Recommended Books

Congratulations! You have decided to learn to raise chickens, garden, homestead, live more sustainably…but where do you start?

In effort to help you with easy chicken raising and easy gardening, we have done the research for you!

This is a living list of books we recommend about how to raise chickens, how to start a garden, food systems, and other issues important to us and relevant to Coops and Gardens.

If you have a recommendation, please email us at

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All commissions we receive are put towards our mission of combatting malnutrition and poverty.

Raising Chickens

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

by Anne Kuo

This book is our all-time favorite beginner’s guide to raising chickens. Anne Kuo, an avid gardener, urban homesteader, and proponent of living sustainably, has created a lovely, detailed guide to starting your own backyard flock. The book walks with you as you plan for chickens, set up a home for your flock and what to expect once you buy or hatch chickens. She humorously discusses the pros and cons of raising backyard chickens in an urban setting, touches on owning roosters, and includes plans to build your own chicken coop for a small flock! Each page is engaging with bright colors and stories of Mrs. Kuo’s own flock in Orange County, CA.

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

by Gale Damerow

Understanding chicken ailments from bumblefoot to eggbound hens is an important part of keeping backyard chickens. Gale Damerow has crafted an easy-to-understand guide to common chicken ailments and how to prevent and treat them.

Keeping Chickens: Getting the Best from your Chickens

by Jeremy Hobson and Celia Lewis

Another wonderful starting book for keeping backyard chickens. Hobson and Lewis have created great overview for new chicken keepers, complete with fun facts and effective pictures.

City Chicks: Keeping Micro-flocks of Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Makers, Bio-reyclers, and Local Food Producers

by Patricia L. Foreman

There are a lot of books about chickens, but City Chicks is the ONLY book that tells you how to employ them using their skill sets. Urban agriculture is on the rise and City Chicks shows how to enable local food supply by keeping family flocks of chickens as garden helpers, compost creators, bio-recyclers, and local food suppliers. How-to detail throughout all 460 pages on keeping, employing, growing food for, and enjoying backyard poultrys.

How to Speak Chicken

by Melissa Caughey

 Melissa Caughey knows that backyard chickens are like any favorite pet — fun to spend time with and fascinating to observe. Her hours among the flock have resulted in this quirky, irresistible guide packed with firsthand insights into how chickens communicate and interact, use their senses to understand the world around them, and establish pecking order and roles within the flock. Combining her up-close observations with scientific findings and interviews with other chicken enthusiasts, Caughey answers unexpected questions such as Do chickens have names for each other? How do their eyes work? and How do chickens learn

50 Do-It-Yourself Projects for Keeping Chickens: Chicken Coops, Brooders, Runs, Swings, Dust Baths, and More!

by Janet Garman

Great introduction to parts of raising chickens complete with excellent DIY tutorials!


Composting for a New Generation: Latest Techniques for the Bin and Beyond

by Michelle Balz

Intersted in the science behind composting presented in a digestable way? Learn the best techniques in composting complete with DIY tutorials in Michelle Balz’s book. This book is not only enjoyable to read, but very imformative, and breaks down decomposition in a very easy-to-understand format. Balz talks about different types of composting (hot composting, bokashi, vericompost, and more), how to choose what is best for your space and skill-level, and how to use finished compost.

The Pet Poo Pocketguide

by Rose Seemann

Rose Seemann, owner of Enviro Wagg (a company dedicated to collecting and safely composting canine waste) discusses different methods of composting pet waste at home. She discusses why anyone would want to do such a “yucky” task, the benefits of pet waste compost compared to other manure-based composts, and interesting projects around the US already taking advantage of pet poo. The book (and Enviro Wagg’s helpful website) also engages readers by discussing current large scale pet-waste-composting projects around the world.


City Farming: A How-to Guide to Growing Crops and Raising Livestock in Urban Spaces

by Kari Spencer

City Farming addresses the problems the urban farmer might face and turns them into creative solutions.

Educator/Curriculum Materials

The Garden Classroom: Hands-On Activities in Math, Science, Literacy, & Art

by Cathy James

Lesson plans for garden activities! Super fun ideas for younger kids.

Where Do Chicks Come From?

by Amy E. Sklansky

Nonfiction. An illustrated kids’ story about where eggs come from.

Kids’ Books

Chicken in School

by Adam Lehrhaupt

Zoey the Chicken builds a school for her friends and shares how much fun school can be!

Chicken in Space

by Adam Lehrhaupt

Zoey the Chicken is at it again, stretching her imagination and bringing her frirend along on a trip to space.

Mrs. Hen’s Big Surprise

by Christel Desmoinaux

A story of perseverance and not giving up on your goals, no matter what “friends” may say. Also a story of acceptance.

The Cow that Laid an Egg

by Andy Cutbill

A beautiful story about chickens building up their friend Marjorie the Cow when she is feeling sad. The book also has a theme of adoption.

The Hen Who Sailed Around the World: A True Story

by Guirec Soudée

Nonfiction. A true story about Monique the Rhode Island Red chicken and her human, Guirec Soudée, who became the first hen and youngest navigator to sail solo through the Northwest Passage.

Chicken Lily

by Lori Mortensen

A story about stepping out of your comfort zone and taking chances. Lily the Chicken enters a poetry contest, even though she does not want to.

The Interrupting Chicken

by David Ezra Stein

A cute story of a little chicken going to bed that teaches kids morals and creativity.