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Jenny's Hobby Farm

Jenny set up a hobby farm in the Canadian West Coast Rain Forest, clearing the land with pigs and raising ready-to-lay hens to sell. The books and articles on this web site represent knowledge which she has accumulated during this time.

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Cover Photo
Cover photo of book on raising chickens

How to Raise Day-old Chicks in Your Back Yard

by S. J. Robson (Jenny)


Download .pdf file - CAD $3.00

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.pdf or .epub format

19 chapters

3rd Edition July 2014

© Copyright
Susan Jennifer Robson 2014


View Table of Contents


Excerpts from this book make up my web article on Raising chickens
(Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 12)


A reference book for those interested in raising chickens for the first time.

Such basics as heat and space needs, brooder and coop layout, feeding and more, for both layer and broiler chickens, are all covered. Information on fully grown hens and roosters is also included. A number of problems likely to be encountered in a small flock are given, and there is also some information about incubating eggs and broody hens.

S.J. Robson has had extensive experience raising day-old-chicks when operating a small farm on Vancouver Island, raising up to 300 chicks at a time and selling them as ready-to-lay hens every 5 months. More about the author

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CHAPTER 1 - Discussion of Breeds

True Old Fashioned Breeds vs Modern Crosses

Giant Breeds

Large, Dual Purpose Breeds

Large (but smaller than dual-purpose) Layer Breeds

Bantams (Banties)

Commercial Crosses

Commercial Meat Birds

Sex links

CHAPTER 2 - Space Needs

Layer Chicks

Broiler Chicks / Meat Birds

CHAPTER 3 - Heat and Ventilation Needs

Heat and Ventilation, General

Heat for Layer Chicks

Heat for Broiler Chicks

Ventilation for All

Is there too much condensation?

Freezing Temperatures Outside

Using a Rooster to keep Chicks warm

CHAPTER 4 - Bedding and Litter

In the Coop

In the Run

CHAPTER 5 - Roosts

Large Size, and Smaller, Layer Hens

Broiler Hens

CHAPTER 6 - Water

Purchased Waterer for Hens - Photos

Purchased Chick Waterer - Photo

CHAPTER 7 - Feeding Your Chickens

Grit and Oyster Shell

Commercial Feed

Free Range Hens - Feed

Planting pasture for the Chickens

Pastured Poultry for Broiler Hens

Home Devised Diet

How Mother Preserved her Hen's Eggs

Mother's Survival Rations for Hens

How to make BRAN MASH

Home Devised Diet for Day-old Chicks

CHAPTER 8 - Free Range Layer Hens

Hanging Out

Dust Bath

Inside to 8 weeks

Outside after 8 weeks

Catching chickens outside in the evening

Extra feed for the free range hens

Keeping inside till noon when beginning to lay

CHAPTER 9 - About Chicken House Designs

Chicken Coop Floor Plan for 20 Chickens

About the Layout for a Chicken Coop

Location of Feeder

Location of Water


Location of Nesting Boxes

CHAPTER 10 - Nesting box and Feeder Designs

About Nesting Box Design

Homemade Nesting Box and Feeder Drawings

Purchased Feeder for Hens - Photo

Purchased Chick Feeder - Photo

CHAPTER 11 - The Brooder

Brooder Layout for 4 to 6 Chicks to 8 Weeks Old

Brooder Layout for up to 20 layer chicks or 10 broiler chicks

Heat Lamps


Feed Container


CHAPTER 12 - Before the Chicks Arrive and Their First Day

CHAPTER 13 - When to Mix Roosters and Chicks with the Rest of the Flock

CHAPTER 14 - Chicken Problems

Serious Health Problems - Contacts

Less Serious Chicken Problems
Broken Legs and Heart Attacks in Meat Birds
Blackhead Disease
Catching Chickens
Disease Prevention
Egg Eating
Eggs, Stop Laying
Impacted Crop
Infertile Eggs
Keeping Hens Fenced in
Marek's Disease (Only a few obvious symptoms given - this is a serious disease)
Pasted Vent
Pecking other hens
Straddle Legs

CHAPTER 15 - Incubating Your Own Eggs

Danger - other people's eggs


Collecting eggs to incubate yourself

Testing the eggs



Incubation Temperatures

Setting the Eggs


CHAPTER 16 - Using a Broody Hen

CHAPTER 17 - Moving the Chickens' Home

CHAPTER 18 - A Caution About Turkeys

CHAPTER 19 - Idea for Including Chickens into your Garden

CHAPTER 20 - About the Author, Jenny

CHAPTER 21 - Additional Photos

Hyline-Brown Hen, Mum, with chicks, Blanche and Goldie

Barred Rock Hen, called Dolly

Barred Rock Rooster, called Alastair

Buff Orpington Hen called Buff-Buff

Red Rock Hen, called Bramble

Columbian Rock Hen, called Chocolate Syrup

Free Range Chickens in my Field


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Downloadable Books written by Jenny


How to raise day-old chicks in your back yard cover
How to Raise Day-old Chicks in your Back Yard
by S. J. Robson
Pig Tales and Other Stories cover
Pig Tales
and Other Stories
by S. J. Robson
Chicken Coop for 6 hens cover
Woodworking Plans
Chicken Coop for 6 hens
by S. J. Robson