November 2009

Dr. Joseph Batty, "Practical Poultry Keeping"

In the months leading up to my purchase of four baby chicks, I pored over a lot of chicken books.  I bought this one on a lark, partly because it was on sale, and partly because I was curious to see what was considered state of the art in the field of poultry husbandry in 1943.

Practical Poultry Keeping is aimed at the small to medium professional (or aspiring professional) poultry keeper.  Its target audience is someone who plans to have a flock numbering in the dozens, and possibly the low hundreds.  There is a lot more hands on information than would be practical for a flock in the thousands, but more mechanization and infrastructure than would be required for the small backyard chicken owner.

Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship

A tale of friendship, love, and crossing the bridge between the young and the old, Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship contains lessons everyone can learn from. It’s the story of Owen, a baby hippo, and Mzee, a 130-year-old giant tortoise.

Though recommended for grades kindergarten through five, this is really an ageless tale sure to warm the hearts of people of all ages. Owen, displaced from his family in his infancy during the 2004 tsunami, was rescued by an animal sanctuary where he developed a very unexpected friendship with the older Mzee. (Mzee is Swahili for “wise old man.”)

Owen became attached to Mzee, hiding behind him as if for protection. Though Mzee first didn’t like the actions of the young “whippersnapper,” he gradually warmed up to tolerating the young hippo.