A wide range of books have been published covering many areas of Poultry keeping in Australia. These books are suitable for schools, VET, and the general public.

Commercial Poultry Nutrition and Environment

Two textbooks, “Feeding Commercial Poultry” and “The Poultry Growing Environment”, have been produced by the Poultry CRC. These volumes have been written as reference texts to the Certificate III in Poultry Production course and are freely available to any CRC Participants who wish to use them. CRC Participants can also access the student guides and assessments which accompany these books, and which have been developed for the following units:
AHCLSK310A – Implement Feeding Programs
AHCLSK313A – Monitor Livestock Growing Environments

Commercial Meat Chicken Management Books

The Poultry CRC has produced a series of books on Commercial Meat Chicken Management. These books, which focus on bird health,  are suitable for a variety of training programs, one of which is the recently endorsed Certificate III in Poultry Production, but are also an interesting read for anyone wanting to learn more about broiler production in Australia. The books, which are being printed and distributed by PrintWest are available as a set of six (6) and titles are listed below:

  • Book 1 – Principles of Health and Welfare
  • Book 2 – Disease Prevention & Treatment
  • Book 3 – Types of Disease

  • Book 4 – Farm Operations
  • Book 5 – Economics of Disease Control
  • Book 6 – Bird Welfare

Commercial Layer Management

The Health and Welfare series has a corresponding set of texts that have been written for the Layer series.

Commercial Layer Management (Books 1 to 6) may also be ordered from printWest, as for the Meat Chicken series above.

These books are structured along the same lines as the Commercial Meat Chicken series but have been tailored to cover the different aspects of the layer industry. Book titles are:

  • Book 1 – Principles of Health and Welfare
  • Book 2 – Disease Prevention & Treatment
  • Book 3 – Types of Disease
  • Book 4 – Farm Operations
  • Book 5 – Economics of Disease Control
  • Book 6 – Bird Welfare

 The Story of Chicken

This book takes children onto Australian meat chicken farms where they will discover how meat chickens are raised, chicken meat is processed and packaged, and how a wide range of chicken products are made available for them to enjoy every day.  It is suitable for school-age children and the general public.

Nicholls, C., Paterson, J. (2008) The Workboot Series: The Story of Chicken. Kondinin Group. ISBN 9781876068523 (Hardback).


Getting started in free range poultry

This book includes both meat and egg production, breeds, rearing, health, housing and nutrition.

Title: Poultry AgGuide – Getting started in free range poultry ISBN 978 0 7313 0623 7 Published: 2010

Purchase online here

Table of contents:

  • The market for free range production
  • Pitfalls for new entrants
  • An introduction to production systems and standards for free range eggs
  • An introduction to production systems and standards for meat birds
  • Choosing a breed
  • Sourcing stock
  • Managing the flock
  • Feeding and nutrition
  • Housing for free range poultry
  • Protecting the flock from predators
  • Pastures for poultry
  • Free range health management
  • Biosecurity for free range production
  • Regulations: state and local government
  • A business plan for free range poultry
  • EggInvest: an aid to planning and budgeting
  • An example of free range standards – eggs
  • Free range eggs. Standards Compared.
  • Chicken suppliers
  • References

Also includes nine case studies including both egg and meat bird enterprises. This publication was produced by Continuing Education, Tocal College in collaboration with, and funding support from, the Poultry CRC.

Poultry Agskills

A basic guide to some of the skills and practices of poultry production. The book contains step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and full-colour pictures. Some of the skills included are: breed, rear or buy poultry, provide housing, collect and handle eggs, feed poultry and maintain poultry health.

Published in 2008, Poultry Agskills is 76 A4 colour pages. Purchase online here.

Table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • Animal welfare
  • General safety precautions
  • Choose poultry
  • Choose a breed
  • Breed chickens using a hen
  • Mechanically incubate chickens
  • Buy and rear chickens
  • Identify stock
  • Purchase point of lay pullets
  • Provide housing
  • Manage broody hens
  • Collect and handle eggs
  • Feed poultry
  • Maintain poultry health
  • Prevent and treat external parasites
  • Prevent and treat internal parasites and diseases
  • Prevent the spread of disease
  • Catch, check and dispose of spent birds
  • Glossary of terms
  • References and industry contacts
  • What is a safe work method statement?
  • Check your skills

Building the Poultry Penthouse

A guide to building a poultry penthouse (housing 12-25 hens), including a materials list and step-by-step construction method. Published by Tocal College, part of the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

The Poultry Penthouse was designed and popularised by Gerry Bolla, Poultry Officer with NSW DPI at Gosford for many years. When Gerry retired from the Department there was a need to update the plans to keep them current. Barry Rees, a recently-retired TAFE carpentry teacher, came to the rescue and constructed a Poultry ‘Penthouse’ especially for the Tocal Field Days. During construction, he added his own innovations and modifications to the design.

The specifications in this book are Barry’s interpretation of Gerry’s original design. The ‘Penthouse’ will comfortably house 12-15 hens full time. If birds are let out daily to free-range, the ‘Penthouse’ can hold up to 25 birds, sleeping on the slatted floor at night. The ‘Penthouse’ will need to be securely closed at night to keep out foxes. The book includes a materials list and step-by-step construction method.

Published in 2007, Building the Poultry Penthouse has 16 A4 pages. Purchase online here.

Keeping Chickens – An Australian Guide

This is a comprehensive guide to keeping chickens in the backyard. The book provides information on choosing which breed is best for you, information on how to construct or purchase poultry housing, how to care for your chickens and a section on how to successfully breed chickens.

Published in 2007 by Penguin Group, Keeping Chickens – An Australian Guide (ISBN 9780143006381) is a comprehensive 138 page book interspersed with useful diagrams.

Table of contents:

  • Why keep chickens?
  • Common question answered
  • Steps to keeping chickens
  • Know your chickens
  • The right chickens for me
  • Housing your chickens
  • Breeding chickens
  • Chickens for show
  • Resources and suppliers
  • Glossary
  • Acknowledgements
  • Index

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