Small Flock Production

 Interested in owning a small flock?  Small flock owners raise birds for several different reasons:

     - Mean     - Shows & Exhibitions    - Eggs     - Business     

     - Pets       - Poultry Clubs                   -  4-H      - 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 personal preference. There are several breeds of birds within each species so your choices on the types of birds to raise are endless! 

It is important to choose the type of bird that will meet your production needs. 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. 

Special care and requirements vary for each type of production. Some birds can be raised for multi-purposes. Pay close attention to nutritional needs and care for various types of birds to gain maximum production.

Basic Management of Intensive Poultry Production - J. Moyle, Ph.D.

Small Flock Production Basics

Before Starting a Flock

Owning a backyard flock is a growing trend in the United States. According to USDA (2005), 7% of households in the U.S. own a small, non-commercial flock. There are over 138,000 small flocks, which is equivalent to 9.7 million birds. The average size of a small flock is approximately 49 birds.

Before starting a backyard flock, the following should be planned out at least six months in advance:

  1. What are the zoning regulations in my neighborhood for livestock and poultry?
  2. Will raising poultry bother my neighbors?
  3. How will I house and confine my poultry?
  4. Am I aware of biosecurity practices and common poultry diseases?
  5. Do I have time to care for a poultry flock?

By answering all five questions, you begin to prepare yourself for owning a small flock.  Remember, caring for a flock is a 24 hour, seven day a week commitment that begins when you acquire your first bird.

References: USDA. 2005. Part I: Reference of health and managment of backyard/ small production flocks in the United States, 2004. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/banner/help

Section: Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Choosing Best Poultry Breeds for Your Small Farm

Buying Birds

You've decided that you want to raise a small flock of birds. Before you go out to buy any poultry, be sure to contact your local county planning office to make sure birds can be raised and produced in your area. Also, contact local zoning and building ordinances to know what building structures are permissible on your property. By contacting necessary personnel, they will determine if any special permits are needed for livestock on your property. In planning your poultry operation, it is also important to have a farm plan for manure management to avoid odor and pollution problems so you will avoid future problems with neighbors.

 

When buying birds, caution should be exercised. New birds should be bought only from reputable locations. Avoid auctions, fleamarkets, and imported poultry from "dockside sales". Reputable locations that sell birds may include hatcheries and breeders who participate in USDA's National Improvement Plan.  Buying new stock from suppliers who participate in USDA's NPIP program ensures new birds have been tested and are free from certain diseases. New birds present the greatest risk to biosecurity because their disease history is unknown (Jeffrey, 1997).  Plan ahead to decide where birds will be purchased.  Regardless of where birds are purchased, make sure all birds come from a healthy flock and are current on vaccinations. 

Once purchased, birds should be transported in carriers that are easy to disinfect.  If transported in cardboard or wood crates, the cardboard should be disposed of properly and wood crates should be disinfected thoroughly.  Plan ahead and decide where birds will be purchased before traveling to acquire them.  Travel straight home after purchasing new birds. This will keep disease threat to a minimum. 

References:  Jeffrey, J.S. 1997. Biosecurity for Poultry Flocks. University of California, Davis, School Veterinary Medicine. www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vetext/INF-PO_Biosecurity.html.  

Raising Your Young Birds

Younger birds, while very cute and  comical to watch grow, require more attention to manage, with temperature being the number one concern. Temperatures must remain very warm until the chicks mature because they are unable to regulate their body temperature. Young poultry requires supplemental heat for at least the first three to five weeks (Sander et al., 1999). Have temperatures set at 90°F upon hatching (exact temperature will vary with different species). 

Decrease the temperatures five degrees each week until 70°F is reached (Clauer, 1997). Do not expose young birds to outside elements until they have grown in their permanent feathers. It is important to expose young birds gradually to decreasing temperatures because young poultry do not handle large temperature changes well and stress easily. Make sure to also have feed and water available.

brooding diagram

An excellent way to raise young poultry is to set up a brooding area. A brooding area separates and protects young birds from older birds. Because young poultry must be supplied with supplemental heat, placing young birds in a brooder will help young birds maintain their body temperature. Along with providing heat, a brooder is an excellent way to make sure young poultry are supplied with all necessities to achieve optimum production: heat source, fresh feed and water, and a dry environment (See Figure 1). Within the brooding area, feeders and waterers should be spaced apart to prevent overcrowding when feeding.

