If you haven't checked out BackyardChickens.com you most definitely should. Their forums were an invaluable resource to me. Here is the basic start up info from their site includin glinks to their various forums:
Raising Chickens 101
So, you're interested in raising chickens? You've embarked on a fun and exciting journey! BYC (BackYardChickens) is FULL of great information. If your question isn't answered in our Learning Center Articles then we promise there is an answer on our chicken forum.
Below are the absolute basics of raising chickens. For more detailed information please explore the rest of the site and join our forum.
Why Raise Chickens?
Are BackYard Chickens Legal in Your City?
Where To Get Baby Chicks & Chickens:
How To Care For A Chick – First 60 Days (I can't believe I didn't find this resource until today!):
Chicken Care After First 60 Days, General Chicken Care:
Where to Go for Information to Start Raising Chickens
- BackYardChickens.Com – 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.
If you can't find what you need from the Backyard Chickens site or forum, here are some additional resources…I wish you luck!
- Chickens 101 – offers basic information about raising chickens, starting with eggs, coop plans, chicken breeds, and more.
- Chicken Breeds List doesn’t just list breeds, as their name might suggest. They also provide great information and articles on chicken care, breeding, and much more.
- Raising Poultry – an information packed site that provides a broad range of information and resources regarding all aspects of raising poultry. A great place to start.
- Poultry Production houses all of ATTRA’s publications on poultry.
- Poultry One – 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 Pastured Poultry Resources Page links to a number of useful publications, resources, associations and forums.
- The American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA) – “Encourages people to learn and exchange information about raising poultry on pasture, exchanging techniques, innovations, and advice.”
- The City Chicken – “a web site to encourage city folks to take the plunge into poultry!” Articles, Laws, Brooding Chicks, Pictures…
- Backyard Poultry – “A magazine dedicated to more and better small flock poultry.” The also have an excellent website with great information, resources, and links.
- Chicken Crossing Forum – A very active forum with great information and answers. The site also has links, photos, a coop gallery, and a store.
- Backyard Egg – “[Their] goal is to collect information related to raising a backyard poultry flock, providing Backyard Egg Lovers everywhere with simple and straightfoward information concerning their pets!”
- Chickens on Camera is a fun website with lots of great information on raising chickens and farm web cams of chickens in ‘action’.
- Chicken and Egg Page from Mother Earth News has a lot of information and links.
- Kerns Chicken Farm has a great blog about building coops, feeding, and much, much more.
BOOKS and ARTICLES on how to Start Raising Chickens
- Raising Poultry on Pasture: Ten Years of Success 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.
- A Guide to Raising Chickens: 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.
- Humane and Healthy Poultry Production is a manual for Organic farmers published by NOFA, written by Karma Glos. A small book, but packed with information.
- Pastured Poultry At Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm – Weston Price Article.
- Small-Scale Poultry Keeping: A Guide to Free Range Poultry Production – by Ray Feltwell – Publication Date: October, 1992
- Raising Chickens For Dummies: by Kimberly Willis & Rob Ludlow – Publication Date: 2009
- Living With Chickens: Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your own Backyard Flock – by Jay Rossier – Publication Date: March, 2004
- Pastured Poultry Profit$: Net $25,000 in 6 Months on 20 Acres – by Joel Salatin – Publication Date: July, 1996
- Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds: Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys, Emus, Guinea Fowl, Ostriches, Partridges, Peafowl, Pheasants, Quails, and Swans – by Carol Ekairus
- Keep Chickens!: Tending Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and other Small Spaces – by Barbara Kilarski
- The Chicken Health Handbook: by Gail Damerow
- Building Chicken Coops: by Gail Damerow
Start Raising Chickens – Small Scale Poultry Processing:
a) General Information on Small Scale Poultry Processing:
b) List of Mobile Slaughter Processing Units Currently in Operation in the US from Cooperative Extension:
c) More Information on Specific Poultry Units:
d) Mobile Processing Unit Videos from YouTube:
Mobile Poultry Processing Unit Video
NEFSI Mobile Poultry Processing Unit Video