Best Practices for Open-Air Poultry Slaughter - Oregon poultry producers who meet certain conditions can slaughter chicken, turkey and other birds in an open-air setting. But they still must meet requirements for sanitation, monitoring, recordkeeping and more. These resources can help poultry farmers operate in a safe, sanitary and environmentally sound manner.

    Raising Baby Chicks - Chickens are quite suitable for most small farming enterprises. The birds produce eggs and/or meat for the table and a great nitrogen rich fertilizer for the garden. To have a successful flock, all producers, large and small must follow a few simple rules for years of productivity and enjoyment.

    From Convenience to Commitment: Securing the Long-Term Viability of Local Meat Processing and Poultry Production - This technical report examines the issue of small, local producers needing appropriately scaled processing facilities while those facilities need more consistent business to remain profitable. Highlighting successful case studies, this report suggests commitment - from both processors and farmers - is critical for mutual success. 

    Labeling Requirements under Oregon's 1000 Bird Exemption - If you are processing and selling under Oregon's 1000 bird exemption, you are required to attach a label to each package with the information from ODA listed in this publication.  

    Meat and Poultry Processing Regulations in Oregon: A Short Guide - Federal law requires that meat and poultry are processed at a federally-inspected facility to be sold as human food. The law contains some limited exceptions allowing the sale of uninspected meat and poultry. However, with only one small exception (discussed in this guide), Oregon law requires that to be sold as food, meat and poultry species must be processed in a state-approved and state-licensed facility.

    Growing Broilers in Oregon: Facts for the Potential Grower - For many years, broiler chickens have been selected for fast growth, large size, good body conformation, and efficient feed conversion. With the demand for chicken meat, the broiler industry should remain stable for many years.

    Avoiding Residues in Small Poultry and Game Bird Flocks - Residues in poultry are leftovers of compounds used in the production of birds to reduce or eliminate disease organisms or parasites. Compounds used indirectly, such as rodenticides, insecticides, and herbicides, can become residues if birds inadvertently come into contact with them.

    Growing Your Range Poultry Business: An Entrepreneur's Toolbox - This Toolbox is written for anyone who desires to make a profit from range poultry production, whether by direct-marketing 'pastured poultry,' building a processing plant, or working cooperatively with other producers.

    Range Poultry Housing - In this publication experienced pastured-poultry producer Robert Plamondon discusses housing designs for outdoor production, including daily-move pens, machine-portable housing, fixed housing, and feed shelters. Numerous examples of different types of poultry housing are pictured and described.

    Small-Scale Poultry Processing - This publication covers small-scale processing, both on-farm and in small plants. A growing number of small producers are raising poultry outdoors on pasture, processing the birds on-farm or in regional processing facilities, and selling the meat directly to customers at the farm or at a farmers' market. Access to processing is a critical issue for small producers.

    Alternative Poultry Production Systems and Outdoor Access - This publication discusses differences between alternative and conventional production systems. Common poultry housing approaches are also discussed, as well as integrating poultry production with vegetable production or livestock grazing. Production topics such as outdoor access, pasture management, and predator control are also addressed.

    A Small-Scale Agriculture Alternative: Poultry - To ensure profitability, small specialty poultry producers must do careful research on market opportunities. Successful producers for niche markets usually have unique products, good customer loyalty, limited competition, and the ability to maintain a profit margin when in competition with larger businesses.

    Seasonal Changes affect Poultry - In the fall, chickens will begin to change their eating habits. Because the weather is cooler, their feed consumption will increase. In order to stay warm, they need to burn more calories.

      Breeds, Reproduction, Hatching & Brooding

        Hatching Small Numbers of Eggs - Incubation is the process by which the embryo within the egg develops into a fully formed chick capable of breaking free from the shell. Incubating eggs requires several environmental considerations if any chicks are to hatch.

        Brooding and Rearing Baby Chicks - Baby chicks are really quite easy to raise. With a few pieces of equipment and a small place to put them, success in brooding and rearing is virtually assured. During this period of the bird's life, the most important needs are for warmth, protection, feed, and water.

        Poultry Genetics for Pastured Production - This publication provides information on the Cornish-Rock crosses in outdoor production, discusses several slower-growing breeds and provides information on hatcheries that offer these alternative breeds.

        Poultry Breeds - A compilation of chicken, duck, turkey, geese, and other poultry breeds. For more information regarding poultry care and management please take a look at the Poultry Resource page.

        Purchasing Chicks - Many begin to think about raising some baby chicks for the home flock or to supply eggs for sale. There are several considerations for those contemplating purchasing a few chicks.


            Basic Poultry Nutrition - Animals eat to acquire the energy and building materials that they need to live and grow.  Animals use energy to perform normal body functions such as breathing, walking, eating, digesting, and maintaining body temperature. Nutrients provide poultry the energy and material needed for the development of bone, flesh, feathers, and eggs.

            Feeding Pastured Poultry - The pasturing of poultry is becoming a popular management method for many small flock producers, and even some moderately sized commercial farms. When pasturing chickens, the birds are allowed to roam in large areas that have various grasses or other forage plants.

            How to Feed Your Laying and Breeding Hens - Small flock producers can choose from many brands of feed produced by several manufacturers. These manufactured feeds are computer formulated by company nutritionists to provide optimal nutrition for the particular type and age of chicken being fed.


                Why Did My Chickens Stop Laying? - Hens stop laying eggs for a variety of reasons. External or internal stimuli affect hormone levels, which change the condition of the ovary and oviduct, the organs responsible for egg production. The results of these changes is the reduction of egg production.

                  Other Poultry Resources

                    Backyard Chicken Coop Design - Key elements of chicken coop design for the backyard and small flock producer are in this short, concise, and easy-to-read publication.

                    Raising Chickens in Urban Environments - Introductory publication addressing some common questions and concerns about raising chickens in an urban environment.

                    American Pasture Poultry Producers Association - The American Pastured Poultry Producers' Association is a nonprofit educational and networking organization dedicated to encouraging the production, processing, and marketing of poultry raised on pasture.

                    Poultry Processing Regulations and Exemptions - Poultry processing regulations can be confusing, especially for small operations. Here we walk you through the federal law and small-scale exemptions and state-level laws and regulations.

                    Composting of Poultry Offal Demonstration Project - This document discusses developing a successful composting process of poultry offal to produce finished compost that is environmentally sound, economically feasible, and returns nutrients to the farm.