References:  Clauer, P.J. 1997. A Small-Scale Agriculture Alternative: Poultry. Virginia Cooperative Extension. http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/poultry/factsheets/smallscale.html.    Accessed June 2008.  Sander, J.E., and Lacy, M.P. 1999 Management Guide for the Backyard Flock. Cooperative Extension Service- The University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Leaflet 429.

Record Keeping

   Even if maintaining your small flock is a hobby, recordkeeping helps keep track of your expenses.  It can aid in monitoring the progress of your flock.  Records are important to the financial health of a business or operation. Efficient and profitable poultry operations are not guaranteed by good record keeping, but success is unlikely without them. Records are essential tools for management to maintain a successful flock. Recordkeeping involves keeping, filing, maintaining, and categorizing inventory, financial and production information for your flock. This can be accomplished by hand recording or by using computer software.

Recordkeeping is important. Records tell an owner or manager where the business/operation has been and the direction in which it is going. Records show the strength and weaknesses of the poultry operation. They provide useful insight to financial stability for your flock. If there are any shortcomings, records will show where adjustments can be made. Along with showing where adjustments can be made and being a good reference tool, there are several other purposes of recordkeeping. 

Purposes of Records

  1. Measure profit and access the financial ability of the business/operation.
  2. Provides data for business/operation analysis.
  3. Assists in obtaining loans.
  4. Measure the profitability of individual operation.
  5. Assist in analysis of new investments.
  6. Help prepare income tax returns.

Records assist in avoiding management problems, helping prevent potential problems with your flock.  More so, producers are being encouraged to keep accurate records about the activities on their farms due to increasing environmental concerns. Farm records consist of three distinct categories: inventory, financial, and production records. All records are used to compile useful information that is used in record analysis for an individual operation or the entire business. Records are only useful when maintained and categorized correctly.

What Should I Record?               paper and pencil

The needs and size of your small flock will determine the type of records you as an owner or manager should keep. Financial statements are an intricate part of recordkeeping. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the enterprise, the more detailed records and financial statements should be kept. Regardless of flock size, records should always be kept up-to-date. Other records that should be kept along with financial records include:

  •      Where, when, and types of birds acquired
  •      Poultry Registration Papers
  •      Age and number of birds in each flock
  •      Vaccination dates
  •      Vaccine expiration dates

See  Basic Management of Intensive Poultry Production

There are several types of financial statements that can be used to help organize information for your flock. Many records are interrelated and used to create other records. In order to determine how an enterprise is doing, the balance sheet and income statement are needed. A larger enterprise may need to elaborate by preparing cash flow statements and a statement of owner's equity (Duvick, 2001). The types of financial statements used to maintain records are determined by the flock needs. Detailed record sheets may be necessary for larger flocks whereas, others may need only a basic format.

Methods of Recordkeeping

Traditionally, growers have kept records by hand. In many cases, a hand recording system is still useful for many growers. Yet, the use of computers and computer software has expanded on farms in recent years because of better record accuracy. The farm manager decides on the system that best fits his/her situationGerloff et al. (1995) has listed advantages to both hand records and computer records.

Hand-Recording System               

   - low initial out-of-pocket expense     

   - easy to start                              

   - requires only pencil & paper

Computer Recording System         

   - more accurate & faster

   - tax deductible as an expense 

   - much easier to create analysis

Recordkeeping can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. All farm records should provide accurate and necessary information, fit into the farm organization, and be available in a form that aids in decision-making (Gerloff et al., 1995). Accurate records aid an owner in making good management decisions. Managing an operation requires an individual (usually the manager) to possess skills to allocate scarce resources while conducting business towards the farm. Skills necessary for management include reducing costs of production, having knowledge of the industry, and willingness to adapt to change. Examples of scarce resources are (but not limited to) feed, water, fuel, building materials, and money. Possessing skills of a good manager allow good records to be maintained, which allow you to accomplish a specific purpose - raising and producing health birds!

