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Do-it-yourself poultry and eggs

How old are eggs you buy in the grocery store? Maybe it's time to raise your own poultry! May is National Egg and National Duckling Month, so it's the perfect time to consider raising your own birds for organic meat and eggs.

If you haven't had the opportunity to experience the miracle of an egg hatching, now is the time. Just remember to fight the incredible urge to help the poor little creature out of the shell, which is something you're not supposed to do, because chicks need to work their own way out of the egg for proper maturity. Your library can help you find the necessary information on raising poultry or identifying wild fowl. We also have numerous books for children on the subject.

n Ducks & Geese of Minnesota Field Guide, by Stan Tekiela. Learn about and identify Minnesota waterfowl using Stan Tekiela's field guide. The full-page, color photos are incomparable and include insets of winter plumage, color morphs and more. Plus, with the easy-to-use format, you don't need to know a bird's name or classification in order to easily find it in the bookn. Using this field guide is a real pleasure. It's a great way for anyone to learn about ducks, geese, swans and more.

n Duckling by Lisa Magloff. Explaining each stage of development on the road to adulthood, these adorable books in the Watch Me Grow series give beginning readers an animal's-eye view of growing up.

n The Odd Egg, by Emily Gravett. Duck is delighted to find an egg of his own to look after. It's the most beautiful egg in the whole world! But all the other birds think it's very odd indeed - and everyone's in for a BIG surprise when it finally hatches.

n Homemade Living: Keeping Chickens with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Care for a Happy, Healthy Flock, by Ashley English. Have you heard the news: chickens have left the farm and made themselves at home in neighborhoods everywhere!

For anyone ready to put their eggs in this basket, here is the perfect beginner's guide to raising chickens, with information on choosing a breed, acquiring the chicks, and housing, feeding, and caring for them. Plus, it provides the lowdown on eggs, including "egg"cellent recipes, and profiles of people who have taken on the chicken-rearing challenge.

The book includes two projects with exploded woodworking illustrations and photos: a simple nesting box and a wildly creative mobile chicken tractor.

The Detroit Lakes Library is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.

For more information on library services and programs, please call 218-847-2168 or visit your library at 1000 Washington Ave.

The Detroit Lakes Library is a branch of Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL).