A couple working six months per year for 50 hours per week on 20 acres can net $25,000-$30,000 per year with an investment equivalent to the price of one new medium-sized tractor. Seldom has agriculture held out such a plum. In a day when main-line farm experts predict the continued demise of the family farm, the pastured poultry opportunity shines like a beacon in the night, guiding the way to a brighter future.
After reading You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise by Joel Salatin, reading this book was a must in our endeavour to raise our own chickens for meat.
The book is basically a manual on how to raise your own meat chickens in a free range environment. It starts with raising chicks right through to processing them. It also includes guides on egg production. Again, it is packed full of information on almost everything you need to know.
It is an interesting and easy read, written in the same conversational style as You Can Farm. Again, some parts were a little bit tedious because it was so detailed on everything you need to do, for example he practically includes blueprints to his free range chicken pens.
It was originally published in 1993, which was ten years ago and a lot has changed since then. There has been three reprints since then, the last in 2010. I really liked how at the end of the book, there were ‘Addendums’ to update the book with each reprint. Instead of rewriting parts of it to make it up to date, he just added lessons they had learned and different ways of going about certain things they had come across. It showed the growth and also gave a lot of history – rewriting would have taken this away.
There were some parts that frustrated me as for us living in Australia, some of the things he suggested were simply not possible as it is either not available here or against the law. I know that he would obviously tell me that’s okay, that i can find another route but the way he came across was really “This is the only way and you can’t do it any other way and if you do it any other way then it won’t work and you will fail”. That’s probably a little bit over the top but that’s how it made me feel. I understand that he can’t cater for all the different countries in the world and he was probably so blunt and one way because people like to try and shortcut and then blame him for their failures.
Anyway overall it was a great read with lots of information to help us in our venture. I would definitely recommend this book however it’s a bit limited in its audience compared to You Can Farm as it’s aimed specifically for people interested in raising chickens.