Top Chickens Book Reviewed and Compared: 2021 Essential Reads

Have you ever come across a chicken problem and thought, “If only I had the ultimate guide to raise chickens!” You’d have all the answers you’d ever need to rear a healthy flock.

Luckily, everything you really need to know about chickens can be found in practical and well-written chickens books!

In this guide, we look at the best books for successful chicken keeping, and which ones should definitely make it onto your list for raising poultry.

The Best Books in Our Winning Categories

Top Pick

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

For every beginner chicken hobbyist looking to expand their knowledge, this book could be the ultimate guide.

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

Kathy Shea Mormino does it again with her guide to chicken keeping.

The Chicken Chick makes it into the top category because it is an easy, fun, and informative book.

I thoroughly appreciated her personal approach, which is based on her own experiences with chickens.

Best Book on Raising Chickens

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens

A practical guide to raising farm and meat chickens. Explores every aspect, from basic care to rearing meat and backyard fowl.

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens

Damerow’s book on raising chickens is a great guide for new and seasoned poultry owners. She explores every aspect, from basic care to rearing meat and backyard fowl.

It is definitely worthy of our best chicken books category because it is based on Gail Damerow’s 20 years of personal experience in managing poultry!

Best Backyard Chickens Book

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

A simple and informative guide that gives attention to the little details that all novice chicken owners need to know.

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

For those who want to start raising a flock, this beginner’s guide earns the best choice. This book pays attention to the little details that all novice chicken owners need to know.

The exploration of different breeds and the free coop plans are a real bonus!

Best Chickens Book For Children

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

Filled with valuable information concerning chicken health and their behavior.

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

Melissa Caughey’s “How to Speak Chicken” is a great book for children to learn more about their feathered pets!

It includes a light-hearted tone that is simple for every young reader to enjoy.

It is also filled with valuable information concerning chicken health and producing beautiful eggs.

The Best Books for Chicken Keeping in 2021

101 Chicken Keeping Hacks

A real treasure for both urban and rural enthusiasts who want to know everything about raising chickens the natural way.

101 Chicken Keeping Hacks

Author Lisa Steele is an avid homesteader with years of poultry experience.

Her book, 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks is a real treasure for both urban and rural enthusiasts who want to know everything about raising chickens the natural way.

Keeping it Natural

I like what Steele says about fermented feed, garden herbs, and natural mite sprays, and she also presents some unique upcycling ideas for coops!

It is a pleasant read for those who want to raise a flock with natural and affordable feeds.

Chicken Raising Hacks

Lisa shares her farm adventures and every hack she’s incorporated for healthy birds and scrumptious eggs.

Her coop-to-table recipes and knowledge as a herbalist will help you prepare nutritious meals to raise chickens on.

Specs

  • Book Type: Natural tips and remedies
  • Book Formats: Kindle, Paperback, Spiral
  • Ideal for: New and seasoned hobbyists

Pros

  • Homemade recipes to feed chickens
  • Natural remedies to prevent ill health
  • Garden tricks for keeping chickens
  • Fun graphics

Cons

  • Not all recommendations are practical or cheap

Best Book on Raising Chickens

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens

A practical guide to raising farm and meat chickens. Explores every aspect, from basic care to rearing meat and backyard fowl.

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens

If you were ever looking for a practical guide to raising farm and meat chickens, this is it. The fourth edition poultry book by Gail Damerow is a helpful reference for farmers and for those raising their own flock.

Based on 20 years as a best-seller, this book is a must-have for beginner chicken keeping!

What I really like about this guide is that it is easy to read.

Visuals

Damerow’s book on chickens is also beautifully illustrated, which makes every chapter intriguing.

It is simple to understand and a really good choice for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge.

Not Just For Beginners

This revised book on chickens is considered a helpful handbook for first-time and experienced owners.

It is also a valuable addition for those who want to raise different breeds of poultry, from hatching eggs to laying hens.

Specs

  • Book Type: Guidebook
  • Book Formats: Kindle and paperback
  • Ideal for: Beginner and experienced urban and rural chicken keepers

Pros

  • Easy to understand with an engaging style of writing
  • Illustrated stories
  • Healthcare tips for layers and meat birds

Cons

  • A very long read of 424 pages

Backyard Chickens: A Practical Handbook to Raising Chickens

A great guide for novice chicken owners who want to improve their general knowledge.

