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    Basic Chicken Care Suggested Curriculum

    A chicken resident looking at a computer screen
    A little visual enrichment can go a long way for chicken residents. | Photo: Edgar’s Mission

    This resource was fully updated on July 18, 2023. It was originally published on November 12, 2020.

    Our Basic Chicken Care courses provide detailed information about the fundamentals of chicken care, but there’s always more to know about chicken care and providing sanctuary! In addition to our courses, we offer an extensive, freely accessible digital library covering a wide array of sanctuary-related topics, but we understand it can be difficult to know how to navigate all of the resources we provide, especially for folks who are new to the topic of chicken care! This outline is intended to help course participants make their way through our resources by suggesting specific resources in conjunction with our courses. However, keep in mind that we’re constantly creating new resources, so be sure to follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates!

    Introductory Resources

    Regardless of the basic chicken care track you choose (large breed, non-large breed, or both), it can be helpful to learn a bit more about how to start a sanctuary (and what it even means to be a sanctuary), and it can also be helpful to learn a bit more about where the domesticated chicken we know today came from. If you’re not familiar with these topics, the resources listed below may be useful to read before, after, or even while you complete our courses. Additionally, anyone who is or is planning to care for chickens should take time to learn more about highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

    General Animal Sanctuary Resources

    If you’re looking for more information about starting a sanctuary or just want to know more about what providing sanctuary to animal residents entails, we recommend beginning with the following resources:

    blue chicken graphic

    Looking For More Information?
    For more information about starting and operating a sanctuary, head over to our Governance and Organization landing page!

    Brief History Of The Domesticated Chicken

    Understanding where domesticated chickens came from can help you better understand their needs. For a brief history of the domesticated chicken, check out:

    Resources About Avian Influenza

    In order to responsibly protect avian residents, one must understand what avian influenza is and the risks associated with highly pathogenic avian influenza, both in terms of the disease itself and legal control efforts. We currently offer the following resources:

    Basic Chicken Care/Basic Large Breed Chicken Care Part 1 Supplemental Reading

    Part 1 of our chicken care courses covers housing, feeding, social considerations, and enrichment. The following subjects are not fully covered in our courses and offer additional information that you may find useful:

    Looking For More On Enrichment?
    We’ve got a ton of enrichment resources! In addition to species-specific resources, we also have resources that can be applied to all species. Check out our current offerings here!

    blue chicken graphic

    Basic Chicken Care/Basic Large Breed Chicken Care Part 2 Supplemental Reading

    Part 2 covers the following healthcare-focused topics: Establishing A Baseline, Signs Of Concern, Safe Restraint, Health Examinations, Veterinary Care, Preventative Care, New Arrivals, Introductions, and Record Keeping. The following resources are not fully covered in our courses and offer additional information that you may find useful:

    Further Reading

    The resources listed above are just the beginning! We have hundreds of available resources on a wide range of topics. We encourage you to spend some time browsing our extensive library of resources or, if there is something specific you are looking for, using the search tool to see if it’s something we cover. (If you can’t find something you’re looking for, feel free to contact us!) Below is just a sampling of some of the topics we cover!

    Chicken/Bird-Specific Resources

    Other Sanctuary Resources

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