5 Best Books for Raising Chickens (All Levels of Experience)

brown chicken eggs on a table

The Best 5 Books for Raising Chickens (Reviews)

Whether you’re brand new to raising chickens, or you’ve been keeping hen’s for years, these books are filled with tips and techniques that will come in handy for every chicken owner.

There is something about raising chickens that is good for the soul. Their energy and enthusiasm for life is infectious. Sitting on a front porch, watching your girls scratch, peck, take a dust bath, and run helter-skelter for no apparent reason, is better than any television drama.

The best part, of course, is carrying a still-warm egg in your hand that you just collected, and cracking it open into a frying pan. The vibrant orange yolk is a sure sign that you are feeding and tending your flock to perfection.

Maybe you are considering raising your own flock. Perhaps you are well into the chicken raising experience. One way or the other, you are going to have unanswered questions about your chickens. There are some great resources to provide the answers you need, at the tip of your fingers. 

Here are some of the best books for raising chickens that can provide you with all the basic information you need to tend your backyard flock.

The Best Books for Raising Chickens

Best of The Best

1. The Chicken Chick’s Guide to Backyard Chickens: Simple Steps for Healthy, Happy Hens

The Chicken Chick's Guide to Backyard Chickens: Simple Steps for Healthy, Happy Hens

For those who prefer not to “wing it” when it comes to raising chickens, Chicken Chick’s Guide, will provide you with information about all aspects of chicken raising. The internationally renowned author, Kathy Shea Mormino, has a refreshing, down-to-earth perspective on how to raise chickens. 

Kathy’s online presence compliments the resources in her book with an award-winning Facebook page, blog, and live feeds. Her extensive knowledge of chickens will take you through the process of how to select the best breed, how to build a coop, care for chickens, chicken health, and much more. 

Kathy collaborated with poultry professionals for her book. She includes insights from veterinarians, nutritionists, and even poultry professors. Her simple-step approach allows the reader to begin and care for a flock with confidence. What makes this book unique is the fun and humorous presentation of the material. Kathy has a unique blend of facts and personal stories that make the reader smile as they learn the art of chicken raising. 

The reviews for Chicken Chick’s Guide reveal that readers are very pleased with the well-organized format. The comprehensive guide provides the instructions needed to begin or maintain a flock. Her book not only disseminates the facts but also dispels some of the rumors that surround backyard chicken raising. This is a reliable and fact-filled book that will prove to be an invaluable resource for anyone looking for guidance down the path to tending a chicken flock.   

Pros:

  • Straightforward and easy to follow guidelines
  • Great for new chicken raisers
  • Beautiful photos
  • Common sense approach to raising chickens
  • Entertaining to read
  • Practical information with online support through blogs and live feeds

Cons:

  • Beginner level mixed with expert
  • No-eating-chickens approach

Most Researched and Comprehensive

2. Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, 4th Edition: Breed Selection, Facilities, Feeding, Health Care, Managing Layers & Meat Birds

Gail Damerow has written an authoritative, beneficial, and practical guide to all aspects of raising laying and meat chickens. This best-selling chicken raising guide has been used as a reference for over 20 years and has been redesigned and updated with the most current and relevant information.

Storey’s Guide will take you through every topic from selecting your breed of chicken, through food, shelter, healthcare, eggs, and meat. She even includes the latest information on chicken behavior and communication. This guide will provide you will everything you need to know about managing a flock. The color photos and illustrations bring to life the information on breed, anatomy, and health.

Gail is an experienced farmer in Tennessee where she and her husband grow most of their own food. She has written extensively on raising livestock and includes much of her own experience and insights in her books. Gail has published several books and has written for periodicals. She also has additional information available through her blog.

Readers have found her book easy-to-read and engaging. She has a practical and simple writing style that is engaging and fun. It’s a book that can be helpful for the experienced poultry enthusiast or someone wanting to learn more about chickens. This is a great book to keep on hand as a comprehensive reference book for raising chickens. 

Pros:

  • A comprehensive guide for chicken raisers of every experience level
  • Every topic is covered in an easy-to-read format
  • Well-researched 
  • Up-to-date information
  • Beautiful color illustrations
  • Engaging writing style
  • Great combination of general and specific advice

Cons:

  • Some of the topics could be covered in more depth
  • Some chapters are repetitive

Easiest To Read

3. The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens: How to Raise a Happy Backyard Flock

The Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens: How to Raise a Happy Backyard Flock

This beginner’s guide provides simple and easy advice for starting and keeping chickens in your backyard. You’ll learn how to raise chicks and build a coop. You will get all the tips and info you need to keep your chickens happy and healthy.

