Backyard chicken




Updated: June 21, 2022

Beginning Poultry – Do you have questions about raising a back yard flock?

By Jon Moyle, Ph.D., University of Maryland Extension Poultry Specialist

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It's Cheaper To Buy It From The Store


  •   Birds come with expenses:    Birds       Feed       Housing

            -  Also, if you want eggs and you start with chicks, it will be about 6 months before you get any eggs

  •   Big companies buy feed by the truck load so it is cheaper

                -  Feed costs more when you buy it by the bag

  • Big companies control the environment where birds are housed so they spend less energy on staying warm or cool

Poultry Are An Excellent Choice When Starting a Livestock Project

Cheap to Start

  Poultry have several benefits

  • Small

  • Relatively inexpensive

  • Easy to acquire

  • Don't require a lot of land

You need to Register Your Small Flock


  Federal law exemption:

  • Slaughter less than 20,000 poultry per year of own production for intrastate sales.  Prohibited from selling adulterated product.

  States have their own requirements:

  • You must obey them, so look them up!

  Everyone that sells eggs in MD must register with the state

  • A producer/packer who keeps 3,000 or fewer chickens and who sells eggs only from those chickens must register annually, but is exempt from paying the registration and inspection fees
  • All shell eggs sold, donated or delivered in Maryland must be graded
Poutlry_register backyard


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