“How To Raise Chickens” Book Giveaway

UPDATE: This contest is closed. Geneva (from Australia!) is the winner.

Christine Heinrich is writer, a hen keeper, and my friend. She is committed to promoting old-fashioned breeds of chickens, and brings her science writer’s clear-eyed view to such matters, as well as to flock health and maintenance. Her book, How to Raise Chickens, has been reprinted in a revised and expanded edition.

I have one of her books to giveaway! Simply let me know your favorite breed in the comments below, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for her book. The contest closes on Friday, April 19 at 10 pm EDT. The winner will be selected via a random number generator. Only one entry per person, please.

christine's book


  1. I have a few favourites, but I think Barred Plymouth Rock at the moment

  2. I saw this book and had it carted and hubby wasn’t on board for raising chickens…..yet. It’s an up and coming thing in Longmont, Co. I personally like Rhode Island Reds, but admittedly know very little about chickens except that home grown taste beyond description!

  3. Hang in there Pamela, took me ten years! I don’t have much experience with chickens either, but watching Little Pond has made me love Pearl and Twinkydink and Jasper. A Buff Orpington is my favorite right at this moment.

  4. Well I would be giving it to my daughter so I’ll give her her favorite, Barred Rock. She loves the stripey feathers!

  5. So hard to choose…..I will pick one of my flock….Brown Bovan, as she has the best all around personalty, and without her life would not be nearly as interesting and fun in the Chicken yard.

  6. I loved buff orphingtons until I got my girls and now my favorite is golden sex links …. Miss Betty Boop. She lays daily and follows me around while talking to me….churr churr…”what you doing? Is that for me?” (my interpretion of course).

  7. Don’t have a fav yet, as no chickens yet. But someday……Maybe the book could help me decide when the time comes. In the meantime, I live though you and your chickens.

  8. Another vote for Barred Plymouth Rock. Out of the five breeds we have, they are the sweetest and friendliest.

  9. I don’t have chickens yet so can’t pick a favorite. I do like the blues – so, based on looks alone, blue cochin.

  10. I want to know where everyone got their friendly Buff Orpingtons? My girl is only friendly right now that she’s broading…yep, she lets me pick her up out to the nesting box, with nary a fuss, and carry her around. Otherwise, she run away at the first sign of a human. I have 2 favorites to share; Dana, my Danish Brown Leghorn who has spectacular colors and is quite the layer, and Shirley, my Partridge Rock who is a gorgeous redhead and loves to be included in everything that happens in the backyard.

  11. I’m getting my chickens soon, not sure what I will end up with. I do like Silkies, Americauna, Barred Rock, Australorp. I would love a mixed flock.

  12. Our Black Stars are the best! Feisty, but friendly and curious. If you sit down, they are right there sitting with you (or one you!), asking for treats and some lovin’. They have awesome personalities!!!

  13. I recently acquired ten baby chicks in February. I have two of the following that are 9 weeks old: buff orpington and black australorp and two each at 7 weeks old: speckled sussex, plymouth barred rock, plymouth white rock. I have two separate brooder boxes set up – hopefully the coop will be completed by next weekend so they can be moved outside. From observing them, one of the buffs is the top hen and in the other box it’s one of the barred rocks… you can easily see the dynamics involved! The black australorp seem very sweet but I know I will enjoy having all of them! I chose these breeds based on their temperament with people, egg production, hardiness and coloring.

  14. I don’t have chickens yet but am anxiously awaiting better circumstances to have them. I really want at least two Easter Eggers, or Ameracaunas.

  15. Our first ever chicks are arriving May 10th, we’re so excited. I’m most excited about the Buffs for their beauty and the Australorps for their personality :)

    zabecc at hotmail dot com

  16. I’m still in the planning stages for my own “someday” chickens, but I have such fond memories of the flock of BB Red bantams we had growing up.

  17. Speckled Sussex! Sweet, friendly, affectionate, curious, independent, intelligent, bold, a bit mischievous–a joy to have around. (Rest in peace, Frankie.)

  18. Yea! I finally saw Buffy a few minutes ago come down the ramp to the yard. She looks good. I haven’t seen her in awhile.

  19. The Orpington’s are so beautiful, but I think the barred rocks in my flock have the most interesting personalities. However, the wild game hens that frequent my neighborhood are also fascinating to watch.. Long and lean and able to fly, they are much more able to live longer lives in the wild. I am just grateful that they have not figured out how to fly into my coop where all that food is!

  20. I can’t wait to buy my first house at age 62. My first project will be a henhouse and a flock of cluckers! Right now I am in love with Black Copper Marans and their beautiful chocolate eggs!

  21. Buff Orpingtons. Quiet and friendly and quiet and beautiful and quiet and easy going and quiet. (Martha, my RIR, is not quiet. She has a mouth on her! I love her to pieces. She’s got a great personality. But that mouth is definitely not making us very popular with the neighbors.)

