Saturday, January 18, 2014

Talking Chickenese

Eric Lofgren has published his own chicken keeping book, Talking Chickenese. The title sounds lightweight, but he's done a good job with the material. He is a serious observer and careful chicken keeper. His book reflects it.

I haven't met Eric, but he's clearly experienced with chickens. He has also kept detailed records and has a clear memory of what has worked and what hasn't. His advice on Moving a Broody Hen reflects his patience: "Place the eggs in the nest and then gently place the hen over the eggs. Talk softly to her and pet her back until she relaxes and lays down on the nest... She will eventually settle in."

He opens the book with lists of common chicken expressions that may be obscure to new chicken owners, such as the distinction between breed and variety. This kind of terminology confused me when I was starting out, so getting the basic vocabulary straightened out at the start makes sense. He adds common abbreviations, with some humor mixed in, (CBOF: Cantankerous Old Bag of Feathers) and his own take on commercial terms such as Free Range and Antibiotic Free. Learning these terms is important to the consumer as well as the poultry keeper. It's part of our job as poultry enthusiasts to educate the public as to what they are buying.

Lofgren's book is truly encyclopedic. He includes plenty of start-up advice, such as choosing between buying day-old chicks, hatching with an incubator and hatching with a hen. He devotes about a third of the book to medical advice, clearly presented and easy to understand. If my birds come up with something I'm not familiar with, I'll consult his chapter for guidance. His experience shows here, too: "Gatorade: Used as a supplement to aid n the replenishment of vitamins and electrolytes during times of stress such as heat prostration. Orange seems to be the most favored."

His humor leads him through the pitfalls of political issues, such as getting birds tested in the National Poultry Improvement Plan. "I talked with different agriculture agents. I had different agencies send as much information as possible which I really didn't want to do because then they had our address and I was envisioning men dressed in white lab coats peering over our fences with binoculars and notepads trying to figure out how they could destroy our birds,. Boy, I couldn't have been any farther from the truth....So put away your ears and get your birds tests, you will be happy you did."

He includes a section of drawings and diagrams to illustrate chicken anatomy, both external and internal. It's all useful and helpful to the chicken newcomer as well as those who have kept chickens for a while but don't know it all yet. I include myself in that category. I learn something new every day.

So saying, Eric Lofgren and written a worthy addition to the backyard chicken literature. I'm grateful to have it in my collection. Because it's privately printed, it's not generally available. Here's his information on how to get a copy:

"We are excited to announce that my new book, Talking Chickenese - The Logical Guide To Keeping and Raising Chickens, is finally here. It has turned out much nicer than any of us expected. 248 pages of useful information from the logical standpoint of raising chickens. The book covers such subjects as Poultry Anatomy, Incubation, Diseases, Parasites and more. There are 84 different topics and some fun stuff thrown in for your enjoyment.

"The book is exclusively available through our store by mail or in person. Cover price is just $16.95.
Shipping by Media Mail within the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Porto Rico, US Virgin Islands, APO’s and FPO’s is just $3.00 per book.
Shipping to Canada or Mexico is $9.00
Shipping to a Foreign Country is $17.00

"Wanting to order more than one book to give as gifts to the chicken lovers in your life? We are happy to combine shipping to cut the cost if sent to the same address.

"We accept:
Credit Card orders by phone at 352-861-1491
Paypal orders to
    (put “book” in the comment section)
Check or Money Order to
                 The Pampered Pullets Farm
                 13788 SW 5th Place
                 Ocala, FL 34481

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