University of Maryland Extension University of Maryland

College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Small Flock Production

Interested in owning a small flock? Do you already have a small flock? Raising a backyard flock can be very rewarding for the entire family. There is an activity for every member of the family to participate in when raising poultry. Small flock owners raise birds for several different reasons:

  • Meat
  • Shows & exhibitions
  • Eggs
  • 4-H
  • Game birds
  • Business 
  • Pets
  • Poultry clubs
  • Fun  

There are many different species of poultry that can be raised - from chickens to ostriches! The species you decide to raise will depend on the type of production you want to be involved with as well as your own personal preference. Poultry is usually classified into three categories: 1) egg layers, 2) meat-type, and 3) dual purpose. As a producer, select the characteristic that is most important for your production purposes. There are a large number of breeds of birds so your choices on types of birds to raise are endless!

The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to any person and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression.
IET Departmentof the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2014.