Backyard Chickens: A Practical Handbook to Raising Chickens

This book is filled with personal stories and interesting facts on raising a flock.

It is a great guide for novice chicken owners who want to improve their general knowledge. The Handbook to Raising Chickens by Claire Woods will cover the basics you need to raise chickens in a suburban setting.

Well-Illustrated

The simple text and shared personal experiences are all about rearing backyard flocks.

It is also a fun read for kids who want to learn more about their feathered companions.

The practical handbook includes illustrations in color and in black and white.

Kid Friendly

If you are looking for a quick read that kids will enjoy too, then Claire Wood’s fourth edition handbook is for you.

It is certainly practical and offers a kind approach to raising the healthiest backyard birds.

Specs

  • Book Type: Handbook with stories
  • Book Formats: Kindle and paperback
  • Ideal for: Novice chicken keepers

Pros

  • Easy to reference
  • Covers the basics of raising backyard chickens
  • Good book if you’re new to the hobby

Cons

  • Images without captions

Hatching and Brooding Your Own Chicks by Gail

Filled with entertaining and educational tips on brooding different breeds of poultry.

Hatching and Brooding Your Own Chicks by Gail

Whether you are experienced or new to raising chicks, the guide by Gail Damerow covers essential coop practices.

Gail is no stranger to raising chickens, and her book is filled with entertaining and educational tips on brooding different breeds of poultry.

Easy To Read

What I found interesting about Gail’s guide is the writing style.

It reads like a textbook and includes a glossary and index, which make it easier to find specific information to raise chicks.

The easy-to-read manual covers the basics and more advanced chick-rearing techniques.

Promotes Humane Chicken Rearing

The book is broken into two parts, where the first section covers brooding and the second explores hatching.

I personally like that it encourages seasoned rural breeders to benefit from humane practices for hatching chicks. With Gail’s chick-rearing guide, you will find need-to-know tips and advice to breed guineas, chickens, duck, geese, and more.

Specs

  • Book Type: Manual
  • Book Format: Kindle and Paperback
  • Ideal for: Novice and experienced poultry breeders

Pros

  • Detailed educational guide
  • Easy to reference
  • Quality illustrations
  • Unique chick-rearing and sexing tips

Cons

  • Lacks incubator details

Best Chickens Book For Children

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

Filled with valuable information concerning chicken health and their behavior.

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

Ever looked at your chickens and wondered what they’re thinking?

The entertaining book by Melissa Caughey is not only fun to read, but also incredibly informative.

It will certainly leave you with a few ‘aha!’ moments as you learn the reasons behind chicken behaviors, calls, and squabbles!

Understand Chickens Better

Melissa makes it easier to learn the language of chickens based on her combination of observation and scientific data.

Her advice will help you address pecking order issues, daily behaviors, and ways of identifying different calls.

Engaging and Straightforward

I like that this book has a simple and engaging writing style.

It is written from the perspective of the author, is straight to the point, and is perfect for backyard chicken keepers to understand.

Certainly a good choice if you are new to the hobby.

Specs

  • Book Type: Fun facts
  • Book Format: Kindle & paperback
  • Ideal for: Beginner & intermediate keepers

Pros

  • Full of fun and interesting facts
  • Unique take on learning how chickens communicate
  • Good book to share with kids who love chickens

Cons

  • Covers only the basics

Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics

From raising healthy hens and eggs to managing the molting season this answers the questions of every urban chicken owner.

Backyard Chickens Beyond the Basics

Author Pam Freeman answers the questions of every urban chicken owner with her detailed book on chicken keeping.

From raising healthy hens and eggs to managing the molting season, Pam has taken care to cover the finer details of raising backyard chickens.

Writing Style

I prefer the Q&A format that is presented in this book.

It makes it easier to read and is pretty helpful for beginners raising chickens.

This guide is also an attractive read because it offers valuable advice and detailed explanations.

Well Illustrated

Every poultry enthusiast is sure to appreciate the beautiful photos of different chickens.

If you have a question about keeping a rooster or protecting chickens against predators, this is the book for you. It is simple yet informative and provides useful tips for raising chickens.

Specs

  • Book Type: Full guide
  • Book Format: Kindle & paperback
  • Ideal for: Beginner and intermediate keepers

Pros

  • A pleasant read with beautiful photos
  • Covers breed selection, care, and health

Cons

  • Fails to provide in-depth advice beyond the beginner level

Top Pick

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

For every beginner chicken hobbyist looking to expand their knowledge, this book could be the ultimate guide.

