Tips on care of backyard chickens, sheep, goats compiled on new website

Mar 5, 2024

UC Cooperative Extension expertise available in English and Spanish on small-scale livestock production, pasture management, pests and predators, weed management and emergency preparedness

A team of University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources advisors has created a new comprehensive website for small acreage landowners in California and beyond. The Small Acreage Landowners website, at, is designed to be a one-stop shop for backyard livestock producers, youth raising livestock, and other small acreage landowners. Information on livestock husbandry, pasture management, pests and predators, weed management and emergency preparedness is in English and Spanish on the website. 

“We've seen an amazing growth in interest in small-scale livestock production throughout California in the last four years,” said project leader Julie Finzel, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor for Kern, Tulare and Kings Counties. “Folks in our communities are hungry for knowledge about how to care for their land and their animals – from urban chickens to backyard goats and sheep.”

The website includes specific information for most common livestock species, as well as links to sites with more in-depth information about specific topics. Other pages include information on protecting livestock and property from pests and predators, controlling common weeds and protecting water quality.

The site also provides links to a variety of other UC ANR resources, including wildfire information from the Fire Network, and videos and webinars from the UC ANR Managing Land & Livestock on Small Acreage Webinar Series.

“We're excited this new website will make science-based information available to a wider audience,” said Finzel. “Most of our educational programming has focused on commercial livestock production.”

In addition to Finzel, a team of UC Cooperative Extension livestock advisors contributed to the project, including Theresa Becchetti (Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties), Brooke Latack (Imperial, Riverside and San Bernadino counties) Dan Macon (Placer, Nevada, Sutter and Yuba counties), Devii Rao (San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties), Rebecca Ozeran, former UC Cooperative Extension livestock advisor for Fresno and Madera counties and Flavie Audoin, former UCCE advisor for the Central Sierra now rangeland management extension specialist at University of Arizona. UC ANR technician Sequoia Williams in Placer County compiled information and designed the webpages.

The Small Acreage Landowners website was created in part with funds from a USDA-NIFA Renewable Resources Extension Act grant.

Updated March 6, 2024, to add Flavie Audoin as a contributor to the website.

By Pamela S Kan-Rice
Author - Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach