Poultry Glossary

Word Definition
bantam miniature chicken or duck as opposed to large fowl or standard sized chickens. There is an American Bantam Association for the lovers of bantams! The ABA also puts out a separate Bantam Standard. Bantams are usually one third to one fourth the size of large chickens.
bedding absorbent material for floor of a coop, or nesting box. Usually straw or shavings. Also known as litter.
biosecurity keeping animals safe from diseases. Biosecurity includes keeping disease away, monitoring health and reporting sick birds.
bloom layer on the outside of an egg that protects an egg from bacteria and outside contaminents
bobwhite species of new world quail native to the United States.
breeder person who raises poultry for reproduction. If talking about domestic poultry it is usually in reference to a person breeding for exhibition quality poultry.
broiler chickens raised for meat. In county fair judging broilers are usually 2.5 to 4.5 pounds and roasters are larger.
brood a group of baby chicks hatched at the same time.
brooding the practice of raising baby chicks, whether by a mother hen or by artificial heat
broody hen that is wanting to set on eggs.
candling viewing eggs with a high intensity light. Used during incubation to see if the egg is fertile and how the chick is developing. Also used in viewing eggs to see if there are blood or meat spots on eggs
capon castrated male chicken for efficient meat production. Caponizing is mostly a lost art because the Cornish Cross Broiler is so efficient without needing to be caponized.
caruncling red flappy skin on turkeys and muscovy ducks
chicken tractor a mobile coop that can be moved around on grass for the birds to forage for their feed.
chook Austrailian and British word for chicken
clutch bunch of eggs incubated by a hen at one time.
cob male swan
Coccidiosis parasites affecting many types of animals including chickens and turkeys. symptoms would be bloody stool and
cock male chicken over one year or male pheasant,
cockerel male chicken under 1 year
comb the red fleshy skin on the top of a chickens head that was designed to cool the bird. The comb is filled with blood vessels and allows heat to escape from the body. Combs can be either single, rose, pea, button, v, buttercup, and more
commercial poultry poultry being raised by large corporations for producing meat and eggs for the grocery stores and export. The commercial poultry industry is the reason for the demise of many heritage breeds of poultry.
complete feed a poultry feed scientifically formulated to offer all the nutrition that the bird needs. I highly recommend that every one offer there birds a complete feed.
coop housing for your poultry. Coops can be very simple or very complex buildings.
coturnix old world quail usually used for meat and eggs. There are many color mutations of the coturnix quail.
crested breed of usually chickens that has feathers coming out of their head. I usually call these Afro Chickens. The most common Crested breed is Polish. Silkies, Sultans, Houdans, Appenzeller Spitzhaubens, Crevecouers, and a few others also have crests.
crop part of bird that grinds the feed. has stones and a strong muscle to grind.
crumble a complete feed that starts as a ground up mash, then is pelleted and then the pellets are ground up. Usually chick feed is crumbles and many times you can get other types of poultry feed as crumble.
dewlap flap of skin protruding from the neck. Toulouse and African Geese, Brahma Chickens, and turkeys are some examples.
drake male duck
droppings tray tray for poultry manure to fall through and be caught
dual purpose breeds of chickens that are bred to be used for meat production and egg production. Some common examples are Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds,
duck waterfowl of many species. The most common ducks raised domestically are descendants of Mallards and also the muscovy duck species. There are also many other species of wild ducks that are raised by breeders such as the Wood Duck, Mandarin Duck and many others. The term duck also refers to a female of the species by the same name.
ducklings baby ducks. We ship day old ducklings for the most part when we deal with
dusting powder powder such as Sevin Dust for getting rid of external parasites such as lice or mites. Usually used on chickens to be ruffled through their feathers. also known as louse powder.
earlobes flaps of skin on a chicken ususally red or white that generally correlate to egg color. White ear lobes usually mean that the hen lays white eggs. Red ear lobes usually means that the hen lays brown eggs. One notable exception to this rule would be Barred Holland chickens.
egg bound Egg Binding is when a hen has her egg stuck inside.
exhibition quality poultry that is bred to be competitive at poultry shows. This would be in opposite of "hatchery quality" poultry where the selection pressure is only based on egg production.
feeder container for the poultry feed. Feeders can keep the feed clean and fresh. Use a feeder instead of allowing the chickens to scratch for their feed.
fertilized egg an egg that has had sperm meet with the egg. A fertilized egg can be incubated and may hatch.
fluff feathers that are soft and downy as opposed to a hard feather such as a wing. The lower thighs and abdomens of chickens have fluff feathers. Silkie Bantams have all fluff.
