The Best Chicken Books to Read

by Elaine Gaertner
Last Updated: 18/08/2020
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Once you have decided to raise chickens, you are going to need some guidance. Imagine having a book (or several books) that solves the exact problem you may be facing at a given moment, regarding your hens? And that is why every chicken keeper needs informative and reliable chicken books on their coffee table.

The books in this list provide a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to all things related to chickens.They cover things like assembling and maintaining your chicken coops, everyday chicken care, and chicken breeds. 

Other books talk about training the chickens and even understanding their body language. Some are a fun-take on the subject of chickens while others are no-nonsense and practical encyclopaedias about the birds. 

In any case, these chicken books have received great reviews from chicken enthusiasts all over the world and some have even been recommended at farmer workshops and programs on green, clean, and healthy living.

The Best Chicken Books

1. The Chicken Chick’s Guide to Backyard Chickens

Chickens book


Kathy Shea Mormino the author of The Chicken Chick’s guide is not just a writer; she is also the creative force behind an award-winning blog and Facebook page called ‘The Chicken Chick’.

Thanks to these ventures, Kathy has received international acclamation and has garnered a following of over a million fans worldwide.

In the Chicken Chick’s Guide to Backyard chickens, Kathy takes us from, step-by-step, process of assembling and managing a chicken coop to practical tips on solving everyday issues on chicken health. The book is beautifully illustrated which adds to its charm.

The book is very comprehensive and you can learn about breed selection, chicken health, coop management, and pretty much everything else you need to know when raising chickens.

2. The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens

Poultry book


Harvey Ussery’s Small Scale Poultry Flock is a comprehensive guide for the small-scale chicken keeper or farmer.

The best part about Ussery’s book is that he talks about natural systems and gives practical and integrative models for working with chickens and other domestic fowl.

Many chicken books do not talk about chicken anatomy which is covered in this book. This is critical to poultry management. Additionally, Ussery provides expert holistic tips for health management, planning the flock, egg versus meat production, and even making your own chicken feed.

You will also learn how to compost waste, enhance soil fertility, and prevent insects from harming your garden. Ussery also provides wonderful recipes for eggs and chickens. Extensive illustrations will also provide you with step-by-step poultry butchering.

3. How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say

How to speak chicken book


Melissa Caughey has created a masterpiece in ‘How To Speak Chicken’. The author’s quirky take on how chickens behave in the coop, why they do what they do, and what makes these birds tick, is as entertaining as it is informative.

Caughey believes that chickens are not ‘dumb birds’, unlike the common misconception; humans just don’t know how to speak chicken and that is the problem.

But with a chicken ‘interpreter’ in the form of this book, you will not only be in a better position to take care of your chickens but also understand how intelligent they are!

The book is a fun representation of interaction between a ‘mother’ and her ‘pets’. It is in story form, so it is likely to be entertaining for young readers as well.

4. The Chicken Encyclopedia: An Illustrated Reference

Chicken encyclopedia


Gail Damerow’s Chicken Encyclopaedia is a fun book for kids and grownups alike. It covers a ready-reference for all things related to chickens: from air sacs to crossed beak to zygote; Damerow covers it all.

Illustrations make it easier to understand difficult terms and make it a fun-read for avid young readers.

Note that this is a dictionary of sorts. It does cover information of different species of chickens but if you are looking for in-depth information, this is not your book. It is a descriptive book for tools, equipment, and supplies that a chicken farmer would need.

5. Raising Chickens For Dummies

chickens for dummies


Kimberley Willis’s Raising Chickens for Dummies is a complete guide for beginners looking to raise chickens.

It is a manual of modern chicken-raising methods and discusses up-to-date information on everything one needs to know in order to raise chickens in their backyard.

6. Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens: Breed Selection, Facilities, Feeding, Health Care, Managing Layers & Meat Birds

Raising chickens book


Another book by Gail Damerow! This is considered to be the Bible for the beginner to backyard chicken-keeper.

As the title suggests, Storey’s guide covers everything about chickens from selecting the right breeds, their feeding, and health management, all the way to meat production.

Colorful photographs and illustrations make Damerow’s chicken book an interesting read.

Damerow also covers topics like chicks, eggs, complete chicken healthcare, natural behaviour and managing behavioural issues along with all the latest research on related topics.

7. The Chicken Health Handbook: A Complete Guide to Maximizing Flock Health and Dealing with Disease

Chicken health book


Another gem from Gail Damerow on chicken health! You know you can turn to Damerow’s wise counsel when you have a chicken-health problem.

In this guide, she provides expert advice on chicken nutrition, chicken diseases, reproduction and related issues, along with natural methods to enhance the immunity of the birds. She also discusses ways to avoid avian flu with the latest scientific research and a holistic approach.

The book is packed with practical advice for new and experienced flock-owners.

8. 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks

Chicken keeping hacks


Lisa Steele, the author of Chicken Keeping Hacks, has been raised on her grandparents’ farm. There she learned a lot of tips, tricks, and hacks needed to maintain the health of chickens – practical knowledge that she has laid down in this book. 

Lisa talks about feeding chicken healthy homemade feed, coop maintenance to ensure safe and comfortable dwelling for your flock, DIY coop building and assembly, ways to create a veritable playground for the birds, money-saving tips and hacks for farmers and gardeners, natural remedies for preventing and treating common chicken health problems, as well as easy chicken projects like making candles and other useful household stuff. 

She also discusses important topics like natural pest control and garden management.

This is a wonderful book from a fifth-generation chicken keeper.

9. A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens

Kid's guide to keeping chickens


Children who grow up around chickens learn a great deal about the food chain, our nature and environment, the importance of being kind to the planet and animals, about healthy, organic foods, composting, preventing and managing waste, soil fertilizing and improvement, and most importantly about taking on responsibilities.

What better way than this to make them better citizens of tomorrow? Melissa Caughey, the author of A Kid’s Guide To Keeping Chickens discusses everything from feeding and housing chickens to egg collection, disease prevention, breed selection, along with practical and creative ideas to keep the flock happy and stimulated.

She also discusses some delicious egg recipes; so basically this is a book every young reader who is enthusiastic about chickens should have on their reading list.

10. Gardening with Chickens: Plans and Plants for You and Your Hens

Gardening with chickens


Another gem from Lisa Steele! Lisa teaches us about everything about gardening and chicken keeping: right from the basics like planning your garden’s location, to managing window boxes, and allowing chickens to graze in the gardens while also enjoying one’s harvest. 

With simple tips on ways to make chicken feed more nutritious, your chickens will enjoy a healthy immune system and create eggs with yolks that are vibrant orange, delicious, and packed with nutrition.

This book is a logical and easy-to-follow guide on garden planning and maintenance that will benefit chickens and vice-a-versa.


There are many chicken books on the market. If you are planning to raise backyard chickens, then go through different books and read their summary and reviews. Then select one that best answers your queries.

A vast majority of the books in the list above focus on A-Z topics of chicken keeping. However, some are encyclopedias or general gardening and chicken management books.

I hope the brief book reviews above help you make an informed choice about which chicken books to keep on your bookshelf and reference when needed.

To learn more about raising chickens, see our resources page.

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