Maintaining a backyard Flock can be a lot of hard work but it can be a fun rewarding experience.  To assist you in the process we have compiled a number of links to documents and sources that will provide you with the skills to successfully maintain your backyard flock.

The Indiana State Poultry Association offers a FREE flock evaluation program.  The voluntary testing program, referred to as Indiana's Test Twelve (T-12) Program, monitors Avian Influenza through a simple antibody test from your hens' eggs.  The T-12 test is specifically designed for chickens, but not other types of poultry.  Results may aid is assessing the health status of the birds, but should not be used as a diagnostic test.

To participate complete to Request Form found here.  Upon receiving the kit, collect 12 eggs and return them to the ISPA in our postage paid package.

Please note, this is a monitoring test only, the results are for the poultry owners benefit and cannot be used to certify egg quality or as a replacement to poultry health papers.  Due to the nature of the T-12 test, the ISPA cannot predict a specific date for the results.


USDA APHIS Video on Good Biosecurity Practices  -  Diseases like highly pathogenic avian influenza can reach beyond the commercial poultry industry, impacting backyard and hobby flocks as well. Large disease outbreaks like the HPAI outbreak in 2014-2015 can even affect consumer prices and product availability. It is important that anyone who has contact with poultry should follow some basic biosecurity practices to help protect their birds. This is a longer version of the previous Spotlight On video, providing additional content and context.

Louisiana 4-H Poultry Intro Packet  -  The Louisiana 4-H poultry project is for boys and girls who want to learn to raise and grow chickens.  This packet will teach children (1) to identify different varieties of poultry, (2) to feed and manage poultry, and (3) to exhibit poultry.

Getting Started with the Home Poultry Flock  -  A great read for those considering raising poultry, a Purdue University Extension document that lays out basic need to know information.

Poultry Terms  -  A glossary of basic poultry terms.

Poultry Fact Sheet - Keep Your Flock Healthy  -  Chickens are susceptible to many diseases; however, proper care and management of your poultry flock greatly reduces the risk of serious disease losses.  Some tips for maintaining healthy stock are discussed in this University of California Cooperative Extension publication (PFS No. 36).

Choosing a Chicken Breed: Eggs, Meat or Exhibition?  -  A Purdue University Cooperative Extension publication that discusses how to choose the best chicken breed bases on your needs and expectations.

Nutrition for Backyard Chicken Flocks  -  From the Alabama Cooperative Extension System this document discusses how to formulate a proper diet for your backyard chicken flock.

Important Nutritional Diseases that Affect Laying Hens  -  Claudia Dunkley, extension poultry scientist with the University of Georgia advises on the causes and prevention of rickets, cage layer fatigue and fatty liver syndrome.

Safe Handling of Baby Poultry  -  A list of do's and dont's when handling baby poultry.

Transporting Poultry in a Humane Manner  -  During the summer and fall months, poultry owners are hauling poultry to fairs, markets and other gatherings.  Unfortunately, very few people put much thought into how to best transport their fowl.  As a result, birds don't show well, get sick or die in transit.  These results can be avoided with a little planning and extra care.  This document from the Virginia Cooperative Extension will tips on the proper transportation of poultry.

Fight Bac!  -  A website from the Partnership for Food Safety Education that provides a wealth of information on how to prevent food poisoning.

Locate a Processor for Your Own Backyard Flock  -  A resource document listing Poultry Processing businesses in Indiana.  If you know of a processor not listed on this document, please send us an email at with their contact information.