Planning to Start Raising Poultry


If you are planning to start raising poultry for the first time it is important that you understand best management practices.

Planning to Start Raising Poultry

Sex-link hens in their coop

General Considerations

  • Check all local ordinances, zoning laws, and property association rules to see if you can raise chickens in your area.
  • Follow laws and apply for permits if required.
  • Roosters are not necessary in a flock for hens to lay eggs.
  • Due to economies of scale, producing eggs in small flocks will usually be more expensive than buying the eggs.
  • Chickens require daily care and monitoring. They need to be fed and watered, and eggs collected daily. Develop a plan for who will care for the birds when you are away.
  • Chickens must be fenced in for their own security.
  • Manure/litter is a great soil amendment if composed properly. Applied directly to the soil, the high nitrogen levels can kill plants.

Raising Fowl in Urban Areas is a good publication if you are just becoming interested in raising poultry on your property or have been for years, remember that diplomacy and cooperation can help avoid conflicts. If you are raising birds in an urban environment, follow some of the suggestions provided in this fact sheet so you can prevent yourself and others raising animals in your community from unnecessary conflict and ordinances.

Prepared by Phillip J. Clauer, Penn State Extension and Department of Animal Science.


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