References:  Duvick, R.D. 2001. Computerized Farm Record Keeping. The Ohio State University. Bulletin 890-01. Gerloff, D.C., Holland, R.W. 1995. Establishing and Using a Farm Financial Record-Keeping System. The University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension Service. Publication 1540.

Disposal of Dead Birds

Poultry_When_a_Chicken_Dies

Just like humans, birds are subject to disease, injury, stress, and genetic abnormalities than can result in death. Disposal is a normal part of raising poultry. But, when the time arises, do you know how to properly dispose of dead birds? 

There are several options to dispose of birds.  Disposal methods include compost burial, incineration, rendering, composting or the landfill.  Composting is a form of animal disposal that is very efficient at killing disease causing pathogens when correctly managed. A commonly used method for instances of high mortality, composting is cautioned with small flocks due to the difficulty of maintaining high temperatures within the compost.   Check your local ordinances (including city and county) to see which methods are allowed, suggested, or prohibited. The method you choose will depend on both the daily activities with your birds and resources available.

Composting Dead Birds - FS

Composting Animals Mortalities on the Farm

Rodent Control

Biosecurity

Protecting your investment is very important. Early detection and prevention is key to maintaining a healthy flock. It is much easier to prevent disease than to try and eliminate it. Having good biosecurity practices in place, aid in protecting your flock from disease. Biosecurity practices can be achieved while being both productive and profitable at the same time. It is an easy way to protect your birds from harm.

What is Biosecurity?

"Bio" means life. "Security" means protection.  Biosecurity is a set of measures designed that are practiced to prevent the spread of disease onto your property and into your flock. Biosecurity planning is a proactive approach to safeguarding the health and productivity of your flock. By having a plan set in place, you are protecting the life of your birds. Biosecurity can easily be incorporated into daily management practices. It is important to assess and periodically adjust your biosecurity practices as needed to your property and flock.

3 Major Requirements for Biosecurity

(Jeffrey, 1997)

1. Isolation

Confining your animals within a controlled environment. This includes keeping other animals out and locking doors on poultry houses (if applicable).

2. Traffic Control

Reducing the amount of traffic onto and around your farm. This includes not only motorized traffic but foot traffic as well!

3. Sanitation

Disinfecting materials, equipment, and people that work on your property.

Biosecurity is a work in progress. You should periodically assess your program and adjust your biosecurity practices as needed to the ever-changing risks (age of birds, types of birds on premises, amount of traffic onto and off property) for your property. Controlling the amount of traffic on your farm is one of the most inexpensive forms of biosecurity than can reduce the chance of disease transmission. Be sure to disinfect all materials, equipment, and people that work on your farm/property. By practicing good biosecurity, you can prevent the spread of disease from humans, vehicles, animals, carcasses, and other flocks that may be traveling onto and around the property.

Biosecurity signs posted at the entrance and around the perimeter of the farm, as well as on buildings and doors, will inform others of your goal of good biosecurity.  Below is a typical biosecurity sign.

Poultry_Biosecurity_Sign

Backyard Biosecurity Brochure

Isolation

Isolation is used to help prevent the spread of disease. Confinement is the main way to isolate and separate your birds. Many people worry that isolating their birds will be difficult. Isolation is when a bird(s) is separated away from the rest of the flock. It is simple and can be accomplished several ways. The simplest form of isolation is to place the bird(s) in a plastic carrier. You can also isolate birds by putting them in a separate pasture. Make sure that the isolated birds are not close enough to sneeze or cough through the fence onto other birds. The whole purpose of placing the sick bird in its own pasture is so that it cannot make contact with the rest of the flock, potentially causing disease in the rest of the flock. You may need to create an additional barrier (a strand of electric or temporary fence) if the pastures share a side of fence. The most important benefit to isolating sick birds is protecting the rest of your flock from disease. Remember, a healthy flock = a healthy income!   

If you own several birds, they need to be separated into flocks according to age (younger flock vs. older flock), especially if multiple flocks are to be kept on the same farm. Older birds will pick at the younger birds, often causing injury. NEVER run a mixed species flock. By mixing species, disease control can be extremely difficult. Confinement is the best way to isolate your birds. Design a type(s) of confinement that fits the needs of your facility.

