book on chickens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Does anyone have a good suggestion for a book on raising chickens? I'd like to get some in the spring and know nothing about raising them. I want to get their home built this fall and learn about how to care for them this winter so I'm ready to go come spring. I don't know if it makes a difference, but I want laying hens that we'll butcher once they stop laying. Thanks! Stace

-- Stacey Christiansen (, October 10, 2001


Countryside bookstore has great books on chickens. In addition, check with your local County Extension Service-I got a great little booklet (free) that was a great help. Of course-check your library as well.

-- Kelly in Ky. (, October 10, 2001.

Hi Stacey, I am also wanting to get some chickens in the spring and have been doing my share of research. I got the book,"Raising Poultry Successfully" by Will Graves. ISBN 0-913589-029-8. I purchased my copy from, but this is before I got into looking for used books at Both are great sites. But if you prefer not to purchase over the internet and your local bookstore doesn't have it in stock, they should be able to order it for you, as it still is in print. In the back of this book are appendices that give some great information as well. Such as...poultry publications and periodicals, commercial hatcheries, sources of equipment and supplies, and addresses of extension service offices by state. Hope this is what you are looking for, I found it quite helpful. Kim :-D

-- Kim in Indiana (, October 10, 2001.

You might want to get "Chickens in your Backyard, a beginner's guide" by Rick and Gail Luttmann. Very basic, good book. The best teacher is to learn from experience.

-- Tom S. (, October 10, 2001.

We finally bought the book "Raising poultry successfully" after checking it out from the liberary many times.I found it very helpful.

link to book cover


-- ourfarm (, October 10, 2001.

Don't forget to read through all the posts under Poultry in the archives below. There have been quite a few on getting started and choosing breeds, building housing, etc. There's practically a book there!

-- Rose Marie Wild (, October 10, 2001.

I aquired a well used copy of "Raising Poultry the Modern Way" and it was really helpful in getting me started. Wouldn't hurt either to see if you can't get someone else in your area to let you look over their setup either. See what works, doesn't work for them, etc. Some people swear you need an insulated and heated coop, and then I know other people who use a plastic 55 gallon drum as their coop, if that.

If it helps any, I have a 4 X 8 coop (uninsulated), and a fenced 8 x 8 yard and I keep a dozen chickens in it comfortably.

I also have a 10 x 10 x 6 dog kennel set up with more chickens in that too, and with a tarp over the top and an extra large dog kennel as a temporary coop until I can build something, and they seem to be doing just fine in there as well. In fact, I like this so much, I'm thinking about building all my future pens out of the kennel panels as to me it isn't any big deal to run some hardware cloth around the bottom if keeping things in / out becomes troublesome, and it's a lot easier than sinking posts into the ground and trying to keep them plumb and square. Personally, I've only lost 1 bird in 3 years to another critter, otherwise my dogs do a fine job of keeping the coons and foxes at bay.

-- Eric in TN (, October 11, 2001.

We have a chicken coop my husband's grandfather built in the 1930's and keep about 100 chickens. It's a good sized building and the floor is dug down about 2 feet below the outside soil surface to keep the water from freezing in the winter. We also use dog kennel panels for the fenced yard. The 10x6 size chain link sections bolt together nicely and can be moved whenever we wish to change the grazing area.

-- Claudia Glass (, October 11, 2001.

oh yeah - the book. I use Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Damerow.

-- Claudia Glass (, October 11, 2001. come you get to build the henhouse first and then get the chickens later? The rest of us usually have chicks in the kitchen for weeks (or months) before the house is finished. :-) Yes, all the Storey's books are great, I use the ones from our library.

-- Cheri Asprion (, October 11, 2001.

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