The Complete Encylopedia of Chickens

By Ester Verhoef and Aad Rijs: originally published by Rebo International in 2003

Never has the expression ‘it does exactly what it says on the tin’ been so apt. The publishers claim that it covers just about “everything you need to know about caring for, housing, breeding, and feeding chickens plus an extensive description of more than one hundred different breeds of chicken”. And it does – how they can pack so much valuable information into 336 pages, beautifully illustrated each one with several outstanding colour photographs and still only charge the price they do (I bought mine brand new for �5), I will never understand. As well as ‘general’ information regarding getting chickens; housing; care; feeding; laying; diseases; reproduction; anatomy and plumage; colours and marking patterns, the authors talk of and describe the large breeds, ‘true’ bantams and what they describe as ‘diminutive’ chickens. It is, in my opinion, the “bible” for would-be chicken-keepers and carefully explains all of what one should consider before actually going ahead and buying a few birds for the back garden.