Gail Damerow is a rare person. She's a highly experienced poultry-keeper, a great communicator of complex issues in an easily understood way, and an excellent writer.
I guarantee - this book will become your go-to information source for incubating and hatching.
It's certainly mine - and trust me, I have them all!
You'll love this book if :
Everything. It's one of the most comprehensive books on chicken rearing around. Here are some of its chapters :
It's well organised, follows a logical progression, answers questions ordinary chicken-keepers (i.e. you and me) have, has some great illustrations and some lovely pics of chicks.
It is also extremely thorough in every section - she pays great attention to detail where other authors assume that you'll know what they're talking about.
But most of all, it's down to earth.
She draws on her own vast experience of raising chicks (which she calls being in "poultry heaven"!) and explains complicated issues in plain language, avoids jargon (she also provides a glossary of terms) and where necessary she uses great illustrations to help explain a point.
One of the sections I like best is called "Screwpot Notions" where she looks at some commonly held beliefs and asks whether there is any merit in them.
Some - "An egg's shape determines the gender of the bird that will hatch from it" for example - she treats with humour, but where it would potentially harm chicks or eggs - "You don't need to turn the eggs during the incubation period" for example - she provides solid evidence to prove or disprove the point.
The only slightly negative reviews (3 stars out of five on Amazon) for this book talk about it being 'boring' and not related to incubation.
As for the book being "boring" - whether you're a hardened hatch-a-holic or just starting out I think you'll find it fascinating.
What I would say is it's a book to be dipped in and out of - I wouldn't sit down and read it all at one go (although judging by the reviews, some people clearly have) but in an odd spare moment with a cup of coffee it's a great read.
And of course, I refer to it all the time when I'm incubating. I learn something new every time I open it.
The second comment (that it's not related to incubation) I really don't understand.
Yes, the book deals with the time before incubation - choosing a chicken breed, choosing an incubator, setting up an incubator and so on - but they are vital steps in the process. It wouldn't make sense to leave them out.
Of all the reviews on Amazon, none scores lower than three stars (of a maximum of five) and three quarters score four or five.
People commonly refer to this book as "my oracle" and "my bible". the majority of readers recommend it - as I do - for everyone from the experienced breeder to the beginner.
This is a popular book, loved by beginners and experts alike.
If you've looked at any of my other reviews you'll know that I award "Golden Eggs" for products, from one for a "Hmmm I wouldn't recommend this" to five - "Must-have - don't miss out on this wonderful product".
This is based on both my own experience with the book and on reviews of others on book-selling sites.
There's really nothing I don't like about it.
If you were only going to buy one book about hatching and brooding I would categorically say - buy this one.
To order from America please click on this image.
To order from the UK and the rest of the world, please click on this image.
Published by Storey Publishing, LLC; January 2013.
Number of pages : 240.
ISBN number : 978-1612120140Also available as a Kindle book - click here.
You may be interested in following along with my free 28-step guide to incubating and hatching. Each day, you'll receive an e-mail explaining what's happening on that day of incubation, together with instructions about what you need to be doing with the eggs.
For more information, click on the pic to the left or on this link.
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