Blog | March 22, 2022

Raising Chickens: An Interview with Author Chris Lesley

by Jessica Kurn

A couple of months into the Covid pandemic, chicken expert Chris Lesley authored a guest post on our site about why backyard chickens became so popular during the pandemic. Chris, who has been raising backyard chickens for over 20 years and is the poultry expert at the website Chickens And More, is back to tell us about her business and her exciting new book that comes out March 24th, 2022. Read on to learn why she’s been so dedicated to chickens for this many years!

When did you start raising chickens?

I have been raising chickens for as long as I can remember. My first memory is with my grandad as he taught me how to hold and care for chickens. This makes me a fourth generation chicken keeper and led me to gaining a certificate in Animal Behavior and Welfare. 

What’s your favorite thing about raising your own chickens?

For me it’s the connection and relationship you’re able to build with these animals. I’ve always raised my birds from chicks, which enables me to form just an incredibly strong bond with these wonderfully intelligent and hilarious little creatures. They’re not cuddly or affectionate like a dog or a cat, but there really is a connection that’s hard to describe.

Tell us about your website Chickens & More and why did you start it?

Chickens And More is quickly becoming the online destination for all backyard chicken enthusiasts. Whether you have kept chickens for years, or are just starting out on your chicken journey, welcome.

Our goal is very simple:

We want to help you raise healthy, happy chickens.

We want Chickens And More to become your trusted friend and chicken advisor. 

Why do you think raising backyard chickens is becoming such a big deal?

There are a million reasons for this. Obviously, there was a big spike in interest at the beginning of quarantine, which we’ll probably be seeing the ripples of for a while. Interest has been on the rise for about a decade though as people become more invested in knowing where their food is coming from and what’s in it. There’s also been a growing interest in homesteading, sustainability, and self-sufficiency that has led a lot of people towards backyard flocks.

What are some common mistakes that people make when they first get into raising backyard chickens?

I think the biggest mistake people make is underestimating the investment they’ll have in their chickens – in terms of time and energy, financial investment, and emotional attachment. Once you get a flock, there’s almost never any going back. Birds are almost impossible to rehome and easy to get attached to – once you’re in, you’re in for a long time to come.

Tell us about your new book.

This book covers everything you need to know about raising a backyard chicken flock. You’ll learn how to get started, from choosing a breed to building a coop and bringing home your first batch of chicks. You’ll also learn how to maintain a healthy flock, spot problem behaviors, and solve problems with bullying, diseases, egg laying and more. Raising Chickens: The Common Sense Beginner’s Guide To Backyard Chickens is the chicken-keeper’s handbook of everything you’ll ever need to know about your flock.

Why was the book written? Who is the intended audience?

This book was written to give anyone trying to raise chickens a one-stop shop for all the basic information they’ll need to get started and maintain a happy, healthy flock. The intended audience is mostly first-time chicken keepers, but experienced keepers will also find a lot of useful information in here.  

Do chickens have personalities? Tell us your favorite chicken story.

Absolutely! In fact, chickens have some of the biggest personalities in the animal kingdom, especially for livestock. Hens are brassy, sassy, and so much fun to watch and interact with. I used to have a rooster named Casanova, who was a notorious and determined flirt.

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