- See both the University of Michigan's Making of America and Cornell
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
- 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
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
Caponizing Set Instruction Book. Chicago: Sears, Roebuck, and Co.,
- Available as a Web page and a pdf file (tools not
these instructions are provided by the Palm Beach County Poultry
- Charles Wyllys Elliott. "The
Poultry Lovers." The Galaxy. Volume 8 (July 1869): pp.
- An essay on poultry and poultry farmers that is part
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,
- Hastings wrote this to assist "in placing the poultry
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
Includes information on combs, skin, plumage, and eggs.
- Harry Lamon. The
Mating and Breeding of Poultry. New York: Orange Judd, 1923,
- Covers both principles and practices of breeding, and
descriptions and advice concerning every breed then accepted to the
- Harry Lamon. Poultry
Breeding and Selection. Washington, DC: Lamon, 1932.
- Lamon was Senior Poultryman for the National Poultry
This book was written as a text for a course, and each chapter is a
- 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.
- John Henry Robinson. First
in Poultry Keeping: First Year Course. Farm-Poultry, 1905. First
in Poultry Keeping: Second Year Course. Farm-Poultry, 1906. Principles and
Practice of Poultry Culture. Ginn, 1912.
- Three classic textbooks.
- Published by the International Textbook Company for
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
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
- 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
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
categories of egg, meat, general-purpose, and fancy. In addition there
are chapters on housing, feeding, breeding, diseases and enemies.