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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


Poultry Resources

Interested in learning more about poultry breeds? Watch videos of select large fowl, bantams, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guinea fowl HERE.


Click on this link Backyard Poultry Production to find excellent information about finding and raising backyard poultry from Tim McDermott, DVM and Franklin County Extension Educator.



Unless otherwise indicated, these articles from are for use with 4-H poultry projects. eXtension is a national database that collects articles and videos from Extension experts around the country. To make the articles easier for Ohio 4-H members to access, they have been downloaded and collected here. Not all of the available articles are included here, but these are the ones most likely to be relevant to 4-H members. A handful of articles from our Ohio 4-H specialists are included too. Use the links below to download and print each article. There are a lot, but most of them are very short.

Interested only in chickens? The italicized titles below cover the basics. For convenience, they are also available in this single document called Basic Information About Chickens (162 pages).


Chicken Breed Selection (Schirtzinger, McDermott – ANR-60)
Anatomy and Physiology
Poultry Production
Chicken Meat Cuts
Turkey Meat Cuts
Duck Meat Cuts
Winter Care for Your Laying Hens (University of Maine):
        Avian Influenza
        Fowl Cholera
        Fowl Pox
        Fowl Typhoid
        Green Muscle Disease
        Infectious Bronchitis
        Infectious Coryza
        Marek’s Disease
        Newcastle Disease
        Pullorum Disease
        Salmonella Enteritidis
        Sudden Death Syndrome       
Breeding and Hatching
Showmanship (Miller)
Human Health/Zoonosis
Additional Resources

Need some reliable, research-based sources for information about your poultry project? We recommend you start here, with the links below. 

  • eXtension, This national database collects articles and videos from Extension experts around the country. Not seeing what you want to know? Submit your own question to Ask an Expert.
  • University of Kentucky Poultry Science, A good general overview of poultry from our land grant partners at University of Kentucky.
  • American Poultry Association (APA), Information about shows, health, and competition from the publishers of the American Standard of Per­fection.
  • American Bantam Association (ABA), A wealth of resources and images from the publishers of the Bantam Standard.
  • Poultry Show Central, Up-to-date resource for information about poultry shows, breeders, and more.
  • United State Environmental Protection Agency, Click on "Ag101 (PDF)" and then on Poultry Production for an overall perspective on the broiler and layer industries. 
These print resources offer thorough and practical information too: 

Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry, 4th Edition: Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Guineas, Gamebirds by Glenn Drowns (2012)

How to Raise Poultry: Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Revised (FFA) by Christine Heinrichs (2014) 

Poultry Biosecurity Resources
Biosecurity for Backyard Poultry - Timothy McDermott, DVM, OSUE Franklin County - presentation made during the November 7, 2018, Assuring Quality Care for Animals In-Service
Protecting the Health of Your Flock - This brochure is a great resource to learn important things you can do to keep your birds healthy. Please share with poultry exhibitors, feed stores, and backyard poultry owners.
Bird Flu - What is it? How to avoid it. - This brochure addresses Avian Influenza. Please share with other poultry owners.

Defend the Flock Tool Kit: USDA-APHIS

Backyard Biosecurity for Birds:

Cleaning and Disinfecting Checklist for Backyard Poultry Owners:

Biosecurity for large flock/commercial poultry:
Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) Important Information

On January 1, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new regulations addressing on-farm antibiotic use in food-animal production must be implemented. The agency’s effort is aimed at eliminating the use of medically important (to human illness) antibiotics for growth promotion purposes in food-animal production and bringing therapeutic use in feed and water – to treat, control or prevent spe­cific disease – under additional veterinary oversight. Producers, veterinarians, feed mills and suppliers will all face new requirements. This affects everyone (including 4-H members as youth producers) keeping, owning, and/or raising food-producing animals. 

Please be aware that anything you may hear about the possibility of 4-H advisors being able to get a VFD for all of their club members is not accurate. Ohio 4-H members (parents/guardians) are the owners/caretakers of their livestock projects and will need to obtain any VFD they might need to properly care for their food-producing animals. To write a VFD, veterinarians must personally see the 4-H members’ animals, become acquainted with their care, and have done so recently enough (within the last six months) that they can make medical judgments. Veterinarians should not write a VFD for an entire club.

It is very important that 4-H members and their families establish a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) prior to January 1, 2017. Click on the link below to download the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) Fact Sheet for 4-H Youth Livestock Producers and Families, important to read and understand when taking Ohio 4-H food-producing animal projects, even if they are not intended for food production.

Ohio Poultry Veterinarians - Click here for a list of poultry veterinarians willing to treat 4-H members' poultry. Click here for an Ohio map showing location of poultry veterinarians. (Updated June, 2019)
2018-2019 Certified Pullorum Testers - Click here for the list of certified pullorum testers from this spring
Youth Poultry Clinic Resources - Wooster
General Poultry Resources and Information
Putting Science into Animal Sciences Projects Fact Sheets
  • Should I take Broilers as a 4-H Project?
  • Should I take Turkeys as a 4-H Project?
4-H Program / Project Book

Previous Ohio 4-H poultry project books have been condensed into one Poultry Project and Record Book for members of all skill levels. Use this book for these projects:

Chicken, Exhibition (Fancy)
Chicken, Market
Chicken, Egg Production: Hens and Pullets
Duck, Exhibition (Fancy)
Duck, Market
Goose, Exhibition (Fancy)
Goose, Market
Turkey, Exhibition (Fancy)
Turkey, Market
Helmeted Guinea Fowl

This book and other Ohio State University Extension, 4-H Youth Development publications are available from the Ohio State University eStore or from local county Extension offices, where Ohio 4-H club advisors, club members, and other Ohio residents get the best price.