Resources for Small-Scale Poultry Keepers

Developed by Extension Professor Richard Brzozowski, Associate Professor Emeritus H. Michael Opitz, and Professor Emeritus Robert O. Hawes


(Available from many online booksellers as well as through many of the organizations and websites listed below.)

Bantam Breeding and Genetics
Fred Jeffrey (1977). Hindhead, Surrey: Spur Publications.
For the exhibition breeder, the best bantam book.

Bantam Chickens
Fred Jeffrey 1976. Hindhead, Surrey: Spur Publications.
Another great book for the bantam breeder by one of the greatest bantam experts.

Birds of a Feather: Saving Rare Turkeys from Extinction
Carolyn J. Christman and Robert O. Hawes (1999). Pittsboro: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
A history of turkey varieties and information for maintaining their genetic diversity.

Barnyard In Your Backyard
Gail Damerow, ed. (2002). North Adams: Storey Publishing.
A beginner’s guide to raising chickens, geese, ducks, sheep, goats and dairy cows. Chock full of good information.

The Big Book Of Garden Hens
Francine Raymond (2001). Suffolk: Kitchen Garden.
Good for the person wanting a few hens for the yard.

The Book of Geese: A Complete Guide to Raising the Home Flock
David Holderread, (rev. ed., 1993). Corvallis: The Hen House.
From choosing a breed to housing and management by one of the country’s foremost waterfowl experts.

Chicken Coops: Forty-Five Building Plans for Housing Your Flock
Judy Pangman (2006). North Adams: Storey Publishing.
A variety of ideas for movable and low-budget coops.

The Chicken Health Handbook
Gail Damerow (1994). North Adams: Storey Publishing.
A must-have reference for the small flock owner. Covers problems and diseases common to all ages and breeds.

Chicken Tractor
Andy Lee and Patricia Foreman (1999). Buena Vista: Good Earth Publications.
The gardener’s guide to happy hens and healthy soil.

City Chicks
Patricia Foreman (2008). Buena Vista: Good Earth Publications.
Keeping urban hens in uptown places.

Day Range Poultry
Andy Lee and Patricia Foreman (2005). Buena Vista: Good Earth Publications.
A guide to grazing gardens and improving pastures. Written for the larger-scale poultry grower.

Free Range Poultry Production & Marketing
Hermon Beck-Chenoweth (1997). Hartshorn: Back40Books.
A how-to of construction plans, feed formulas, slaughter information, and marketing solutions.

Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and other Small Spaces
Barbara Kilarski (2003). North Adams: Storey Publishing.
A good book for those with limited yard space

Living With Chickens
Jay Rossier (2002). Guilford: The Lyons Press.
Everything you need to know to raise your own backyard flock: complete, homey and friendly.

Pastured Poultry Profits
Joel Salatin (1996). Swoope: Polyface, Inc.
A useful book for anyone who is seriously considering raising poultry on pasture.

Pigeon Health and Disease
David C. Tudor (1991). Ames: Iowa State University Press.
Good reference book for pigeon fanciers.

Poultry Production, 13th edition
Richard Austic and Malden Nesheim (1990). Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger.
Classic textbook, good solid information.

Poultry for Anyone
Victoria Roberts (1998). Yatesbury: Whittet Books.
Information on the breeds, husbandry, management and housing based on the author’s life-long experience.

Raising Poultry on Pasture: Ten Years of Success
Jody Padgham, ed. (2006) Boyd, WI: APPPA.

Small-Scale Poultry Keeping: A Guide to Free Range Poultry Production
Ray Feltwell (1992). London: Faber & Faber.
Another good book for the backyard keeper.

Storey’s Guides. North Adams, Storey Publishing.
Each book is written by an expert and covers selection, housing, behavior, feeding and health.

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens: Care/Feeding/Facilities
Gail Damerow (1995).
Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks: Breeds, Care, Health
David Holderread (2000).
Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry: Breeds, Care, Health
Leonard S. Mercia (2001).
Storey’s Guide to Raising Turkeys: Breeds, Care, Health
Leonard Mercia (2000).
Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds
Carol Ekarius (2007).

Monthly and Bimonthly Publications

Backyard Poultry
Medford, WI. Call 800.551.5691 or visit Backyard Poultry magazine page on the Countryside Magazines website.

  • Good information on breeds and various aspects of feeding and management.

Poultry Press
Connersville, IN. Call 765.827.0932 e-mail, or visit the Poultry Press website.

  • For the exhibition breeder. Show reports, advertisements, and lots of photos of winning birds.

Purebred Pigeon
Goodlettsville, TN. Call 615.851.9674, e-mail, or visit the Purebred Pigeon Magazine website.

  • Articles on breeds, feeding, and management. Excellent color photos.

The Game Bird Gazette
Write to P.O. Box 171227, Salt Lake City, UT 84117, e-mail

  • Devoted to game birds, peafowl, turkeys, and waterfowl. Nicely illustrated.

