Start Raising Chickens

Find out where to get information about everything you need to know to start raising chickens on a small to medium scale, and learn about poultry processing options too.

1) Introduction; 2) Where to go for Information; 3) Books and Articles; 4) Information on small scale poultry processing

1) Raising chickens is becoming more and more popular with small farmers, urban farmers, homesteaders, others. Many people are realizing that the difference between pasture raised chicken meat and eggs, and those from large confinement operations is similar to the difference between fresh seasonal heirloom tomatoes, and those picked green, ripened with ethanol, and shipped across the country.

Chickens can also be beneficial in diversified farming operations by helping to control pests, providing an alternative, year-round source of income, and producing high-nitrogen manure for fertilizer.

Interest in raising chickens has grown quickly in the last few years, accompanied by a resurgent interest in heritage breeds, pastured poultry, and on-farm processing.

Here I try to offer a broad range of resources for folks who want to start raising chickens. The resources are applicable to small-mid sized farmers and hobbyists alike. Below I provide links to websites, magazines, articles, and books about raising chickens and other types of poultry, and information about small scale poultry processing.

2) Where to Go for Information to Start Raising Chickens

  • – is a terrific, comprehensive site focused on raising chickens on a small scale. They feature a learning center, links to great forums and message boards, coop designs, breed information, and a great photo gallery.
  • houses all of ATTRA’s marvelous publications on poultry production at various scales. A great repository of information from beginner to advanced.
  • doesn’t just list breeds, as their name might suggest. They also provide great information and articles on chicken care, breeding, and much more.
  • – offers articles and guides for getting started in raising chickens, and other poultry. The provide great information for the beginner, with lots of information and resources.
  • A links to a number of useful publications, resources, associations and forums.
  • – “Encourages people to learn and exchange information about raising poultry on pasture, exchanging techniques, innovations, and advice.”
  • – “A magazine dedicated to more and better small flock poultry.” The also have an excellent website with great information, resources, and links.
  • is a fun website with lots of great information on raising chickens and farm web cams of chickens in ‘action’.
  • from Mother Earth News has a lot of information and links.
  • has guides on how to identify diseases, proper treatments and care, natural remedies, and many other topics.
  • provides a forum for farms to market their poultry products to local customers.

3) BOOKS and ARTICLES on how to Start Raising Chickens

  • from the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association has over 130 illustrated articles. It’s divided into fourteen chapters and is fully indexed for ease of reference. The enormous range of viewpoints and techniques, not to mention the APPPA spirit of starry-eyed pragmatism, make this book unlike any other.
  • : Net $25,000 in 6 Months on 20 Acres – by Joel Salatin – Publication Date: July, 1996
  • : Tending Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and other Small Spaces – by Barbara Kilarski
  • Care, Feeding, Facilities by Gail Damerow is a useful guide.from the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association has over 130 illustrated articles. It’s divided into fourteen chapters and is fully indexed for ease of reference. The enormous range of viewpoints and techniques, not to mention the APPPA spirit of starry-eyed pragmatism, make this book unlike any other.
  • – Weston Price Article.
  • : A Guide to Free Range Poultry Production by Ray Feltwell – Publication Date: October, 1992
  • : by Kimberly Willis & Rob Ludlow – Publication Date: 2009
  • : Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your own Backyard Flock – by Jay Rossier – Publication Date: March, 2004
  • : Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys, Emus, Guinea Fowl, Ostriches, Partridges, Peafowl, Pheasants, Quails, and Swans – by Carol Ekairus
  • : by Gail Damerow

4) Start Raising Chickens – Small Scale Poultry Processing:

a) general information; b) mobile processing units; c) more info on specific mobile units; d) mobile unit videos

a) General Information on Small Scale Poultry Processing:

b)

d) Mobile Processing Unit Videos from YouTube:

Mobile Poultry Processing Unit

NEFSI Mobile Poultry Processing Unit

Start raising chickens today!

start raising chickens