Isolating your flock is considered being a good neighbor. If you live near a commercial operation, many commercial operators are worried about your small flock making their flocks sick. Birds do not understand property lines and can be a nuisance if they travel onto your neighbor's property. Physical barriers (trees, fencing, gates, and walls) can help keep your birds from traveling off the property.

Poultry_Chicken_Kennel

How to Isolate Birds

  1. Select an ideal location on your farm. The location should be of easy access to you as a caretaker but restrict visitors from the area.  An easy way to accomplish this is to consider building a "barrier fence" around your birds.
  2. Before setting up a housing area, consider that each bird should have 3 to 3 1/2 feet of floor space. Spacing will vary depending on the type of bird you decide to raise. When planning a layout, keep in mind of future expansion should you decide to increase the size of your flock.
  3. Determine how you will separate multiple flocks within your facility. Do you want to put up a fence within the confinement area creating separate run areas? Build another confinement area?

Select building material needed for housing. Items and materials often used for housing may include (but are not limited to) dog crates, chicken coops, chicken wire, T-posts, and plywood.

Many supplies can be found at local hardware, lumber, or farm stores. When building your confinement area, it is important to consider that birds have access to shelter which protects them from bad weather. It is also a good idea to cover the top of the enclosure so that birds do not escape and other animals cannot enter.

Controlling Traffic

Controlling traffic on and around the farm can present quite a challenge to flock owners. Yet once implemented, it dramatically reduces the threat of disease. Traffic may include vehicles, people and other animals (such as pets) that move around on the farm. Communicating with personnel who come onto the property about biosecurity measures that have been established is essential. Many people do not practice biosecurity simply because they have not been informed on farm or property procedures.  Controlling traffic on the farm is only effective towards biosecurity if practiced correctly and consistently. 

People

Have a designated set of work clothes that you wear only when working with your birds. Designated work clothes should not be worn off the farm. Do not allow visitors near birds. If it is necessary for people to visit birds, provide protective outer clothing and disposable plastic footwear before visitors enter the bird area (Carey et al., 1997).  Make sure your designated footwear is disinfected with a footbath before entering each bird area (Jeffrey, 2008).

Vehicles

Controlling the amount, as well as, the direction of traffic on the property is one of the most inexpensive forms of biosecurity. Controlling traffic is essential because traffic onto and around the property pose one golf cartof the greatest threats to bird health. In a rural community, many people depend on private vehicles to tend to the daily needs of their farm/property and having a separate vehicle only for farm/property use is not feasible. Therefore, maintaining clean vehicles is a must. Post "restricted" signs at drive entrances and near bird areas. This will inform visitors what parts of the property they cannot enter. Also, have vehicles disinfect and scrub down before entering the premises. This ensures that no germs are brought onto your farm accidentally.

Traveling off the Property with your Birds (Jeffrey, 1997)

Traveling to shows and fairs is a fun way to exhibit your birds to other poultry owners. Along with excitement comes responsibility. Show grounds are, unfortunately, excellent areas for diseases to harbor because of the high traffic of people and other poultry. When traveling with your birds, don't forget that biosecurity practiced at home should be practiced away from home as well.

  • Use only clean plastic coops for transferring poultry. Do not use wooden crates because they are difficult to clean and can harbor diseases for long periods of time.
  • Do not handle other people's birds. You can transfer disease to their birds and vice versa.
  • Do not share supplies and tools while at show grounds. Make sure your materials are disinfected routinely during your stay.
  • Clean cages or enclosures before placing birds inside.

Make sure your birds do not come in contact with droppings, feathers, dust, or debris from previous birds. Some diseases are able to survive for long periods of time even after the facilities have been left vacant.

Bringing new birds onto the Farm (Carver, 2008)

There may come a time when you want to increase the size of your flock. Two ways to increase the size of your flock is: 1.) allowing chicks to mature and 2.) buying new fowl. Caution should be exercised if you decide to buy new birds. New birds present the greatest risk to biosecurity because their disease history and exposure is unknown (Jeffrey, 1997). Guidelines to follow when buying new birds include:

  1. Buy all new stock from a supplier/breeder that participates in USDA's National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP). This ensures new birds have been tested free from certain diseases.
  2. Isolate new birds for 30 days to make sure that no signs of disease appear.
  3. Confine or fence in ALL flocks. Do not allow wildfowl to come in contact with your birds.
  4. Feed and care for your original flock first.  Wash hands between working different flocks, then tend to new birds. 
  5. Maintain a separate set of clothes to wear when caring for new birds that are confined.  Also, use separate tools and supplies when feeding or cleaning new birds.