In The Beginner’s Guide, you will learn not only how to pick a breed and raise the chicks, but you will learn the ins and outs of egg collection and keeping your hens safe from predators. Understand poultry terminology and use the extensive glossary to look up topics and terms.

Author Anne Kuo is an experienced backyard chicken raiser, gardener, and homesteader with the ideology of sustainable living. She has spent countless hours educating herself on every aspect of raising chickens. A writer with an appreciation of the lighter side of life, she is the instigator of the Instagram sensation, Real Hens of Orange County.

Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens is not just a book for beginners. Seasoned chicken raisers have left reviews expressing their love for this book. It more than covers the basics and gives great advice on a variety of topics that may help with questions more experienced chicken enthusiasts might have. 

Pros:

  • Very engaging writing style
  • Solid references to back information
  • Great as a chicken refresher course
  • Will assist beginning chicken owners in all they need to know to raise poultry
  • Gives real-world advice on what to expect when bringing chickens into your family

Cons:

  • Not as comprehensive as some other chicken guides

Best For Newbies

4. Raising Chickens For Dummies

Raising Chickens For Dummies (For Dummies (Pets))

In the true style of doing ANYTHING for dummies, Raising Chickens for Dummies, meets the bar when it comes to providing the most up-to-date methods of raising chickens. This manual provides easy, hands-on instructions on everything from picking your breed, building a coop, feeding, health and laying issues, controlling pests, optimizing egg production, and keep predators from eating your birds.

Backyard chicken raising is becoming increasingly popular and is a fast-growing hobby. If you are looking for a plain and simple explanation of everything you need to know about selecting a breed, chicken biology, behaviors, health, coop building and more, this is the guide for you.

This comprehensive guide will begin at the basics. Learn how to incubate, hatch, and nurture baby chicks. You will get the basics of collecting and storing eggs. Take your chicken raising one step further and learn how to butcher chickens for meat. 

If you are raising birds for the first time, or a more experienced bird raiser, this guide is a great resource for every aspect of raising chickens.

Pros:

  • Explains chicken biology and behavior
  • A comprehensive guide to feeding chickens
  • Helps you recognize and treat diseases
  • Breeding tips
  • Provides the latest trends in urban farming
  • Learn how to butcher your own chickens

Cons:

  • Not as personable and fun to read as other chicken guides

Best Quick Start Guide

5. Backyard Chickens: A Practical Handbook to Raising Chickens

Backyard Chickens: A Practical Handbook to Raising Chickens

Written by a fourth-generation chicken raiser, this practical and extensive guide covers all aspects of keeping chickens happy and healthy. It begins with selecting the best breed for you and covers all the nuts and bolts of raising a flock. 

Backyard Chickens includes common problems like bullying and health concerns. It is suited for both veterans and beginners by providing different degrees of the details which allow all experience levels to stay engaged. Color photos and illustrations are excellent for highlighting important information.

Author, Claire Woods, is the editor of The Happy Chicken Coop, a popular poultry blog that provides facts and tips on chicken raising. With millions of followers, Claire has her finger on the pulse of backyard chicken raisers’ popular topics and unanswered questions. 

Pros:

  • Covers all the topics you need to know to become a backyard chicken raiser
  • A great “go-to” book for any questions you have about raising chickens
  • Is suitable for beginner or more experienced chicken raisers
  • Very easy to read
  • Provides up-to-date and relevant information in an expanding hobby

Cons:

  • Not as comprehensive as other chicken guides
  • Could be better organized, some complaints about the ease of looking up topics

Final Thoughts

Whether your brand new to keeping chickens, or you’ve been raising them for many years, there’s always something new to learn from other folks who do the same thing. And having a good book that’s full of solid information is a great way to tap into that knowledge base.

There are many books about raising chickens out there that I didn’t mention in this article. But what I was able to do was narrow it down to what I believe to be 5 of the best books for raising chickens. You can’t go wrong with any of the chicken books I talked about here.

But if you’re going to pick up just one, then I highly recommend grabbing a copy of the The Chicken Chick’s Guide to Backyard Chickens: Simple Steps for Healthy, Happy Hens.

(Top Pick) Best Book For Raising Chickens

The Chicken Chick's Guide to Backyard Chickens: Simple Steps for Healthy, Happy Hens

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