Chicken Resources on the Web

Selected by the creater of the
Henderson's Handy Dandy Chicken Chart

'If I hadn't started painting, I would have raised chickens.' -- Anna Mary Moses


Information on Breeds

General Information

Standards & Preservation

Advice for Small Flock Owners

from Cooperative Extensions

from other good folk

Tips: Raising Chicks with a Mother Hen & Sexing Chicks

Health and Disease | Home Processing/Butchering

12 Birds of Christmas:
a speculative analysis of an old holiday carol featuring French Hens and Cocks A-Crowing

Historic Information
Full Text of 19th and Early 20th Century Materials


Information on Breeds

GENERAL BREED INFORMATION

Here are sites that provide information about different breeds of chickens as a primary focus. Many provide additional information and advice as well.

  • Barry Koffler's FeatherSite
    A colorful, well illustrated, and informative site that remains the best place to begin looking for information about chickens. It has a strong section on different breeds (called an "oddly annotated tour"). The site is full of poultry photography, including photographs of baby chicks. Barry also maintains a list of Hatcheries and Poultry Equipment Supply Houses
  • Breeds of Poultry from the Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University
    Within the frame is the chicken section. Amount of text provided for each breed varies widely. Many but not all breed pages are illustrated.
  • Poultry Pages: Chicken Breeds
    A British site that provides what it calls basic chicken facts for the beginner. Nicely designed site, it is full of information and some tips, plus illustrations.
  • Poultry Keeper: Chicken Breeds
    A British site that provides illustrations and detailed information about poultry found among the UK standard. In addition, the site includes articles and other useful resources for the poultry hobbyist, no matter where they live.
  • Omlet UK: Chickens
    Another British site that provides all kinds of poultry information, including an illustrated pages for chicken breeds commonly (or rarely) found in the UK.
  • The DOM_BIRD Web site
    Includes a breed encyclopedia, plus photos, recipes and nutrition information, and several submitted articles about poultry science and farming. Formerly associated with the Palm Beach County Poultry Fanciers Association.
  • BackYard Chickens
    Good place for backyard chicken enthusiasts to find information, and in its forum a place to give and get advice.
  • Diane Jacky's Art Gallery.
    Diane Jacky's paintings can be found in the catalogs of leading hatcheries and have been published in the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection. Her images can also be found on many online catalogs.
  • Ultimate Fowl Forum
    A place to chat, plus a poultry wikipedia.
  • Ultimate List of Chicken Breeds
    A list of breeds found in Australia, with photographs and short descriptions
  • The EGG-Cellent Guide to Chicken Breeds
    From a British poultry supply company, this long jpeg chart lists 27 common breeds found in the UK with five traits. It is quite visual with sweet, simple drawings of chickens, flags, and eggs.
  • STANDARDS, PRESERVATION AND HERITAGE

    American Poultry Association
    Includes membership, show and exhibitor information, a health series, and a current list of breed classifications.
    American Bantam Association
    Includes membership information, news and articles.
    Poultry Club of Great Britain
    Includes news about shows, exhibitions, and other events, plus information, advice, and images on breeds and other poultry topics.
    Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities
    You can sign up to be a member, plus a little bit more.
    The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
    Not just for chickens.

Advice for Small Flock Owners

Sites listed here are those with an emphasis on care, health, and flock management and other advice about poultry. Some may include information about the different breeds as well. I have limited the selection of sites to those whose primary purpose is informative not commercial.

COOPERATIVE EXTENSION (AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL) SERVICES

Incubation and Embryology from the University of Illinois Extension
A site of lesson plans and resources packed with chicken and egg information. Included is an all-on-one-page History of Chicken Breeds
Ohio State's Ohioline: Farm: Livestock: Poultry
More than a dozen extension fact sheets with information on poultry health and management.
UConn's Poultry Pages
Extension pages, with a nice one on incubation.
Virginia Cooperative Extension's Information Resources: Poultry
Another good source for information. Titles that caught my eye include "Management Requirements for Laying Flocks," "Why Have My Hens Stopped Laying?"
The West Virginia Poultry Extension Web Page.
Designed to provide educational and informational materials related to poultry production, consumer education, and other related poultry topics, this site provides plenty of its own fact sheets plus many links to other online resources.
UC Davis's Poultry Web Page:
Publications & Small Flock & Game Bird Information include leaflets and fact sheets on topics such as candling, biosecurity, health, and feeding.
Queensland. Department of Primary Industries. Poultry.
Extension service-esque advice on poultry health, as well as production.

OTHER GOOD FOLKS

The Classroom at TheCoop
One of the oldest online forums related to raising poultry
Mother Earth News Chicken and eggs page
A compendium of articles with the homesteader and small operation chicken farmer in mind. It's started a campaign advocating the nutritional benefits of pastured poultry and free range chicken eggs.
Raising Chickens 2.0, a permaculture article by Paul Wheaton
Advice on making life easier: no more scraping/shoveling/scrubbing chicken poop; almost eliminating feed costs; and establishing a system where the chickens don't keep you stuck on the farm.
Robert Plamondon
This Oregon poultry farmer has answers and advice and opinions about all manner of poultry-related topics, including free ranging and pastured poultry.
Chicken Keeping
Terry Golson's page of fun, advice, recipes, and recommendations, plus excerpts from a farmstead cookbook and a HenCam Blog.
Mad City Chickens
Information, advocacy, advice and photos from a group of pro-poultry people from Madison, WI, where, because of the group's effort, single-family homes now have the right to raise poultry in the back yard.
The Chicken Project
Along with photo essays, this site provides plans and details of an attractive coop designed to house up to 10 chickens.
The late Douglas Adams' Chicken Theory
Well, perhaps this doesn't provide any helpful information, but it is technical and about chickens.