If you buy a new species of bird to add to your flock, DO NOT mix different species within the same flock. Different species should be raised in separate flocks or separate within enclosures. Mixing species quickly leads to an increase in disease transfer between birds.

References:

Carey, J.B. Prochaska, J.F. and Jeffrey, J.S. 1997 Poultry Facility Biosecurity.  Texas Agriculture Extension Service - The Texas A&M University system. Publication L-5182. htpp://gallus.tamu.edu/depts/poulsci/tech-manuals/preventing_avian_influenza_backyard.pdf. Accessed June 2008.

Carver, D.K. 2008 Biosecurity for Backyard Flocks. NC State University Extension Services. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poultsci/ tech_manuals/preventing_avian_influenza_backyard.pdf. Accessed June 2008.  

Jeffrey, J.S. 1997. Biosecurity for Poultry Flocks. University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vetext/INF-PO_Biosecurity.html. Accessed Feb. 2007.

 

Disinfectants and Sanitation

Disinfectants are agents applied to non-living objects to reduce the number of unwanted microorganisms to a safe level. Using disinfectants should be a routine part of daily farm sanitation.  Sanitation includes the substances or methods used to destroy microorganisms in order to maintain a healthy, disease-free environment. Sanitation methods prevent unwanted organisms from coming back after disinfectants have been applied.bucket

There are several different types of disinfectants and sanitation methods that can be used to prevent disease and destroy pathogens that are present. Using disinfectants and sanitation methods on your property is a very important step in biosecurity. Disinfectants aren't a guarantee for eradicating disease but are very effective at reducing the risk. Majority of disinfectants cannot work on top of dirt, manure, or organic material, so be sure to thoroughly clean surfaces before application. Make sure you allow enough contact time when applying (follow instructions) for the disinfectant to be effective.  Sanitizing or disinfectant compounds can be chemical or non-chemical.

There are various types of disinfectants available to small flock owners. Selecting a disinfectant for your farm can be overwhelming with all the available options. It is strongly encouraged to use disinfectants in conjunction with sanitation methods because disinfectants destroy germs, thus stopping the spread of disease. There are advantages and disadvantages in using different disinfectants.  Selecting a disinfectant(s) is based on individual farm needs, as well as the characteristic of the disinfectant.

Recommended Disinfectants

There are certain characteristics that should be kept in mind when choosing a type of chemical sanitation or disinfectant to use. Regardless of the situation, the efficacy (the way the disinfectant kills the pathogen) and toxicity to animals are always important traits to keep in mind when selecting a disinfectant. 

Even with all the disinfectants available, natural agents work very well in conjunction with sanitation practices. Natural agents are non-chemical disinfectants that are found in nature. Examples of natural agents include drying, temperature, heat, freezing, and sunlight. Drying and sunlight are very effective in killing many disease-causing pathogens.

scrub brushSanitation also includes keeping litter, equipment, and people disease free. The bird area(s) should always be clean. Scrub buckets, feeders, and waterers as well as supplying fresh litter when old litter becomes dirty. Special care should be taken to ensure your birds are raised in a clean environment, especially for young birds. After working with your birds, don't forget to clean equipment every time. If borrowing equipment, be sure to clean and disinfect equipment before entering the bird area especially if it is borrowed from a fellow poultry owner. In addition, make sure every person caring for birds has a set of designated clothing that is not worn off the farm and is washed periodically.

Footbaths

A footbath is a very simple form of biosecurity that helps prevent the potential spread of disease.  Organisms have the potential to survive for several days or weeks in the dirt stuck to the bottom of your shoes. Footbaths can eliminate these organisms.  

Depending on the amount of traffic on your farm, it may be necessary to have more than one footbath. Be sure that materials are provided at every footbath. Do not share scrub brushes between separate footbaths. There are several recommended disinfectants to use in footbaths.

Most disinfectants can be ordered from your local feed store or online. Remember, some disinfectants may be inactivated by sunlight so be sure to follow directions on the label carefully on how to mix and maintain an active disinfectant (USDA, 2002; McCrea et al., 2008).