Fancy Fowl
Write to 159 Creekside Drive, Anderson, AL 35610, e-mail or visit the Fancy Fowl Magazine website.

  • The leading magazine of traditional purebred poultry and waterfowl in the U. K. now has an American publication.

Poultry Websites

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC):
“A nonprofit membership organization working to protect over 150 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction.” Its free downloads include two new poultry resources:

  • How to Raise Heritage Turkeys on Pasture. Jeannette Beranger, ed. (2008). Pittsboro, NC: ALBC
  • Chicken Assessment for Improving Productivity. Don T. Schrider and Jeannette Beranger (2007). Pittsboro, NC: ALBC.

American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA):
“A nonprofit educational and networking organization dedicated to encouraging the production, processing, and marketing of poultry raised on pasture.”

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (known as ATTRA because of its former name, the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas project):
Livestock section includes much up-to-date information on alternative poultry production systems and outdoor access.

Backyard Chickens:
Information on the raising, keeping, and appreciation of poultry.

Feather Site:
“An on-line zoological garden of domestic poultry, including breed identification and information on various species.”

The Modern Homestead, Harvey Ussery:
An excellent resource for range rearing with several articles based on practical experience.

Norton Creek Farm:
A site by the author Robert Plamondon. Offers advice, free newsletter and out-of-print books.

PennState Poultry Extension:
An excellent resource with many links to useful poultry websites.

The Coop:
Dedicated to all the folks around the world who show, raise or breed poultry and related species.

Supply Companies

We have listed supply companies that appear to be currently active and advertising in the poultry papers. Most of these companies carry a general line of incubators, feeding and watering equipment, health needs, and general poultry supplies. Specialty companies are indicated.

Bowles Poultry Supplies, 312 O’Connor Road, Lucasville, OH 45648-8975. 614.372.3973

Cutlers Poultry and Pheasant Supply Inc., 1940 N. Old 51, Applegate, MI 48401. 810.633.9450., 24 Holt Road, P.O. Box 302, Manchaug, MA 01526-0302. 888.852.5340.

The Egg Carton Store, P.O. Box 639, Fox Island, WA 98333, 866.333.1132.

First State Veterinary Supply Company, P.O. Box 190, Parsonburg, MD 21849. 800.950.8387.

Foy’s Pigeon Supplies, 3185 Bennett’s Run Road, Beaver Falls, PA 15010. 877.355.7727.

G.Q.F. Manufacturing Co., P.O. Box 1552, Savannah, GA 31402-1552. 912.236.0651.

Horizon Micro-Environments, 133 Beaver Farm Road, Crawford, GA 30630. 800.443.2498. Poultry shipping boxes.

Keipper Cooping Co., P.O. Box 249, Big Bend, WI 53103. 262.662.2290. Exhibition coops.

Ketchum Manufacturing Co., 11 Town Shed Road, Lake Luzerne, NY 12846, 800.222.0460. A line of wing and leg bands.

New England Pigeon Supplies, Tony and Sandi Patti, 95 River Road, Preston, CT 06365. 860.889.0078.

National Band and Tag Company, 721 York St., Box 72430, Newport, KY 41072-0430, 895.261.2035. Wing bands and tags.

Poultryman’s Supply Company, 520 Agawam Road, Winchester, KY 40391. 859.745.4944.

Smith Game Bird and Poultry Supply, 14000 W. 215th, St. Bucyrus, KS 66013-9519. 913.879.2587.

Sunny Creek Farms, 15378 160 St., Red Lake Falls, MN 56750. 218.253.2291.

Organizations (National)

American Bantam Association, Karen Unrath, Secretary, P.O. Box 127, Augusta, NJ 07822. 973.383.6944.

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, P.O. Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312.

American Pastured Poultry Producers Association, P.O. Box 87 Boyd, WI 54726. 888.66APPPA (662.7772).

American Poultry Association, Pat Horstman, Secretary/Treasurer, P.O. Box 306, Burgettstown, PA 15021. 724.729.3459.

Guinea Fowl Breeders Association, Phyllis Bender, 4 Coach Lane, Westport, CT 06880.

Guinea Fowl International Association, P.O. Box 367, Paradise, TX 76073.

National Pigeon Association, Steve and Noelle St. Clair, Secretary/Treasurer, 1717 SE 43rd Terrace, Topeka, KS 66609. 785.267.5732.

Organizations (Organic Poultry Resources)

American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA), P.O. Box 87, Boyd, WI 54726. 888.66APPPA (662.7772). Quarterly newsletter for members. Publishers of Raising Poultry on Pasture (see “Books” above).

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Diane Schivera, PO Box 2176, Augusta, ME 04338. Email: 207.568.4142. Offers fact sheets dealing with organic poultry production.

