Ernst, Ralph A. Avian Sciences, University of California, Davis, California.
Last reviewed:June 2019
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- Brooding, rearing, and feeding
- Production systems
- Health maintenance
- Processing and marketing
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The science of breeding, raising, and marketing of domesticated fowl grown for their meat and eggs. Poultry production is one of the most important agricultural enterprises involving animals. The predominant types of poultry are domestic chickens (Fig. 1), turkeys (Fig. 2), and quails (all three belonging to the order Galliformes), and domestic ducks and geese (both belonging to the order Anseriformes). Poultry production comprises two major categories: meat production and egg production. Most poultry produced in North America is grown under close control on highly specialized farms. The evolution from small flocks to large commercial units after World War II was facilitated by rapid advances in the knowledge of nutrition, breeding, housing, disease control, and processing of poultry and eggs, and by improvements in transportation and refrigeration that made possible distant marketing of fresh products. See also: Agricultural science (animal); Anseriformes; Domestication (anthropology); Galliformes
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