Animal Farming

Previous Footsteps 

Poultry keeping articles in previous issues of Footsteps:

Practical village chicken production
By M M Chibinga

This manual provides practical information on how to source, breed, house and feed chickens. It includes helpful sections on egg management and how to manage common diseases affecting chickens. Download a free copy from or email to order a printed copy.

Small-scale Chicken Production

Agrodok 4, Agromisa Foundation and CTA ISBN 978-90-8573-069-9 

Providing a wealth of useful information on how to overcome the main constraints in small-scale poultry production, this Agrodok booklet deals with threats such as predation and infectious diseases. Other chapters included in this practical, easy-to-follow handbook include advice on hatching, housing, nutrition and health. 

Also available in French and Portuguese. 

Duck Keeping in the Tropics
Agrodok 33, Agromisa Foundation and CTA ISBN 978-90-72746-86-3 

The authors describe duck breeds, their reproductive cycle, nutrition, health, egg incubation, raising ducklings, breeding, and management principles. The booklet also discusses combining duck rearing with cultivating rice and maintaining fish ponds. 

Also available in French and Portuguese. 

Improving Hatching and Brooding in Small-scale Poultry
Agrodok 34, Agromisa Foundation and CTA, Wageningen, 2011
Agromisa ISBN 978-90-8573-114-6 CTA ISBN 978-92-9081-401-6 

This updated booklet focuses on upgrading hatching and brooding practices in free-range poultry flocks in order to achieve an optimal number of chickens, implement regular flock replacement and successfully raise the young chicks through their first eight weeks of life. 

Also available in French and Portuguese. 

Improved Practices in Rearing Indigenous Chickens
CTA Practical Guide Series, No. 4 ISSN 1873-8192 

Improved Practices in Rearing Indigenous Chickens front cover

This eight-page guide helps readers to make the most of their indigenous chickens (also known as village or family chickens), covering hatching, brooding and housing as well as selling chicks, chickens and eggs. It includes a helpful section on common problems people face and how to avoid them. 

Also available in Swahili, French and Portuguese. 

To apply to receive CTA and Agromisa publications free of charge either visit or write (giving your contact details and asking for a subscription) to or by post to: 

P.O.Box 173
6700 AD Wageningen
The Netherlands 

If you do not fit the criteria for free publications, you can also purchase the publications by visiting or download them from 

Kai Kokorako 

Kai Kokorako front cover

Keeping chickens for income and food in the Solomon Islands, produced by Training Tools for Pacific Island Communities (2004). 

To download this guide, go to 

Online resources 

Family Poultry Production videos 

Family Poultry Production videos

The FAO have produced online presentations with a voice-over covering all aspects of family-level poultry keeping including budgeting, poultry health and how to choose the right scale of production. 

To find the videos, go to and search for ‘Family Poultry Production FAO’. 

Keeping Village Poultry: A technical manual on small‑scale poultry production
ISBN 87-990401-0-7, Network for Smallholder Poultry Development, 2004 

To download this guide, search online for the ISBN code above and follow the link to the PDF. 

Egg marketing: A Guide for the Production and Sale of Eggs
ISBN 92-5-104932-7, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2003 

This online guide covers all aspects of egg marketing from grading and packaging to selling to the end consumer. To download this guide, go to the FAO website ( and search for ‘Egg marketing’.