Gail Damerow is the author of The Chicken Encyclopedia, The Chicken Health Handbook, Hatching & Brooding Your Own Chicks, Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, Fences for Pasture and Garden, The Perfect Pumpkin, Ice Cream! The Whole Scoop, Your Chickens, and Your Goats. She is co-author of Draft Horses & Mules and The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals, and is a regular contributor to Backyard Poultry and Countryside magazines.
Gail lives in Tennessee where she and her husband Allan keep Nubian dairy goats as well as poultry, tend a sizable garden, and maintain a small orchard and a large woodlot. On their diversified small farm they seek independence and sustainability by growing and preserving much of what they eat and feed their livestock.
Gail’s interest in gardening, canning and food preservation, and keeping poultry originated with visits to her maternal grandmother, who maintained a sizable garden and a large flock of laying hens. As a youngster Gail looked forward to having chickens of her own. At the age of ten she thought she was realizing her dream when a department store Easter Bunny handed her a small carton containing a single chick. At the time she and her family were moving cross-country in a travel trailer, and sharing the cramped space with a chick in a cardboard box did not sit well with her parents.
When Gail came of age she sought out a place in the country where she could indulge her passion for poultry. She has been gardening and keeping chickens and other birds for more than four decades. Over the years she has raised many different breeds of bantams and large chickens, as well as guinea fowl, pheasants, peafowl, ducks, geese, and swans. She enjoys sharing the knowledge she has acquired over the years via her blogs, books, and magazine articles.
Veterinarians are finally catching on to the idea that a lot of people these days keep chickens, and sometimes chickens need medical attention. Unfortunately, most veterinarian colleges don’t put much emphasis on poultry health care.
A chicken’s toenails, beak and spurs are made of keratin, the same substance as your fingernails and toenails. And like your nails, they continually grow. Chickens evolved in an environment in which
Veterinarians are finally catching on to the idea that a lot of people these days keep chickens, and sometimes chickens need medical attention. Unfortunately, most veterinarian colleges don’t put much emphasis on
By Gail Damerow
So you’ve had chickens for awhile and are enjoying those awesomely flavorful homegrown eggs. Now maybe you’re thinking about getting dairy goats to round out your backyard homestead and produce
By Gail Damerow
Some chicken keepers have more than one rooster by design, others by accident. If you hatch your own chicks, or you purchase straight-run chicks from a hatchery, at least half of them will grow up
By Gail Damerow
Preserving vegetables by adding salt and setting them aside a few days to ferment is part of our family tradition. Before fermentation became all the rage, it was called brine pickling.
When I was