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

For every beginner chicken hobbyist looking to expand their knowledge, this book could be the ultimate guide.

The Chicken Chick’s Guide to Backyard Chickens is written by the no-nonsense lover of chickens, Kathy Shea Mormino.

It explores everything from choosing the right breed to setting up a secure coop for urban keepers.

Writing Style

I enjoy Kathy’s fun yet authoritative advice for raising backyard chickens.

I love how she really covers every angle to raising chickens with care.

The well-written text is simple, straightforward, and informative while her full range of ideas encourages the reader to learn about their birds and what they need to be healthy and happy.

Content

The Chicken Chick is a fair read that everyone who is new to backyard chickens should own. I like that this guide offers a combination of photos and interesting information.

Kathy’s love and appreciation for chickens really come through in this book, which says a lot about her enthusiasm and dedication to raising chickens.

Specs

  • Book Type: Detailed guide for raising chickens
  • Book Format: Kindle and paperback
  • Ideal for: New urban chicken hobbyists

Pros

  • Well written and fun to read
  • Detailed advice for small flock owners
  • Beautiful images

Cons

  • General information can be found online

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

Cover every aspect of planning a garden from keeping chickens out of vegetable beds to choosing the right edibles for scrumptious eggs.

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

Providing your chickens natural greens straight from the garden is a healthier way to care for them.

Fortunately, Gardening with Chickens by Lisa Steele makes it easy to create a chicken-friendly garden. Her unique ideas cover every aspect of planning a garden from keeping chickens out of vegetable beds to choosing the right edibles for scrumptious eggs.

Writing Style

I enjoy Lisa’s friendly tone in her writing. She cleverly combines gardening with raising chickens.

Lisa also caters to every reader from gardening enthusiasts and chicken hobbyists to a combination of the two.

Content

If you want to grow a lush garden for happy chickens, this book is the answer.

Gardening with Chickens looks at the best herbs to plant around the coop for pest prevention.

I love what she says about seasonal and rotational planting for robust birds and tasty eggs. This can be a really valuable addition for those who practice natural and small chicken keeping.

Specs

  • Book Type: Tips and illustrations
  • Book Format: Kindle & paperback
  • Ideal for: Novice and experienced chicken owners

Pros

  • A friendly approach to gardening with chickens
  • Explores the best plants and fencing
  • How to use chickens to improve your garden (tilling and composting)
  • Attractive photos

Cons

  • Some information is outdated

Raising Chickens for Dummies

A simple, yet incredibly informative book that can help you learn the basics of raising chickens.

Raising Chickens for Dummies

When you’re getting ready to raise a backyard chicken, you need to know how to care for them, how to build the right coop, and how to pick the right chicken breed.

To help you learn the basics with the most updated information, Raising Chickens for Dummies is one of the best books available.

Easy to Understand

What I found pleasantly surprising about this book was how simple, yet incredibly informative it is.

The handbook is perfect for those who want to raise chickens in their backyards but are unsure where to start. As the reader, I could personally relate to many of the topics covered.

Content

The authors Kimberley Willis and Robert T. Ludlow covers feeding your chickens, preventing laying problems, and outlines steps to protect against pests for small-scale hobbyists. Any reader could find Raising Chickens for Dummies valuable and enjoyable.

Specs

  • Book Type: Handbook
  • Book Format: Kindle and paperback
  • Ideal for: First-time backyard chicken owners

Pros

  • Simple and informative
  • Well-researched
  • Practical tips to learn and apply

Cons

  • A lengthy book of 432 pages

Best Backyard Chicken Book

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

A simple and informative guide that gives attention to the little details that all novice chicken owners need to know.

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

Definitely not one to miss for a first-time chicken enthusiast! Anne Kuo is a homesteader and backyard chicken owner who shares her passion and knowledge for chicken keeping with her readers.

Content

It introduces you to the basics and includes coop plans for small-scale farming.

Anne’s book also ties in with her popular chicken care post online.

Her compassionate yet straightforward guide includes a glossary for easy reference and tips for novice chicken owners.

Writing Style

This book is informative, yet straightforward and simple enough for kids to understand. As a chicken owner myself, I could refresh what I’d forgotten about general chicken health. It is a fun read and covers the finer details of chicken keeping.

