Chicken & Eggs: River Cottage Handbook No.11 by Mark Diacono
Chickens are a fantastic addition to a garden or outdoors space - you don't have to live in the back of beyond to have a few clucking around and giving you fresh eggs. They come in all shapes and sizes: some are layers, some are just born to strut. Mark Diacono begins at the basics, showing how you can raise chickens from eggs, and look after them once they start laying their own.
The first part of Chicken & Eggs explains how to think ahead about what kind of chickens you want and how many to get, whether you are going for a breed that lays eggs regularly, or that you might eventually use for eating, or that simply looks decorative. You can choose from Orpingtons, Derbyshire redcaps, Muffed Old English Game, Leghorns and many more.
Mark then goes on to show how you can breed chickens, encourage them to lay, work out what kind of eggs you have (are they destined for the eggcup, or will they hatch into baby chicks?), and take care of them day to day, as well as how you can go about getting the birds on the table. The final part of the book is a recipe section that goes far beyond the roast, with lots of delicious ideas for fresh eggs or home-reared chicken.
With an introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, this is an essential guide for anyone who can't stop thinking about chicks.