Did you ever wonder why chickens taste so juicy and hens are so plump and delicious? Have you ever been to a chicken coop and listened to the chirping of the chicks and the clucking of the roosters? They flit around and look so cheerful. When the mother hen is there all of the little chicks listen to her voice and do what she says? They follow her directions and they are so obedient? Ever wonder why? The truth about chicks, hens and how to properly raise them will now and forever be told. Not by me of course. I will just relay the information to you the reader. It was told by a wonderful woman whose journey in life ended in 1975 but whose legacy and Recipe For Happy Chickens, which will live
on forever. This brings me to my review of Recipe for Happy Chickens by Minnie Rose Lovgreen.
Minnie starts out with teaching the reader about bantams hens and their natural mothering instincts. She explains the method of building a nest and keeping the eggs safe and warm. Next we learn how to care for baby chicks, and where to keep these chicks safe and warm after they are born. You can even keep them in your own house. Chicks need to be spoken to and who better than their own mothers whose voices they become accustomed to. Without their mothers there they would have no one to teach them. I think that young parents must learn a lot from these hens on caring for their children when they are
Hens make great mothers according to our author. They stay close to their young chicks, never leaving them for any length of time. For orderly bedtimes, getting them up to eat in the morning and keeping them on a strict schedule, mother hen does not require the skills of Nanny 911, she has it under control herself. If one chick gets lost at bedtime she will go and find it hoping will not get cold and will find its way back to safety and the other chicks. She definitely has great parenting
skills. The author explains to the reader that when she was home she would assist the mother hen in finding and bringing her young chick home. The mother hen even trains her chicks to understand and detect danger from hawks, cats or owls. I wish that parents would teach their children how to detect danger and not speak to strangers or go out alone.
As I read this book I can hear the voice of the author explaining and instructing the reader in the proper care for hens, breeding them and teaching them their lifelong survival skills. Minnie’s voice is heard on every page and you can feel the love she had for these chicks and the hens. Sometimes being impatient and getting on a different boat definitely benefitted everyone, not just Minnie but those who run chicken farms and breed these great hens. The love with which this story filled with humor and real emotion comes through on each and every page.
The diet of these chicks is very varied. They might be chickens but they do know what they want to eat and not eat. From dandelion greens, clover, alfalfa, to leftover scraps from food we might not finish, these chicks are really smart. Water is a must and they need plenty of it as we do. Their instincts are sharp and they know what foods are safe to eat and which are to be avoided. Imagine if we could do that too. There would be fewer people coming down with food poisoning and other diseases. Chicks will not eat toadstools, and neither will I, nor will they eat onion, green pepper or cabbage. Chicks need to eat tiny rocks or pebbles.
With illustrations and captions that make you smile and pictures that tell the story even without the words, this book is a great resource for anyone who wants to start their own chicken farm, raise hens and chickens or just understand the secrets of caring for them.
Housing, maintenance, medical care, fleas and more-these chickens are well cared for and guess what, no health insurance needed, no co-pays, free housing, clean accommodations and food that is tailored made for them. What more can a chicken ask for!
In case you are wondering whom the real boss is and who keeps these hens in line that would be the rooster. He is considered the supervisor and makes sure the chicks are called to eat, looks after them and warns them against danger. He even plays mediator if there is a hen fight. But, when two roosters fight, as our author related, she would take action. What kind of action and how she solved the problem you need to read for yourself.
One male rooster can take care of at least 15 hens and keep him happy and their eggs fertilized. Great for the male rooster. From laying their eggs, to molting, keeping them fertilized and more, Minnie has really set the bar for how-to books and created a great resource for those who want to run their own farms. The last chapter “ Virtues of the Bantam Hen” summarizes
all that you need to know about caring for these precious chicks, hens and their broods. Bantam hens have strong spirits and will fight for the safety of their young. Just look at the picture on the last page and you decide who won.
Minnie: I dedicate this review to you and all the happy chickens raised on your farm.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer and author of Memories are Precious and the Bertha Series Of Children’s Books and Reading and Writing Staff Developer NYC Public Schools
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