Specs

  • Book Type: Beginner Guide
  • Book Formats: Kindle, paperback, and spiral-bound
  • Ideal for: Beginners

Pros

  • Easy to learn guidelines
  • Basic coop plans included
  • Personalized information that kids will enjoy reading

Cons

  • Purely for beginners

Why are Chicken Books Important?

Chicken books are important because they offer easy to follow steps and practical information…

Chickens are interesting little creatures who are really good at fending for themselves, but do need some support from their human companions along the way.

Chicken books are important because they offer easy to follow steps and practical information you can use to raise a healthy flock.

The different guides on raising chickens are meant to educate readers with essential steps covering every life stage and requirement.

TIP

There are also many fun guides you can introduce children to, which encourages compassion and expands their knowledge.

How Do You Know Which Chicken Books to Choose?

Hardcover Book on a Wooden Surface
Hardcover Book on a Wooden Surface

I remember the first day I brought my 8-week old chicks home…

I had a makeshift run, one bag of powdered food, and the idea that chickens would pretty much fend for themselves.

I was highly mistaken! My chicks ended up inside my house until I built a coop and ensured their diet met their every need.

If I had started with a recommended chicken book, I could have saved a lot of time and money.

Setting

To know which book is right for you, start by looking at urban vs. rural chicken keeping.

If you live in the city or you are new to raising poultry, consider backyard chicken books. 

Backyard chicken-keeping guides are created for small-scale hobbyists.

Topics

From handbooks to personal stories, you can find everything from basic care and feeding chickens to building coops and raising hens for eggs.

There are also books for agricultural purposes and raising meat chickens on a larger scale.

What to Consider when Choosing a Chicken Book?

Chicken Carried by a Person
Chicken Carried by a Person

With so many titles available, it is easy to see why many hobbyists get confused.

While you can view a post or two online, nothing beats the value of beautifully created paperbacks.

Whenever I need a new book, I consider the following factors to make the right choice:

Subject

Start your search by determining the type of book you need.

Are you trying to improve the quality of eggs, do you want to predator-proof a coop, or perhaps you want to plant a garden for chickens? The subject will help you narrow your choices.

Experience

If you’re new to keeping chickens and you live in an urban area, consider backyard chicken keeping and beginner guides to raising chickens.

These books are developed with first-time tips and information to start raising backyard chickens the right way.

If you need an idea on how a book could help you, here’s a quick review of the Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens book from Chicken Wired.

Updated Information

Are you looking for the latest practices and advice for raising chickens? Consider newer editions of books that incorporate recent developments and research.

TIP

You may want to consider updated information on topics such as disease prevention and treatment, choosing the best feeds, and predator-proofing coops.

Why are Chicken Books Important?

Chickens Roaming Outside Coop

Chicken books provide a trusted resource of information. From little coops to large-scale farming, valuable guides are created to help every poultry keeper find the answers they need.

While you also have the option to go online and check out a post, nothing beats the wealth of information that carefully written books can provide.

Conclusion

Books on chickens can be full of interesting facts and really valuable information.

Even the most experienced chicken hobbyists can learn a thing or two from chicken-keeping guides.

To choose the right resource for you and your chickens, consider the purpose of the book, your experience (no matter how little), and the problems it addresses.

Affordable

Chicken books are also inexpensive and most are simple to understand.

This makes it easier for any hobbyist to become successful at raising chickens.

Aided by the winning categories of books, you’ll be sure to find the right reads for your needs!

Children’s Book About Chickens

For a fun guide to chicken communication, Melissa Caughey helps you learn “Why Chickens Do What They Do.” Gail Damerow has released a handbook for novice and seasoned poultry owners focused on raising different breeds.

Backyard Chickens Book

You can even find coop plans in “The Beginners Guide to Raising Chickens” by Anne Kuo.

Never Too Late To Start!

There is definitely a book for every kind of chicken keeper!

No matter your experience or knowledge, there is always something new to learn. And one thing’s for sure – you can find the most valuable information for successful chicken keeping in the pages of an exceptionally written book.

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Jess Woods
Jess Woods
Founder of Chickens & You. I love raising chickens and creating a self sustainable homestead for my family. I like to spend my time writing and teaching skills for homesteading and self sufficient living. 🐓 👩‍🌾