Ready To Start Your Chicken Flock?

With their homegrown eggs and potential to become quite the loveable pet, chickens have been an important part of homestead living for decades. Whether they’re worked into a larger permaculture plan or reside in an urban backyard coop, chickens can be a great addition to your homestead!

Whether you’re just getting started with chicken keeping or have been raising them since you were a kid, we have all the resources to help you be the best chicken parent you can be. If you’re just getting started, check out our chicken coop plans and our articles on chicken hatcheries, buying chicks, and raising chicks.

Chicken Breeds:

See the full Chicken Breeds Guide, or click below to browse popular breeds.

Recent Chickens Posts

  • rocks piled at base of big coop

    7 Chicken Predators And How To Protect Your Flock

    When I still lived in the city, I dreamed of chickens. I browsed breed lists like a bride-to-be looks through wedding catalogs. I anticipated morning egg gathering, rooster crows, egg-laying cackles, and lots of free fertilizer! But for all my research, I had no idea what it would feel like to face what I grimly call “predator […] More

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    Gifts For Chicken Keepers

    As the holiday season approaches, many of us are struggling to decide what to get for our friends, to show thoughtfulness and care, without breaking the bank. This can be an especially hard decision to make if your friend is a down-to-earth, outdoorsy type who doesn’t care much about possessions. What gifts can you get […] More

  • Gardening Gifts

    ‘Tis the season of gift giving. Since colder weather has many of us stuck inside instead of in the dirt, we figured this holiday season is the perfect time to find the best in gardening gifts including gear, decor, reading – and of course, don’t forget some of those extra homesteading specialties. We’ve compiled over 70 […] More

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    Chicken Mites

    Like many animals, chickens can play host to parasites that live on skin, in feathers, and around their living spaces. One such parasite is Dermanyssus gallinae, the chicken mite, a tiny pest found worldwide, that stresses chickens, reduces egg production, and can also transmit diseases. Finding parasite infestations in your birds is always scary, but […] More

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    Chicken Feeders

    Once you’ve designed your chicken coop and decided on chicken breeds, choosing a style of feeder for your birds seems trivial, but it’s not! It can make your daily routine more efficient, keep your birds on a healthy diet, and reduce the chances of disease. Alternatively, choosing the wrong feeder can lead to overeating, wasted […] More

  • Egg Substitutes For When The Chickens Have Stopped Laying

    As happens on many homesteads, our chickens have stopped laying with the shorter winter days. We decided to let them follow their natural rhythms with the seasons and haven’t put a light in their coop to keep the eggs coming. We figure, if they naturally take a break for the season, we’ll let them follow […] More

  • Chicken Hatcheries

    When you want to start a flock of chickens or grow your existing flock, you have a number of options for how to go about purchasing chicks. Check out our article on where to buy chicks. One of the most cost-effective methods is to buy live chicks directly from a hatchery. So fluffy! ? Watch […] More

  • chicken tractor

    Chicken Tractor Plans

    When it comes to housing your flock of chickens, there are many options, but one of the most flexible is the chicken tractor. A chicken tractor is a portable coop that has many of the benefits of a stationary coop as well as a number of added benefits. Building the best structure for you and […] More

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    Chicken Coop Plans

    A well-built chicken coop is a worthwhile investment. Options range from simple and affordable to elaborate. With so many options available, and a world of creative possibilities to build yourself, it can seem daunting to decide what you want in a coop. Types Of Chicken Coops   Here are a few chicken coop design options: […] More

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    How To Clip Chicken Wings

    Clipping the flight wings on your backyard flock is a harmless and helpful domestic trick that is easy to learn. Clipping a chicken’s wings doesn’t hurt them and can be done at any age. Clipping a chicken’s wings is usually unnecessary until your chickens become adventuresome enough to try to escape their enclosure. Wing feathers […] More

  • Chicken Feed

    Mixing your own feed ration, rather than buying prepared feed, is one of the best ways to save money if you raise chickens (or any animal). You can also be certain about the quality and origin of what your animals are eating. However, to make sure your birds stay healthy, you have to mix the […] More

  • chicken in their chicken run

    Chicken Runs

    Despite the misleading title and the plot of a 2000 movie, a chicken run is intended to let chickens out as well as keep them in. A run is an outdoor enclosure that chickens or other animals can get into on their own. Usually, it’s attached to their coop. It allows them to get exercise and […] More

