Making Use of Helpful Chicken Resources

By Kimberly Willis, Robert T. Ludlow

Information is power, even when it comes to raising chickens. For that reason, here are some book and website resources to further enhance your raising chicken experience.

Flipping through books

No one book can ever contain everything you may be interested in knowing about chickens, so here are a few books that make great resources. These books are available in both print and electronic editions.

  • Chicken Health For Dummies, by Julie Gauthier and Ludlow

  • Gardening with Free-Range Chickens For Dummies, by Bonnie Jo Manion and Robert T. Ludlow

  • Building Chicken Coops For Dummies, by Todd Brock, David Zook, and Rob Ludlow

Surfing the web

In addition to books, the following websites offer more wisdom about chickens or provide answers to specific questions. Some have forums where you can connect with other chicken lovers:

  • Backyardchickens.com: You can browse all kinds of informational articles about chickens, look at wonderful pictures, and connect with thousands of chicken lovers through all kinds of forums. Joining the community of almost 300,000 chicken lovers is free.

  • The Poultry Site: This site has information for both commercial and backyard chicken owners. You can browse many technical research articles, including some on new technology and research that small flock owners may soon see available or that they can adapt for their use. The site also has forums to connect with other chicken owners.

  • Livestock Conservancy: If you’re interested in learning more about heritage and rare breeds of chickens, you’ll want to visit this site. It lists endangered and threatened poultry species and gives a brief description of the breeds. You can also peruse the directory of breeders to find rare breeds.

  • American Poultry Association: This site is useful if you’re interested in showing or breeding purebred chickens. It includes some free articles on chickens and information on chicken shows and exhibitions. You can join the association for even more information.

  • USDA: Every state has a system of Extension offices, which distribute information from land grant college research programs through local offices, usually on a county level. Not all colleges have poultry research programs, but most states’ Extension programs can help chicken owners get reliable information.

  • American College of Poultry Veterinarians: If you’re looking for a vet who may treat chickens, you can start with this list of veterinarians who specialize in avian practice.

  • State Animal Health Officials: If you need to find your state veterinarian to report a suspected disease outbreak or ask questions about poultry health regulations, be sure to visit this site.