HEALTH AND DISEASE

Merck Veterinary Manual has a lengthy section on poultry.
Avian Disease Fact Sheet from the Virginia Cooperative Extenstion's Information Resources.
Poultry Diseases advice from Mississippi State's MSUCares.

HOME PROCESSING (AKA Butchering)

How to butcher a chicken in 20 minutes or less ...while leaving the carcass and feathers intact! [how to skin a bird], by Roger Grim (from Backwoods Home Magazine)
Slaughtering Chickens is an illustrated talk-through from The Farm at Morrison Corner
Global Flyfisher has a page on chickens that concentrates on skinning them properly for purposes of using the feathers for tying flies.

Historic Information

FULL TEXT OF 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY MATERIALS

See both the University of Michigan's Making of America and Cornell University's Making of America and Core Historical Literature of Agriculture series, as well as Google Books. Some works of special interest include:
 
Mrs. Elrington Douglas Arbuthnott. The henwife: her own experience in her own poultry-yard. T.C. Jack, 1868.
A popular enough guide in England to go through at least seven editions.
Geo. P. Burnham. The History of the Hen Fever: a Humorous Record. Boston: J. French and company, 1855.
Before there was Frank Sinatra, Elvis, the Beatles, the hoola hoop, beany babies, or Pokemon, there were chickens. This classic book describes the fad that took the world by storm after the introduction of some exotic breeds of chickens in the early 19th Century. 
William Cook. Practical poultry breeder & feeder: or How to make poultry pay. Office of the Journal of Horticulture, 1882.
A British advice book, with a lengthy section on cross breeding.
"Easy-On" Caponizing Set Instruction Book. Chicago: Sears, Roebuck, and Co., 1922.
Available as a Web page and a pdf file (tools not included), these instructions are provided by the Palm Beach County Poultry Fanciers Association.
Charles Wyllys Elliott. "The Poultry Lovers." The Galaxy. Volume 8 (July 1869): pp. 70-82.
An essay on poultry and poultry farmers that is part hommage and part informational. There is a short discussion comparing breeds, but in 1869 there were fewer to discuss. The author does add an extra consideration among the breeds -- cockfighting ability. 
Felch, Isaac K. Poultry culture: how to raise, manage, mate and judge thoroughbred fowls. Chicago :W. H. Harrison, 1885.
A pioneer in the promotion of poultry production.
Milo M. Hastings. The Dollar Hen. Syracuse: National Poultry Publishing Company, 1911.
Hastings wrote this to assist "in placing the poultry business on a sound scientific and economic basis" and "to help the poultryman to make money, not to spend it."
Walter Hogan. The Call of the Hen; or, The Science of the Selection and Breeding of Poultry. Petaluma Daily Courier, 1913.
A classic text from one of the pioneers of modern poultry management, developer of the "Hogan System."
Frederick Bruce Hutt. Genetics of the Fowl. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1949.
Dated, but useful, scientific look at what makes up a breed. Includes information on combs, skin, plumage, and eggs. 
Harry Lamon. The Mating and Breeding of Poultry. New York: Orange Judd, 1923, c1920.
Covers both principles and practices of breeding, and provides descriptions and advice concerning every breed then accepted to the standard. 
Harry Lamon. Poultry Breeding and Selection. Washington, DC: Lamon, 1932.
Lamon was Senior Poultryman for the National Poultry Institute. This book was written as a text for a course, and each chapter is a lesson. 
Harry Lamon. Practical Poultry Production. St. Paul: Webb, 1920.
A complete guide to poultry raising by the developer of the Lamona breed, from breeding to feeding, butchering to marketing. "
Kansas State University makes available its archive of historical bulletins, circulars, and reports as PDFs.
Many are related to chickens.
Frank L. Platt. The American Breeds of Poultry: Their Origin, History of Their Development, the Work of Constructive Breeders and how to Mate Each of the Varieties for Best Results. American Poultry Journal, 1921.
The subtitle describes the book well. The number of breeds included is limited.
Popular Poultry: Freeman Handbook No. 3. Freeman's Journal, 1889.
Advice for the Irish poultry keeper. Includes descriptions of the most popular breeds found in Ireland.
John Henry Robinson. First Lessons in Poultry Keeping: First Year Course. Farm-Poultry, 1905. First Lessons in Poultry Keeping: Second Year Course. Farm-Poultry, 1906. Principles and Practice of Poultry Culture. Ginn, 1912.
Three classic textbooks.
Standard-bred Poultry. 1912.
Published by the International Textbook Company for International Correspondence Schools, the volume has much detail on individual breeds and is nicely illustrated in color.
U. S. Department of Agriculture. Farmers Bulletin No. 51: Standard Varieties of Chickens, 1897.
Descriptions and illustrations of thoroughbred chickens from more than a century ago. Available through Chickenscope, a site from the University of Illinois that includes many topics related to chickens and eggs developed in cooperation with a group of Illinois schools.
Harry Upton. Breeding and selection of commercial poultry. Province of British Columbia Department of Agriculture Bulletin No. 74, 1917.
A 13-page booklet from a time when commercia poultry meant something different than it does today.
George C. Watson. Farm Poultry; a Popular Sketch of Domestic Fowls for the Farmer and Amateur. 9th edition. New York: Macmillan Company, 1919.
Watson provides in depth descriptions of breeds divided up in categories of egg, meat, general-purpose, and fancy. In addition there are chapters on housing, feeding, breeding, diseases and enemies.

This page authored and maintained by: John R. Henderson (jhenderson@ithaca.edu), Sage Hen Farm, Lodi, NY.
Last modified: October 6, 2014
URL: http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chlinks.html