  22. Black Copper Marans. I love the dark chocolate eggshell color!

  23. Our Easter Egger is the sweetest bird! She follows us around and is always willing to do a little gardening in exchange for a treat. And her blue eggs are so beautiful.

  24. My favorite breed has to be the Cream Legbar. They are auto sexing and lay blue eggs. They are smaller, don’t eat as much as some of the bigger breeds but their eggs are nice and big.

  25. I just love my Golden Comet. She has such a fun personality and she loves to be “petted”, even raising her tail like a cat asking for more. But I also love my Araucanas!

  26. I’m very new to chickens, but so far the Red Star is my favorite. She’s super friendly and even dozes off while I’m petting her. So sweet.

  27. Andalusian. I have two and one is white Pearl and her sister is a blue named Blue Ivy (after Jay-Z & Beyonce’s baby). Also, they are the lowest in the pecking order in my flock, but are the fastest runners.

  28. I want to raise hens with my sister! I think I really like the Australorp and Black star. Am learning new things every day!

  29. Oh, so many to choose from! For beauty, golden laced Wyandotte maybe – or Delaware. For personality, Buff Orpington. For egg color, of course Araucana, EE, Marans, Barnvelder, Welsummer. I guess the Barred Rock has a little of everything though, so… This is definitely going to be a problem when I’m faced with choosing my first chicks and am limited to a small beginner’s flock. Oh dear.

  30. We are new at raising chickens. First flock consisted of 8 adult Leghorn hens. Less than 2 months later, a neighbors dog tore through the chicken wire and killed 6 of them. One was free of injury and the other is healing from what I think might have been a dislocated leg/thigh. Once she is well, we will start again. So, considering our little experience (wish I had paid attention as a child) I guess we don’t have a favorite as yet, unless it is a live one.

    Would love the book as the grandkids and great-grandkids are so very curious. Terry, thanks for all the great info. Hope you can get another way (other than paypal) for us to contribute. We love what you are doing.

  31. I just love my white leghorn girl. She is so well adjusted. I hear this isn’t very common among that breed. Anyways, she is the most consistent at laying. I get one big giant white egg nearly every day from her. Plus she never goes broody! My two Buff Orpingtons on the other hand…..

  32. We’ve had Buff Orpingtons and Barred Plymouth Rocks for almost a year now. I definitely prefer the big personality of the Rocks. They’re friendly and inquisitive birds. The Orps are shy and seem to require more maintenance. However, we have two Orps that are broody right now, and I have to admit that I kind of enjoy watching them be so irritable. This is our first time with broody hens, so maybe the novelty will eventually wear off :-)

  33. Years ago I had a friend Who worked at the local humane society here in Pasadena, CA. One Saturday evening at closing for the weekend she found a shipping box from McMurray Hatchery, Ohio left on the doorstep. Inside were three, week-old white chicks that bounced out like popcorn when the box was opened. Whoever ordered them did not want them so they were dumped. My friend brought them to me. They were Light Brahmas. Two were girls–one a rooster. I named them Kukla, Fran and Ollie. Ollie grew to be a huge, beautiful, but noisy and aggressive fellow tormenting his sisters. I found a good home for him. Fran died of an apparent sudden heart attack about one year old. Kukla lived to be eight and was the best, favorite chicken ever. When she laid her first egg, she must have felt pain or felt sorry for herself and begged to sit on my lap and be cuddled. Once I had to take her to emergency because I thought she’d eaten something toxic. (False alarm.) I was in such a hurry to hit the road, I just plopped her on the passenger seat of my car, and she stayed put, happily clucking at the scenery going by. A loving, docile, large hen. 

  34. I just love my Coco my sweet Americauna. My grandchildren rock her to sleep. My Buffy is a buff Orpington , and is a sweety also. :)

  35. I don’t know what breeds I have, so Im going to say I love them all the same!

  36. I do not yet have my own chickens but I have reading everything I can and have neighbours close by that have a flock. I really like the Barred Rock chickens but I don’t know what they are like to keep.

    • I’m very eggcited and eggstatic for the book!
      If you want to see our chicken’s lives up here in sunny Noosa follow us on Instagram @chickadee_the_chook Thanks again! :)

  37. My favorite and choice for my backyard flock would include Barnevelder, Sussex and Faverolles!

  38. I am patiently waiting for 7 chicks on May 8 – (2 EE, 2 BR, 1 RIR, 1 GLW, 1 Australorp) – I haven’t had chickens since 1988 – WAY back then, my favorite were Barred Rocks, but that could change in May – who knows?

  39. I have several favorites, but I will list one no one has mentioned, yet. It is a salmon faverolle. Mine is named Francine, and they originated from France. A very beautiful, sweet, friendly chicken, small tinted eggs, but a good layer.
    Terry, I have been watching the news about the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your friends, and neighbors, dealing with this senseless crime!