Organizations/Processing Facilities (Maine)

Central Maine Bird Fanciers, Fran Curtis, Sect., P.O. Box 109, Thomaston, ME 04861-0109. For the exhibition breeder.

Northern New England Bird Fanciers, Cathy Hunnewell, Sect., P.O. Box 591, Auburn, ME 04212. Email: For the exhibition breeder.

Maine Food and Agricultural Center, Winslow Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5782. Coordinates and expands research and educational services provided by the University of Maine System, including the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station and University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Publishes research publications and reports.

Positively Poultry, Carroll Dean, Sect., 149 Thurston Hill Road, Madison, ME 04950-3816. 207.696.3874. For backyard and exhibition breeders.

Greaney’s Turkey Farm, Scott Greaney, RR 2, Box 980, Mercer, ME 04957. 207.587.4062. Source of chicks and poults; custom processing and poultry information.


There are many reputable hatcheries around the country; we cannot list them all. We have selected hatcheries that are currently advertising in the poultry papers. Most supply a variety of species and breeds and are equipped to ship hatching eggs, day-old stock, and older birds. Specialty hatcheries have been noted. Changes in hatchery information may occur without the authors’ knowledge.

Abendroth Waterfowl Hatchery, W8697 Island Road, Waterloo, WI 53594. 920.478.2053.

Cackle Hatchery, 411 W. Commercial, Lebanon, P.O. Box 529, MO 65536. 417.532.4581.

Clearview Hatchery, Box 399, Gratz, PA 17030. 717.365.3234.

Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch, (turkey specialists) 730 Smoky Valley Road, Lindsberg, KS 67456. 785.227.3972.

Hall Brothers Hatchery, P.O. Box 1026, Norwich, CT 06360. 860.886.2421

Hoffman Hatchery Inc., P.O. Box 129, Gratz, PA 17030. 717.365.3494.

Holderreads Waterfowl Farm, (waterfowl specialists) P.O. Box 492, Corvallis, OR 97339. 541.929.5338.

Hoovers Hatchery, P.O. Box 200, 205, Rudd, IA 50471. 800.247.7014.

Ideal Poultry Breeding Farms Inc., Box 591, Cameron, TX 76520-0591. 254.697.6677.

Marti’s Poultry Farm, P.O. Box 27, Windsor, MO 65360-0027. 660.647.3156.

Metzer Farms, (waterfowl and game bird specialists), 26000 Old Stage Road, Gonzales, CA 93926. 800.424.7755.

Moyer’s Chicks, (commercial cross egg and meat chicks) 266 Paletown Road, Quakertown, PA 18951. 215.536.3155.

Mt. Healthy Hatchery, 9839 Winton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231. 800.151.5603.

Murray McMurray Hatchery, P.O. Box 458, Webster City, IA 50595-0458. 515.832.3280.

Privett Hatchery, P.O. Box 176, Portales, NM 88130. 505.356.6425.

Sandhill Preservation Center, (an excellent source for some of the rare breeds) 1878 230th St., Calamus, IA 52729. 563.246.2299.

Seven Oaks (Hampstead) Game Farm, (game birds, Coturnix quail, equipment) 7823 Masonboro Sound Road, Wilmington, NC 28407-2672. 910.297.0685.

Stromberg’s, P.O. Box 400, Pine River, MN 56474. 218.587.2222.

Townline Hatchery, P.O. Box 108, Zeeland, MI 49464-0108. 616.772.6514.

Urch/Turnland Poultry, (an excellent source for some of the rare breeds) 2142 NW 47th Ave., Owatonna, MN 55060. 507.451.6782.

Welp Inc., PO Box 77, Bancroft, IA 50517. 800.458.4473.

Health and Management Information (Maine)

University of Maine

Richard Brzozowski, Extension Professor/Educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104. 800.287.1471. Email:

Robert Hawes, Professor Emeritus, University of Maine, 8 Short Wharf Road, Hampden, ME 04444-1629. 207.862.4189. Email:

Anne Lichtenwalner, Extension Veterinarian, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 5735 Hitchner Hall, Orono, ME 04409-5735. 207.581.2788. Email:

H. M. Opitz, Veterinarian and Associate Professor Emeritus. Email:

State Agencies

Michele Walsh, State Veterinarian, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. 207.287.7615. Email:

Tom Nelson, Poultry Health Technician, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. 207.557.4623. Email:

Ron Dyer, Director, Maine Department of Agriculture’s Division of Quality Assurance and Regulation. 207.287.3841. Email:

Publications and Articles

Profitable Poultry: Raising Birds on Pasture
Valerie Berton and David Mudd (2006). Beltsville: Sustainable Agriculture Network
Touches on production, processing, marketing and resources for poultry production. 301.504.5411. Email: Website: SARE Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Publications Catalog’s Poultry page Most are available for free download.

Note: Where trade names or company names are noted in this document, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is implied.