• Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow: An in-depth guide for folks just starting to raise chickens
  • Chicken Coops by Judy Pangman: 45 coop designs for city, country, and small- and large-scale farms
  • The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow: For the larger scale, experienced chicken raiser
  • The Small-Scale Poultry Flock by Harvey Ussery: Great book that works with the birds’ natural behaviors
  • City Chicks: Keeping Micro-flocks of Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Makers, Bio-recyclers, and Local Food Producers by Patricia Foreman
  • Wisdom for Hen Keepers by Chris Graham (and edited for a North American audience by yours truly): A book with short tips that are organized topically
  • Chicken Coops for Dummies by Rob Ludlow et al.: Helpful tips, hints, and instructions to make your own hen Hilton


*NOTE: These companies send chicks through the mail. Mail ordering chicks can be stressful for the birds. You will get “filler” chicks that may be roosters. Shipments can also get lost in the mail.


Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts Google Group: Chicago’s premiere community of chicken owners

Home to Roost’s Facebook page: A growing community of Home to Roost clients


Tell them I sent you! Home to Roost endorses these practices in the Chicagoland area. 


Need a hand while you’re out of town? Here is a list of folks who are interested in offering this service.

NOTE: Home to Roost does not endorse or screen chicken sitters and can take no responsibility for quality of care. See my post suggesting chicken sitting for some ideas of how you might choose a chicken sitter.

  • Sarah Batka: Available in Beverly, Mt. Greenwood, Blue Island, Morgan Park, West Pullman
  • Carrie: culturperc at me dot com
  • Kristan Green:
  • Morgan Holtz:, available in DuPage County and western suburbs like Oak Park, River Forest, Des Plaines, Rosemont and Schaumburg.


If you find a chicken and need to find a home for it, contact farms and animal rescues in rural areas. Remember to make a donation. Here are a few for starters. Contact me if you need more ideas:

  • Chicago Chicken Rescue: A new not-for-profit organization that takes various domesticated animals and assists with placement.
  • Chicago Roo Crew: specializes in roosters
  • Erin’s Farm

Have a favorite resource or an update to this list? Post a comment below!

5 responses to this post.

  1. Recommending a vet!

    Dr’s Ness and Nye used to work at Midwest Bird and Exotic Animal Hospital since the 80’s when it was THE place for exotics, until the newer management ruined it. Ness and Nye formed their own practice out in lisle. To give you an idea of their experience…
    They have treated our rescued, traumatized parrot whose wings were damaged and couldn’t fly and he busted open his keel bone. He is now in perfect health.
    They stitched up a BABY sparrow we found that had been mauled by a cat- it had just barely opened it eyes- he survived and was a pet of ours for many years.
    They’ve also treated our chickens for parasites and a hen who had an egg so big she couldn’t get it out without help.
    They also are good with our non-avian pets 🙂


    • Thanks, Alan!
      Midwest Exotics used to be my vet; however, I had two cases where I was not pleased with their services.
      I’d highly recommend Dr. Nye – good to know he has a practice in Lisle! I do not know Dr. Ness.


  2. Posted by Susan Mitchell on May 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Just wondering if there are any more local sanctuaries (closer than Minnesota) that might take a rooster or two. We made the classic error of letting our hens set and are overrun with roosters. Found a home for two but probably two more need to go. If anyone can help, please, I would appreciate it.


    • Hi –
      This is quickly becoming a question I’m getting from a number of folks, so my resources are taxed. Have you checked with the two on the Resources tab? You can always turn them into soup or give them to someone who will.


  3. Posted by J on April 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Six (6) egg laying hens; one year olds. HENS free to suitable home. Reply to :


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