    • Prayers and heartfelt sadness to all in and near Boston and families affected…..

  40. Buckeyes! Based only on what I’ve read about them online: good foragers, cold-hardy, friendly, and according to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, they make dinosaur sounds!

  41. Never met a chicken I didn’t love, but just for today, my favorite is my little Welsummer hen. She is beautiful, super friendly, and lays the prettiest speckled eggs.

  42. Terry,
    Are you and your family ok. I was concerned you might have been at the finish line?

    • Pat D., wondering about the Salmon Faverolles, which is on my list. Are they very ‘talkative?’ From what I have seen on Youtube, they talk a lot!

  43. I don’t really have a favorite breed; but, I am eyeing Barred Rocks simply because I heard they were easy to raise? Thank you for a chance to win.

  44. we have six different breeds and they all are so much fun. I love my gentle buff (age 2), but a new barred rock is seeming to be awfully sweet. She’s only 4 weeks old now, so time will tell if barred rocks become my favorite!

  45. I enjoy you website very much!!! My favorite type of chicken is the Silver Polish!! I love the puff on their heads!!

  46. We have SLWs, BlackStars, Australourps, and Easter Eggers. The SLW are the prettiest and the BlackStar lay the most eggs, but the ones with personality are the Easter Eggers. Easter Eggers are the favorite They are so friendly and lovable.

  47. My favorite is the Buff Orpington as they are so sweet and gentle, as I love picking my girls up and loving on them.

  48. I’m gonna have to say EE’s I can’t wait to see what color eggs my 2 girls lay..Lady Gaga and JJ (Janice Joplin)……Hope all is well there…

  49. My favorite would be Rhode Island Red I raised those and showed those as a youngster would love to get one but having a hard time finding one that is 100% not a mix

  50. Definitely the Plymouth Barred Rock because they were my very first chickens and they made raising chickens really easy and FUN!

  51. I’ve never had any, but buff orpingtons are the uber chicken in my book!

  52. Bobbie, my Faverolle talks, but not near as much as my Orpington. Francine is so cute and comical when she comes running! She has feathers on her feet, a beard, and looks like she has little knee britches on! She always squats down to let me pick her up. I read that they usually get picked on, or are low on the pecking order. This is not true with my experience, because none of my mixed flock of 9 different breeds bother Francine! I have 2 more that are 1 1/2 mo. old, because I really like them.
    Terry, I haven’t seen a response from you since mid-day, please ease my mind, that you and yours, are safe. There were over 20 people from my community in Mo. that were at the Marathon, and they are all accounted for, though very shaken up. I know you are very near to Boston, and with teen age kids, I fear you will know many that were there! Still praying!!!!

  53. Watching dreadful news regarding explosions at marathon….so sad for everyone involved, hope you and yours are safe Terry. We are now concerned as we have the funeral tomorrow for Maggie Thatcher and also the London Marathon on sunday, there will surely be problems, just pray everyone stays safe xxxx

  54. I have always loved the gentleness of Buff Orpingtons. I have had several other breeds but always come back to this particular chicken.

  55. I would say Barred Rock – I love black, white and red together. Although I like the white rock too

  56. Just picked up the little sweeties yesterday, but I’d have to say the Dominique.

  57. Orpingtons, but in all the different color variations — not just buff (no offence to Buffy).

  58. My leghorns especially the ones with the really floppy combs. They look as if they have red berets on.

  59. Had the *best* Ameracuana several years ago…she was so loving and those cute fluffy feathery cheeks…adorable!

  60. You make it sound so simple… Just let you know our favorite breed. heh. Of my chicks, my barred rocks are so sweet. I think Delawares are absolutely beautiful though… I love them all (mostly…)

  61. I like Barred Rock; Rowan says “a broody Buff Orpington!” She finds the broody phenomenon hilarious – she has the luxury of not having to care for one!

  62. I have several breeds but my favourite is probably my little Barred Rock, Blossom. She’s a sweetie!

  63. The majority of my flock is Welsummers. I love them! They are a very easy going breed. I love their dark eggs also.

  64. Light brahmas. Great disposition. I am trying buff orpingtons this time around for the same reason.

  65. Our favorites are the Barred Plymouth Rock. Busy workers, kid-friendly, and good egg producers.

  66. It is so very hard to choose a favorite, because they all have wonderful traits, but if I had to choose I would say Rhode Island Red with their inquisitive sweet personalities and ability to produce a lovely amount of brown eggs. I love that they are big and round with fluffy behinds. Ours is about a week old and she is my favorite so far.

  67. I am most smitten by my birds who like me the most! I respect those who get along fine without engaging with me ~ but just warms my heart when they enjoy helping me fill bins ~ or come to make sure I’m gathering the eggs properly ~ or simply just enjoy perusing the yard with me ! The dog and cats get a kick out of them too!

  68. We love Buff Orpingtons!! Love their sweet and friendly disposition! Awesome breed!