Materials for a Footbath 

(McCrea et al., 2008)

  • Long handle scrub brush                                                        
  • "Fake grass" or a synthetic bristled doormat              
  • Hose for mixing new batches of disinfectants
  • Tray with short sides (ex. litter pan).  Depending on the location and/or type of disinfectant used, you may want to have a lid for the tray to prevent contamination or inactivation of the disinfectant.

Setting Up a Footbath

It may be a good idea to set the footbath up on a solid surface, such as concrete, bricks, or cement blocks to prevent mud around the footbath area. A solid surface can be swept or washed down to eliminate the buildup of dirt that can pollute your footbath. Mud quickly pollutes your footbath, making it useless in providing protection. Location is the most important key in setting up your footbath.  Select a location where everyone who comes onto your farm must pass through.

  • Place container in selected location.
  • Cut mat to fit inside the container.
  • Mix disinfectant according to label and add to container.
  • Hang long handled brush within reach.
  • Post footbath directions at eye level explaining how to use footbath.

Maintaining a Footbath

Make sure to maintain a "clean" footbath. Footbaths should be changed and cleaned periodically. How often you clean your footbath depends on how much foot traffic you have on your farm. On average, footbaths require weekly cleaning. The empty container and mat should be scrubbed with a brush and rinsed thoroughly. Next, add fresh disinfectant and place the mat back into the container. Do not empty the footbath in an area where the footbath is used so that a dry area around the footbath can be maintained (USDA, 2002; McCrea et al., 2008). Don't forget to post directions near footbaths instructing users how to correctly wash footwear.

References: McCrea, B.A., and Bradley, F.A. 2008 Footbaths for Animal Facilities: Easier than you think. University of California-Division of Agriculture and National Resources. Publication 8281.  
USDA. 2002. Biosecurity Footbaths for Exotic Newcastle Disease Information for Bird Owners. California Department of Food and Agriculture. www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/pdfs/Footbaths_owner_Dec02.pdf. Accessed May 2008.

'Beginning Poultry - Do you have questions about raising a backyard flock?'

There are many different species of poultry that you can raise. The species you decide to raise will depend on the type of production you want to be involved with as well as personal preference. Below are several different species of birds that can be raised:

   Peafowl      Swans       Pheasants      Guineas    

   Turkeys      Quail         Pigeons         Ducks    

   Chickens    Partridge    Doves           Ratites

There are several breeds of birds within each species so your choices on the types of birds to raise are endless! It is important to choose the type of bird that will meet your production needs. There are three main production categories for birds. 

1. Egg Production     2. Meat Production    3. Show/Exhibit

Special care and requirements vary for each type of production. Some birds can be raised for multi-purposes. Pay close attention to nutritional needs and care for various types of birds to gain maximum production.

Basic Management of Intensive Poultry Production - J. Moyle, Ph.D.

  • Before Starting a Flock

    Owning a backyard flock is a growing trend in the United States. According to USDA (2005), 7% of households in the U.S. own a small, non-commercial flock. There are over 138,000 small flocks, which is equivalent to 9.7 million birds. The average size of a small flock is approximately 49 birds.
    Before starting a backyard flock, the following should be planned out at least six months in advance:
    What are the zoning regulations in my neighborhood for livestock and poultry?
    Will raising poultry bother my neighbors?
    How will I house and confine my poultry?
    Am I aware of biosecurity practices and common poultry diseases?
    Do I have time to care for a poultry flock?
    By answering all five questions, you begin to prepare yourself for owning a small flock.  Remember, caring for a flock is a 24 hour, seven day a week commitment that begins when you acquire your first bird.
    References:
    USDA. 2005. Part I: Reference of health and managment of backyard/ small production flocks in the United States, 2004.

    Poultry_backyard_chickens
  • Choosing the Best Breeds for Your Small Flock

    Choosing the Best Poultry Breeds for Your Small Flock
    Deciding on your goal for raising chickens is the first step in determining which breed is best for your farm. The most common reasons as to why people raise chickens include: egg production, meat production, raising birds for show, controlling insects around their property, and breed preservation. Read more...

    poultry_breeds

Basic Flock Management