brooders, making them good to keep around to incubate and raise other breeds.

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