Urban Agriculture
University of California
Urban Agriculture


Los Angeles Urban Farmer with Poultry-Photo by Zachary Zabel, Cultivate L.A.
Poultry farming includes chickens, turkeys, ducks, and other fowl. The following resources are useful for anyone starting a poultry business or raising fowl. Chickens are allowed in many communities, though often with restrictions such as limits on the number of birds or minimum setbacks from property lines. Roosters are often not allowed, due to noise considerations.

If you have sick birds, it’s important to take action, as diseases spread quickly. The California Department of Food and Agriculture Avian Health Program has a free, bilingual hotline that can help you diagnose your birds. Call toll free, 1-866-922-BIRD (922–2473). There is also a low cost service to conduct a necropsy (post-mortem diagnosis) of backyard poultry available through the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory.

For more information on disease prevention and biosecurity of backyard flocks, scroll down to our resources on “Handling Diseases and Parasites in Poultry”.

In order to sell eggs, you first need to register as an Egg Handler through the California Department of Food and Agriculture Egg Safety and Quality Management Program (CDFA/ESQM). Apply by filling out this form.  The law requires that eggs be processed before selling them, which includes cleaning, grading, and placing the eggs in containers. Learn more through this guide for egg handlers.

General Resources For Starting Raising and Managing Poultry Business


UC Davis


University of Wisconsin Extension

University of Maryland Extension

University of Missouri Extension

Cornell University


Information on Incubation and Hatching



Handling Disease and Parasites in Poultry


California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

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