  • Chicken Diseases

    When you are raising animals, it is always stressful and frightening when they get sick. Here are some common ailments that can strike backyard chickens, and tips for prevention and care. Not all chicken deaths are caused by disease. Check out our article on chicken lifespans to find out more about how long a chicken […] More

  • chickens pecking about the yard

    Free Ranging: The Pros & Cons

    When I brought my first animals home to the farm there was no question in my mind as to whether they would live the life of free range animals. I wanted my animals to be just as free as I was, free to explore, roam, hunt for food, and live their own life while coexisting […] More

  • Bald Eagle Attacks Chicken

    Reddit user mvar posted this near death experience for one of his chickens. The lesson, as always, is to have surveillance video covering your entire homestead so you don’t miss amazing stuff like this. Our chicken expert says that visiting pet dogs are one the biggest dangers to her flock, but in this case it […] More

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    How To Humanely Kill A Chicken

    People learn to kill chickens for many reasons. As interest in local and ethical food increases, many meat-eaters have challenged themselves to raise and slaughter their own meat. People who keep backyard chickens for eggs often kill older chickens when they have passed their prime laying age. Even people who keep chickens as pets may […] More

  • Scott Woods-Fehr / Flickr (Creative Commons)

    How Long Do Chickens Live?

    When you pick up half a dozen fluffy, charming little chicks from the feed store and bring them home, it can be hard to remember—or to explain to your kids—that backyard chickens, like all creatures, eventually age and die. But how long do chickens live anyway, and why do they die? Here are some basics […] More

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    Keeping Chickens In Winter

    If you have chickens clucking around your backyard in the summer, you must know a thing or two about them. However, those long winter months are a different story. Some people don’t know exactly what it takes to keep their chickens happy in cold weather. Here are a few tips on how to care for your […] More

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    Best Chicken Breeds For City Living

    By the time neighbors acknowledge that you grow the most vigorous tomatoes and bake the tastiest bread around, you’ve probably thought more than once that raising chickens might be for you. Having done your homework, you know that more cities throughout the U.S. are permitting as many as four or six chickens in a backyard […] More

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    Where Do Chickens Come From?

    Do you know where your chickens come from? Not the store, or the farm, or even the breeder, but where the species first arose? Until fairly recently, neither did scientists. The chicken, so ubiquitous in our diets and increasingly in our backyards, have largely been ignored by scholars of domesticated animals. Cows, goats, even sheep […] More

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    The Brave Chickens Who Protect Us From Viral Epidemics

    A slightly battered chicken coop underneath a shade tree a few miles south of the Columbia River is a barracks for soldiers in the war against communicable disease. The coop houses the Western Umatilla Mosquito Control District’s sentinel chickens, the area’s first line of defense against West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Western Equine […] More

  • Heifer International -Cambodia, December 2015. Income II Project. Klang Savuth (43) (left), Kid Moa (43) and their son Ky Damkoeung (6) pose for a photo outside their home on December 08, 2015 in Kok Romeat Village, Cambodia.

    Why Bill Gates Would Raise Chickens

    What’s the best way to get a poor family in the developing world on the road to self-sufficiency? Cash? Education? Internet access? Tech industry pioneer Bill Gates has a decidedly low-tech suggestion. In a short and sweet post on his personal blog in June 2016, Bill Gates gave four main reasons why chickens are the […] More

  • baby chicks near coop

    Buying Baby Chicks: A First-Timer’s Guide

    Raising your own backyard chickens makes you feel connected to the source of your food, and proud of every egg you eat. There are lots of resources to help you get started if you are a first-time chicken owner. Here, we will look at where and how to buy baby chicks. Even if you’ve had […] More

  • 12 Chicken-Friendly Plants To Grow Next To Coops

    If you’ve had chickens for long, you probably have noticed that they eat all day long. They peck and scratch at the soil and eat every last bit of our kitchen scraps and leftovers. Letting your chickens free range, or giving them access to plenty of natural vegetation and/or rotating their grazing parameters, is the […] More

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    Concerns With Urban Animal Slaughter

    Photo Credit by VeryGeeky. This article is a response to a piece published by James McWilliams on June 6th, 2012. The article, titled “The Butcher Next Door: Why the rise of DIY urban animal slaughter is bad for people and animals,” tries to make the point that animal slaughter by untrained people in an […] More