Bird Breeding

Bird Breeding

Small Flock: Southern Region Resources on Pastured Poultry

Bird Breeding

For small-scale poultry producers, especially those interested in pastured poultry, choosing a breed that is suited to alternative production methods can be a challenge. Traits that are suited for conventional production don't necessarily translate to pasture-rearing, including heat tolerance, poor foraging ability, and a rapid growth rate. The following resources are intended to provide information on genetic options to better select and evaluate small flock species for pasture production.

On-Farm Production | Health/Nutrition | Animal Waste Management | Processing/Marketing | Dig Deeper: SARE Database | Additional Resources | Photos

Heritage Turkey Manual


Developed by The Livestock Conservancy, the Heritage Turkey Manual provides information on all facets of pasture-based turkey production and turkey breeding.

Which Bird Shall I Raise?


A report compiled for Heifer Project International that strives to identify genetic options available to producers who are looking for broilers more ideally suited to pasture production.

Download File (95.48 kB)

Artificial Light Sources in Chicken Houses Increase Egg Laying in Hens During Fall and Winter


Artificial light added to coops mimics long days during periods of decreasing daylight.


Profitable Poultry: Raising Birds on Pasture

Birds on pasture

This SARE bulletin features farmer experiences plus the latest research in a guide to raising chickens and turkeys using pens, movable fencing and pastures. The document also includes information on breeding, nutrition, processing and marketing.

Are you an ag educator or farmer interested in sharing the Small Flock Topic Room at an event? Consider using this one-page flyer (PDF).


Resources from Other SARE Regions

North Central SARE Profile

Talking Chicken

Talking Chicken: Practical Advice on Heirloom Chickens and Eggs

This book from Acres USA offers valuable insight into rare, heritage and heirloom breed selection, chick raising, breeding, and marketing so you can start your own fully sustainable heritage chicken flock and raise eggs or meat for your family or small farm business.

Broiler Chickens Compared in Performance and Behavior

broiler breed profile

A profile of alternative broiler breeds in three different pasture poultry systems.

For more pastured poultry resources from across the country, visit the national SARE Learning Center.