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Gail Damerow is a rare person. She's a highly experienced poultry-keeper, a great communicator of complex issues in an easily understandable way, and an excellent writer.
I guarantee - this book will become one of your most prized information sources for incubating and hatching.
It's certainly mine - and I have them all!
Will you benefit from this incubating book?
You'll love and benefit from this book if:
In other words - this is a book for everyone interested or active in incubating, hatching and brooding chickens in particular, although it also touches on guinea fowl, ducks, turkeys and geese.
It's one of the most comprehensive books on chicken rearing around - which is why I keep it by my side every time I hatch.
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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 and uses down-to-earth language. Where other authors assume you'll know what they're talking about, she explains..
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 clear 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 - whether "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, for example "you don't need to turn the eggs during the incubation period", 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 - or over an incubating table - it's a great read.
And of course, I refer to it all the time when I'm incubating. Like me, you will learn something new every time you open it.
The second comment (that it's not related to incubation) I really don't understand.
Yes, the book deals with the planning necessary before incubation - choosing the right chicken breed, choosing an incubator, setting up an incubator and so on.
Because they are vital steps in the incubation and hatching 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 for everyone from the experienced breeder to the beginner. I support that recommendation.
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.