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Washington State University


Raising Chickens in Urban Environments (PDF)

Raising small flocks of chickens within city limits is becoming a popular pastime for many families. Urban residents keep chickens in their backyards for many of the same reasons as rural residents. Some  urban residents want to produce eggs or meat for their families to save money, live more sustainably, or simply know where their food comes from; others keep “fancy” or ornamental chickens (standard-bred birds of specific breeds or colors or both) to exhibit. Some urban residents have chickens to eat insects in the lawn and garden; others simply appreciate watching the birds in their yard, which can be a relaxing and sometimes comical sight. Oregon State University, October 2013. 

Why Did My Chickens Stop Laying? (PDF)

Discusses reasons for cessation of egg laying, including decreasing day length, disease, broodiness, poor nutrition, and stress. Suggests strategies for minimizing these effects on egg production. Oregon State University, January 2003.

Poultry Your Way (PDF)

Poultry Your Way is for anyone interested in commercially raising, processing, and marketing poultry. It is designed to help you consider alternatives, and to help you make decisions about which alternative(s) will be most compatible with your family and business goals. Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, 2005.

Alternative Poultry Production Systems & Outdoor Access (PDF)

Alternative poultry production is growing due to consumer demand for specialty products from cage-free and free-range birds. This publication discusses the differences between alternative and conventional production systems. Alternative production systems vary according to size but, in some countries, are standardized by specific definitions to assist in marketing. The various aspects of free-range systems in the U.S. and abroad are presented. Common poultry housing approaches are also discussed. Integration of poultry production with crop production on a diversified farm is an important part of sustainable agriculture, and birds can be integrated with vegetable production (“chicken tractor”) and with grazing livestock, such as sheep. Organic poultry production is a type of alternative poultry production that is currently enjoying a growing market. Considerations surrounding organic production are presented. Production topics such as outdoor access and pasture management, pasture rotation, and predator control are also discussed. National Center for Appropriate Technology, 2006. 

Avoiding Residues in Small Poultry & Game Bird Flocks (PDF)

Discusses ways to ensure that residues of coccidiostats, antimicrobials, wormers, mold-inhibitors, and pesticides are not present in poultry or eggs when they are marketed. Provides clear guidelines for calculating withdrawal times for medication. Oregon State University, March 2003. 

Sticky Droppings: A Feed-Related Poultry Problem (PDF) 

This publication outlines the reasons for this problem and suggests specific feed changes to avoid them. Included are tables of sample balanced diets for raising healthier chickens. Washington State University, October 2009

Profitable Poultry: Raising Birds on Pasture (PDF)
This bulletin features the latest research in raising chickens and turkeys using pens, movable fencing and pastures. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, 2006.