WHAT IS POULTRY? The term Poultry refers to a wide range of birds of various species and it applies to them generally-alive, or dressed (killed and prepared for sales). It involves chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, pigeons, peacock, peafowl, ostriches, quails and even other game birds.
The domestic fowl known as Gallus domesticus originated from south east Asia and has been subjected to extensive breeding for size, colour, conformation and egg laying ability. It has a coating of feathers, no teeth, soc-like appearance and legs with spurs. The presence of comb distinguishes if from other birds.
Their breathing and pulse rates are high and body temperature range from 150oF to 109oF, which is higher than that of other domestic animals.
Fowl may be classified on the basis of:
b) Economic value or
c) Purpose and these include; Meat type, Egg type, Dual purpose, Game, Ornamental, etc.
Birds of distinct type and colour patterns admitted to the standard are termed “standard breed”.
They are further classified as:
Class is used to designate a group of breed, which have been developed in certain regions or geographical areas e.g. Asia, England, America etc.
Breed is used to establish group of birds having the same bony shape, weight and some common characteristics.
Variety represents a sub-division of a breed, distinguished either by colour patterns, shape, comb type or feather pattern. For instance, the breed leghorns have varieties like single comb white leghorns, Rose comb white leghorns, etc.
Strain is used to denote a given breeder who has done the breeding on the bird and has introduced certain economic characters in the strain. For instance, Mr Chukwuemeka N. is a breeder of the strain, the variety is the white colour, the breed is Plymouth Rock and it originated from America.
INTRODUCTION TO POULTRY FARMING