Lesson 753 – Chickens in Five Minutes a Day – Book Review and Giveaway

We all know that raising chickens has become a current trend. I even wrote a post for GRIT on this. People are starting to catch on as to how (relatively) easy it is to have chickens.

Chickens in Five Mins Cover_hiresThis is not to say that chickens aren’t work, for goodness sake, they are living creatures and thus demand a minimal amount of care and attention, but people are always surprised to hear me say that once your flock is established, the care for your chickens can literally be accomplished in just a few minutes each day.

The problem is that many of us, unlike our parents, didn’t grow up with chickens. We think that the care of a flock must be easy, but we’re a bit on the clueless side of how to go about it. To solve this problem, McMurray Hatchery’s has just published the book “Chickens in Five Minutes a Day” (to be released May 14th) and they’ve asked me to take a look at it.

As many of us know, Murray McMurray Hatchery’s has been selling chicks for 95 years and ships more than 2 million chicks and other waterfowl each year.  McMurray knows their stuff when it comes to the care of chickens.  “All it takes is 5 minutes a day, and you’re a chicken owner,” the book crows and then clearly lays out the case for their statement. Grouply written by Bud Wood and those at Murray McMurray, the book covers in detail, the most important beginner chicken farmer topics like:

  • Setting up the most convenient coop or run
  • Choosing your chickens
  • Tips for raising newborn chicks
  • Step-by-step instructions on the daily routines required for raising chickens
  • Daily and monthly chores
  • Necessary steps for cleaning the coop

This is all tremendously useful information for the novice chicken owner.

The book includes stunning hand drawn pictures and lots of photos of the different types of chicken breeds.  It covers solid information which is organized by informative headers (Chickens as Pets, A Daily Guide, etc.) including whether or not you can have chickens in your neighborhood, which cities allow chickens, and even what types of breeds to get for your needs (colder climates like the Northeast do better with some breeds over others.)

The tone of the writing is direct (the reader is addressed as “you” as in “You’ll start your day by heading to the chicken coop with some kitchen scraps to treat your birds.”)  And it even includes helpful bits of advice from seasoned chicken farmers.

Perhaps the most informative section is the Murray McMurray Method for Raising Newly Hatched Chicks in Five Minutes a Day.  From my classes, I find that this is the topic where I get the most questions. People don’t seem to be afraid of taking care of older birds but many get down-right twitchy at the thought of being responsible for newly hatched chicks.

Using a step-by-step method, this resource (and it really is a terrific chicken information resource) walks you through the steps needed for taking care of those young chicks. From setting up a brooder, to pasty butt, the book holds your hand while it covers it all.

The next section covers the Murray McMurray Method for Raising Chickens in Five Minutes a Day. Daily and even monthly chores are clearly outlined making the care of chickens very straightforward even for the most anxious beginner.

The last section is on problems that may occur with your flock. It’s a list of basic illnesses and conditions sorted, again, by informative headlines (“One of my chickens is pecking at the others in the flock.”) It’s a short section that does indeed cover the basics of flock care and management.

Overall, I’d give this raising chickens guide a high grade. It’s pretty much everything that would be covered in a Chickens 101 (introductory) class. The illustrations are helpful without getting in the way of the information. The text is written in a friendly yet authoritative manner (think sitting down with a glass of sweet tea to talk chickens with your Grandpa) and there is enough information to make this a good reference book to keep on the shelf for the duration of your flock farmership.

I usually tell my chicken classes that between the web and different forums they can usually find all of the information they need to start their flocks, but I’m going to throw a copy of this book into my teaching bag as an example of a helpful resource for anyone who wants to start a chicken flock. Yeah, it’s that good.

Here’s the fun part. McMurray Hatchery’s is going to give someone from this blog a copy of this book. Leave a comment and I’ll randomly pick a winner next Tuesday.

You can check out the details of  Chickens in Five Minutes a Day.


Note: I am not being paid for this review, these opinions and statements are entirely my own.

Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Book Reviews, chicken care, Chicks

34 responses to “Lesson 753 – Chickens in Five Minutes a Day – Book Review and Giveaway

  1. Meagan Williams

    I grew up with chickens, and I have my own small “urban” flock now. There are still many things I don’t know about because my parents took care of them when I was younger. This book would be very helpful, especially for my husband who is an eager helper!

  2. pegthomas

    Hey sis–this must be the year I become more in tuned with nature. I am growing tomato seedlings. Imagine! The joke has been that I can’t tell one green thing from another. Growing chickens? What do we do with them when it is 20 below zero here in Minnesota? Even if it is 5-minutes a day, we might end up with the flock in the house for the other 23.55 hours!

  3. This looks like a book that I’ll need to add to my (ever-growing) chicken library!

  4. My sister has been talking about chickens for years, I’d like to give her this book to show that it can be done, fairly easily, and get her down off the fence, then maybe instead of wishes and musings, we could have eggs and fine feathered friends

  5. Candice

    I really need to read this book. I spend HOURS taking care of my chickens. I need help!

