Counting Your Chickens | July 2013

Berlow, Ali. The Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse: Building a Humane Chicken-Processing Unit To Strengthen Your Local Food System. Storey. Jul. 2013. 144p. illus. ISBN 9781612121291. pap. $14.95. AGRI

Berlow (editor, Edible Vineyard) provides an in-depth guide to establishing an alternative to traditional slaughterhouses in the form of mobile poultry processing trailers (MPPT). The book is written from Berlow’s firsthand experience with creating an MPPT on Massachusetts’s Martha’s Vineyard through the Island Grower’s Initiative, which she founded. The development of the MPPT grew out of local farmers’ need for an alternative to shipping their animals to the mainland for slaughter. Berlow begins by walking the reader through the process of establishing, organizing, funding, and staffing an MPPT. All the tools and supplies needed are laid out with diagrams illustrating an ideal MPPT setup. The process of acquiring a permit and the benefits of working with the system in place are provided. Berlow concludes with slaughtering advice and “day of” preparations along with recipes for serving humanely slaughtered chicken. Poultry producing books have proliferated in recent years; however, most have focused on slaughtering chickens for home consumption. None have laid out the details for putting together a small-scale slaughterhouse. VERDICT Readers and communities with an interest in organizing an MPPT will find this resource invaluable. —Lacy S. Wolfe, Ouachita Baptist Univ. Lib., Arkadelphia, AR

Damerow, Gail. Hatching & Brooding Your Own Chicks: Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Guinea Fowl. Storey. 2013. 240p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781612120140. pap. $24.95. AGRI

Damerow (The Chicken Encyclopedia: An Illustrated Reference) has published extensively on many aspects of farming, but is probably most recognized for her books about raising chickens. With more than 800,000 copies of Damerow’s books in print, her contributions have helped spark a vibrant urban farming movement. Her latest work, meant for the advanced layperson, provides detailed information on a relatively specialized component of raising fowl. This emphasis, while limiting the overall appeal, will be a welcome boon for those researching the brooding process, and is especially noteworthy for the unusual inclusion of material on hatching a variety of fowl, including ducklings, goslings, turkey poults, and guinea keets. Background information, illustrations, and thorough instructions abound throughout this thoughtfully organized work. In addition to sections devoted to the selection, care, feeding, and development of eggs and chicks, this guide features a glossary and a comprehensive index. For those interested in a general omnibus, it’s overly narrow, but for those seeking reliable instructions on brooding and hatching a variety of fowl, the book is outstanding. VERDICT A thoughtful, extensive guide for the serious amateur but too detailed and focused for beginning urban chicken farmers. —Dan McClure, Pacific Northwest Coll. of Art Lib., Portland, OR