I first become interested in poultry around seven years ago, which was about the time I discovered the Practical Poultry Magazine. Keeping poultry and waterfowl is a fast spreading hobby throughout Britain, and many people are now turning to keeping their own domestic birds. Practical Poultry offers these budding poultry keepers a huge variety of information.
The magazine is published monthly, and is currently priced at £3.25 (which has continually risen from the days when i first started purchasing it). It features several regular columns and articles, with a couple of new articles thrown in each month.
Each month there is a 'breed focus'. This ca be anything from traditional laying breeds to meet birds or show birds. I always used to find this bit particularly interesting, especially if it was based on the breeds of my own birds. I'd recommend reading this section a few times to get an idea of what breeds are best suited to the purpose you are hoping to keep birds for. Other monthly features include Captain Chickenzie, A Poultryman's Diary, Avoid the Vet and recent show news (with colour photos. I always loved this bit!). A Breeder's Directory and Club directory, as well as a competition are also included monthly. The Breeder's Directory in paritcular is very useful for beginners, and as all breeders are listed under country regions, it makes finding birds and breeds close to come simple and fast.
One of my favourite types of article that have been regularly included within the publication are those which look at the lives and work of certain individuals. I always found these interesting (as I am nosey!) and it is curious to see how other people do things differently. It was also useful for picking up tips!
The magazine does include an awful lot of adverts, which can be irritating, but they are useful for finding companies which specialise in poultry housing, incubators and electric fencing, as well as some of the big breeders.
From the magazine a forum and book have stemmed. I always used to enjoy the forum (though in recent years I've ceased to use it as my interested has faded). Everyone was always helpful and it was extremely useful when seeking advice. The book gives advice on general poultry areas, and also includes an excessive breed list, with details and large colour photos.
I always ejoyed the magazine, though as I grew to know more, I become less and less interested in it. It's certainly useful for beginners, but generally more experienced poultry keepers, I feel, tend to look towards the rival magazine 'Fancy Fowl'.
Overall though a very useful magazine, and well recommended.