gamebirds species of birds that are hunted such as pheasant, quail, partridge, wild turkeys, and mallard ducks
gander male goose
goose wild or domesticated species of Anatidae birds including Anser and Branta generas.
gosling Baby geese
grit rocks to be used in the crop to grind feed
hatcher After being incubated and turned for 18 days, a chicken egg goes into a hatcher for three days and is not turned any more. The hatcher is the area where the chicks are actually hatched.
hatchery a place where eggs are incubated artificially. Hatcheries are generally reffered to as being large industrial poultry farms that produce thousands or hundreds of thousands of chicks a week. There is somewhat of a negative connotation to the word hatchery as being a negative place. Hatcheries are what make it easy to get any type of baby chickens or other poultry in a cost effective manner.
hatching eggs Eggs that are produced for putting into an incubator for producing baby chicks. Be sure that you know that hatching eggs will not always in fact hatch. A percentage of them are generally not fertile. Some of the fertile eggs will not hatch either. Thats why we recommend purchasing baby chicks instead.
heritage valuable breeds that need to be preserved for the future. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has been defining the terms heritage for turkeys, chickens, and other livestock and eventually will define the terms for ducks and geese. The breed has to be naturally mated, have an outdoor lifespan that is long and productive, and have a slow growth rate.
industrial strain Cornish Cross Broilers and White Leghorns are a few of the industrial strains of poultry. Industrial strains are owned by mega corporations and scientifically managed by poultry geneticists.
jake male turkey or gobbler. Mostly used by hunters to refer to a young turkey.
keet young guinea fowl. Guinea chicks would be more correctly called guinea keets.
large fowl Chickens that are of a normal size. This would be as opposed to bantam chickens which are miniature chickens. Also called Standard.
lice small insects that are external parasites for chickens and other fowl. Chicken lice can be gotten rid of with a louse powder such as Sevin dust.
litter bedding for poultry usually consisting of either pine shavings or straw.
louse powder louse powder is used to get rid of lice. Sevin dust works wonders!
molt birds getting rid of set of feathers.
oyster shell shells harvested from oysters which are fed to poultry for increased calcium intake. Oyster shells are generally served as a side dressing to the normal poultry feed and
pair Male and female of the same breed and variety. Usually also around the same age. Can refer to a breeding pair.
pastured poultry poultry that are raised on grass, usually on a rotation grazing basis. Many times pastured poultry are raised in a chicken tractor pen that gets moved on a daily basis.
pen name of a female swan
pheasant gallinaceous game birds native to Asia. The most common pheasant is the Ringneck Pheasant which is commonly hunted world wide on game preserves. Part of the family Phasindae.
poult baby turkey before you know if it is a tom or hen turkey
poultry All domestic fowl, which can include chickens, geese, turkeys, ducks, and more. The American Poultry Association has added guineas and has opened up to posibly adding other species in the future.
poultry show a gathering where poultry breeders and raisers compete to see who has the best chicken, duck, goose, turkey, and guinea. Poultry Shows in the US are sanctioned by the American Poultry Association and American Bantam Association and are judged by their standard of perfection.
poultry swap where people get together to buy and sell poultry and gamebirds and small animals
pullet female chicken under 1 year
rumpless chickens that lack a tail. They do not have an oil gland or even a partial tail. Some breeds that are rumpless are true Araucanas and Manx Rumpies.
sex link a cross of two strains that produce progeny that are color sexable as baby chicks at hatching. Black Sex Links and Pilgrim Geese are examples.
standard bred Poultry bred with selective pressure toward the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection. These would be birds that would be competitive at poultry shows.
straight run Mixed males and females as hatched. If you order straight run chicks that means that you do not know if you will get males or females or what ratio of each you will get. On the average it would be 50% females and 50% males.
subspecies a reasonably permanent regionally issolated group of birds within a species. An example would be Eastern Wild Turkeys, Rio Grande Wild Turkeys, Osceola Wild Turkeys, and Merriam's Wild Turkeys.
tom male turkey
tufted 1) Tufted as in Tufted Roman Geese, protrubrance from the head with a tuft of feathers. 2) Tufted as in True Araucanas that are tufted and rumpless. Araucanas have ear tufts of feathers which are located slightly below the ear.
utility Breeds of poultry bred to produce food. Generally Utility breeds or strains are in reference to that their selective breeding pressure is toward food production and not as much on their color, body shape, or other characteristics.
ventilation movement of fresh air into and stale air out of housing.
wattles flap of skin from chickens and some other birds. The wattles purpose is to cool the bird.
pip to crack the egg during hatching so that the baby chick can come out.
aviculture practice of raising birds in captivity.

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