poultry


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to poultry: Poultry farming

poultry,

domesticated fowl kept primarily for meat and eggs; including birds of the order Galliformes, e.g., the chicken, turkeyturkey,
common name for a large game and poultry bird related to the grouse and the pheasant. Its name derives from its "turk-turk" call. Turkeys are indigenous to the New World; American fossils date back 40 million years to the Oligocene.
..... Click the link for more information.
, guinea fowlguinea fowl
, common name for any of the seven species of gallinaceous birds of the family Numididae, native to Africa and Madagascar. The helmeted guinea fowl, Numida meleagris,
..... Click the link for more information.
, pheasantpheasant,
common name for some members of a family (Phasianidae) of henlike birds related to the grouse and including the Old World partridge, the peacock, various domestic and jungle fowls, and the true pheasants (genus Phasianus).
..... Click the link for more information.
, quailquail,
common name for a variety of small game birds related to the partridge, pheasant, and more distantly to the grouse. There are three subfamilies in the quail family: the New World quails; the Old World quails and partridges; and the true pheasants and seafowls.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and peacockpeacock
or peafowl,
large bird of the genus Pavo, in the pheasant family, native to E Asia. There are two main species, the common (Pavo cristatus), and the Javanese (P.
..... Click the link for more information.
; and natatorial (swimming) birds, e.g., the duckduck,
common name for wild and domestic waterfowl of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and swans. It is hunted and bred for its meat, eggs, and feathers. Strictly speaking, duck refers to the female and drake to the male.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and goosegoose,
common name for large wild and domesticated swimming birds related to the duck and the swan. Strictly speaking, the term goose is applied to the female and gander to the male.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Several poultry birds, including the chicken and the goose, were domesticated over 3,000 years ago. The chief poultry bird is the chicken, which probably originated as a jungle fowl in SW Asia; it may have been domesticated 7,000 or more years ago. Until the mid-20th cent., poultry were raised for domestic and commercial use on many farms in the United States, with the production of eggs being of primary importance. After World War II, faster growing birds were developed, and large-scale producers emphasizing the raising of birds of meat came to dominate the poultry industry, with the economic value of broiler chickens greatly exceeding that of eggs. Specialized hatcheries deliver chicks fresh from the incubatorincubator,
apparatus for the maintenance of controlled conditions in which eggs can be hatched artificially. Incubator houses with double walls of mud, a fireroom, and several compartments each holding about 6,000 hens' eggs were developed in ancient times; the Chinese have long
..... Click the link for more information.
 to commercial growers, who mass-produce birds under precisely controlled conditions on diets scientifically calculated to produce rapid growth to market size, for delivery to processors. Many distinct chicken breeds, once appreciated for their particular combinations of characteristics, have been combined through selective breeding into a few relatively standard types that are notably efficient converters of feed into meat or eggs. The dominant meat chicken today is a cross between the fast-growing female White Plymouth Rock chicken, and the deep-breasted male Cornish chicken (see Cornish henCornish hen
or Cornish chicken,
breed of poultry that originated in Cornwall, England, but gained prominence only after it was established in the United States. Its body shape is quite different from that of other chickens.
..... Click the link for more information.
). The predominant egg type in the United States today is the White Leghorn chickenLeghorn chicken,
relatively small, white-colored breed of poultry that currently dominates the American egg-producing class. The bird, as bred today, produces a good number of chalk white eggs, a feature which has brought it to the forefront of modern commercial egg production.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Dual-purpose meat-and-egg breeds have all but disappeared. Turkeys have been similarly standardized. Because of their lower cost and lower fat content, chicken and turkey are increasingly popular protein sources with American consumers, rivaling pork and even beef in per capita consumption. A few breeds of chicken are raised chiefly for their ornamental appearance or as pets. These include the Polish varieties, characterized by their large showy crests; the fighting, or game, varieties, still bred where cockfighting is popular; and the Bantams, which are primarily miniature counterparts of standard breeds.

Bibliography

See R. Moreng and J. Avens, Poultry Science and Production (1985); R. E. Austic and M. C. Nesheim, Poultry Production (13th ed. 1990).

poultry

[′pōl·tre]
(agriculture)
Domesticated fowl grown for their meat and eggs.
References in classic literature ?
Holly, mistletoe, red berries, ivy, turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, meat, pigs, sausages, oysters, pies, puddings, fruit, and punch, all vanished instantly.
It is well for the old girl that she has but one birthday in a year, for two such indulgences in poultry might be injurious.
Among the long list of human weaknesses, a passion for poultry seems to have its practical advantages (in the shape of eggs) as compared with the more occult frenzies for collecting snuff-boxes and fiddles, and amassing autographs and old postage-stamps.
This poor woman must be suffering from a determination of poultry to the brain.
But there is not a shadow of evidence in favour of this view: to assert that we could not breed our cart and race-horses, long and short-horned cattle, and poultry of various breeds, and esculent vegetables, for an almost infinite number of generations, would be opposed to all experience.
Blyth, whose opinion, from his large and varied stores of knowledge, I should value more than that of almost any one, thinks that all the breeds of poultry have proceeded from the common wild Indian fowl(Gallus bankiva).
After the cure's death the house had been for sale; and Benassis, who had only just come into the country, had bought it as it stood, with the walls about it and the ground belonging to it, together with the plate, wine, and furniture, the old sundial, the poultry, the horse, and the woman-servant.
Why he was called "farmer" I cannot say, unless it be that he was the owner of a cow, a pig or two, and some poultry, which he maintained on about an acre of land inclosed from the middle of a wild common, on which probably his father had squatted before lords of manors looked as keenly after their rights as they do now.
On the spot where I had heard the cry for help from the burning room, on the spot where the panic-stricken servant had dropped on his knees, a fussy flock of poultry was now scrambling for the first choice of worms after the rain; and on the ground at my feet, where the door and its dreadful burden had been laid, a workman's dinner was waiting for him, tied up in a yellow basin, and his faithful cur in charge was yelping at me for coming near the food.
In the Poultry, and on Cornhill, and at several other leading points, iron chains were drawn across the street; parties of soldiers were distributed in some of the old city churches while it was yet dark; and in several private houses
Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes, and prism are all very good words for the lips: especially prunes and prism.
Pullet, confused and overwhelmed by this revolutionary aspect of things,--the tea deferred and the poultry alarmed by the unusual running to and fro,--took up his spud as an instrument of search, and reached down a key to unlock the goose-pen, as a likely place for Maggie to lie concealed in.