  6. We’ve learned a lot with our first flock these past two months, but a good reference book is always good to have on hand.

  7. LB

    That looks like a good read … would be great, thanks x

  8. I’m looking forward to reading it! I just got my three started pullets from McMurray Hatchery two weeks ago. They’re doing great!

  9. 5 minutes of work and hours of fun!!

  10. Lucy B.

    Hi Wendy, I’d love a copy of this book! We have a perfect little flock of 8 hens that brighten our every day. I love reading/learning more about their care & well-being. Thanks!

  11. backyardchickenlady

    I am just getting back into raising chickens after several decades without them. I could really use a refresher and this books sounds perfect for me. I would love to win this book and share my thoughts about it on my blog!

  12. Christine Pedroso

    Love your blog and your facebook page. I am new to chicken rasing and also New Hampshire,so I love to learn new stuff from your writings. Keep up the good work,and keep calm and raise chickens!

  13. Brenda Messer

    I can’t wait to read this book! I am retired and the kids grown, so my new found love has been starting to learn to raise a backyard flock. My hubby and are have a little over an acre in a small town in E TN, so rules for us are non-existent. Every opportunity that I have to learn more is so much fun and appreciated! We all are better for the adventure 🙂

  14. lawandasu

    This sounds like a fantastic read! I can’t wait to read it. I have a small flock, 12 hens and 1 roo, and love watching them interact with each other, me, and anyone who comes to visit.

  15. Cindy

    I will be checking out this book. My little flock has grown to about 85 – 95 chickens plus 3 roosters. Theres always something new to learn sometimes it’s from you, other times just in conversation with fellow flockers. Friends are always amazed when I tell them how easy it really is. This book will be my proof. I love reading your blog daily it’s always a bright spot.

  16. Joan

    You can never know enough about chickens right? Still reading and learning as much as possible before I take on that responsiblity AND building a coop BEFORE I bring them home. 🙂 Looking forward to looking out my window and seeing them in my own backyard!

  17. My wife ran away for four days to go to the beach with a best friend in Oregon. She is due back this afternoon. I said to the four hens, “Grandma, who talks to you much more nicely than I do, is coming back.”

    “Grand-who?” they asked. Chickens are not really that sentimental, but I presume they will recognize her when she returns, and ask if she brought them anything good to eat. They will tell her in great detail about the mice they chased and caught, the worms they dug us, and how they plan to scratch a hole to China.

  18. MY 7 chicks arrive on May 8 – I’m almost done building the coop and am working on a brooder box today – would LOVE to read this new book 🙂

  19. I’ve got the coop & chicken run ready for the small flock I plan to start, but I’m a bit nervous about the responsibility. It’s been 33 years since I’ve had to care for a newborn! This book would certainly come in handy.

  20. I will have to get a copy…If I don’t win it first…:)

  21. Can always use more chicken knowledge

  22. I don’t have chickens yet, but am planning for them in the future. This book sounds like it would be a great resources.

  23. Harmon Schwartz

    Looks like it is a very interesting book. I believe the 5 minute rule is fine but I seem to spend a lot more time with my girls. I find it much less expensive than a physiatrist .

  24. We got pullets two years ago and I was spending over 2 hours a day taking care of them. It was so intense that we ended up giving them away. We are looking to try again next year but won’t do it without reading this book first. I would love a copy.

  25. Judy

    love animals, have raised many wild birds & released them. I would love to have chickens..”Fresh Eggs” oh my.

  26. Hi, It’s been 30 some years since I had chickens, Well actually, back then, Hubby and the kids had chickens…..I just helped dress them out and made some good chicken recipes. Now, all the youngin’s, kids that is, have flown the coop. Hubby’s gone too.Sooo,I just decided to get some chicks,( 6 Buff’s, 2 Barred Rocks, 6 White Rocks) and give it a try myself. I think it would be a help to have that book, right now, I’ve refined “chick care” down to 20-25 minutes a day.

  27. I started raising chickens 2 years ago. I love my girls! So little investment for such a lovely and rewarding behavior. Even now, I have plenty of questions! Nice give away. Good luck to everyone. ♥

  28. Deb Miller

    So eager to put the finishing touches on my coop/run and get my very first flock! A wonderful guidebook like this would make me feel much more confident!

  29. Jan

    I’ve had chickens for a couple of years now and shake my head at some of the (obvious) mistakes I’ve made. There’s still so much to learn, and the chickens try to teach me daily. I started out with a rooster and 2 hens, and I’m now up to 15 hens, one rooster, 9 pullets, one broody hen and 13 incubating eggs! That’s even after the fox family had a few chicken dinners last summer. I was never a “bird person” but I really enjoy the chickens!

  30. Karen

    Our new chicks come this week – I would love a copy of the book! Thanks so much.

  31. I love to watch new folks discover chickens, mistakes, and wishes for redos.

  32. JenniferB

    I have had my 6 hens for one month now- they are a year old and laying eggs. I really am liking having chickens around. This book sounds like a great read.

  33. Connie

    planning on chickens soon….

  34. Susan

    I have a friend I’d love to give this to.

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