Shared Flashcard Set


Animal Science
Basic Poultry Biology
Undergraduate 1

Additional Agriculture Flashcards





Population/Census Information

How many tons of meat? Tons of eggs?

Largest broiler producing states? 5

Leading broiler production companies percentage?


World - 55 million metric tons meat, 53 million metric tons of eggs (9 medium eggs/lb);
United States (Agriculture Statistics DataBase - USDA) The largest broiler producing states (in order) are: Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi; leading broiler production companies (and their approx market share) are: Tyson (22%), Pilgrims Pride (16%), Gold Kist (9%), Perdue (6%) (top 10 firms control 70% of the market)

Definition of Poultry? Name 4?


Head parts? 4

Neck & Body parts? 3

Wings and Legs: 4


Poultry - Any domesticated bird raised for meat or eggs; Chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese
2) Parts of the chicken:
a) Head: Comb, Beak, Wattles, Ear Lobes
b) Neck & Body: Hackles (neck feathers), Saddle, Sickles (feathers over the tail)
c) Wings & Legs: Primaries, Secondaries, Shank, Spur


Standard Classification: Three things


3) Standard Classification: Class (geographic origin); Breed (similarity of body type); Variety (within breed variability based on color pattern, comb type)

Name classes? 6 + Bantams

a) American Class (Canada & US): Plymouth Rock (Buff, White, Barred varieties); Rhode Island Red (mahogany, not red)
b) Asiatic Class (popular for their 'fancy' appearance): Cochin (feathers on shank, no tail-cushion); Brahma; Langshan (long legs, feathers on shank)
c) English Class (Great Britain & Commonwealth): Cornish Chicken (meat bird, large breast, white cornish cross to white plymouth rock = Foster Farms); Australorp (high egg production)
d) Mediterranean Class (egg laying birds): Leghorn (Italian, most popular, productive egg laying bird in world, small, light); White-Faced Black Spanish (show bird)
e) Continental Class (European): Hamburg (Dutch every day layer, rose comb); Polish (crest feathers, covering a comb looking like devil's horns)
f) All Other Breeds Class: Old English (England, Cock-fighting & show); Araucana (Rumpless, peacomb, tuft ear feathers, green egg shell)
g) Bantams (small birds): Sebright (18 oz bird, showy); Japanese (tail feathers touch the head); Silkie (black skin, black bones, fluffy black feathers, Asian meat markets in CA)

Puberty in __ to __ weeks

Reproduction? Estrus or nonestrus?

Digestive Anatomy?

Puberty: sexual maturity (first egg in females, sperm production in males) 18-22 weeks
b) Reproduction-Nonestrus: Chickens are NOT like mammals, they have no estrus period, no estrous cycle and certainly no equivalent to pregnancy. Males and females would normally go through a complex courtship behavior, where, if the cock is acceptable to the hen, she will ‘crouch’, allowing the male to mount and mate. A normal stocking rate would be one cock to 12 hens. After mating, sperm are stored in folds of the oviduct and remain viable up to 32 days (although weekly insemination is used in practice to increase fertility), fertilizing each egg that comes by.
c) Digestive Anatomy: Simple stomached - nonruminants. Chickens have no teeth so they can’t chew. Chicken also do not rely on bacterial fermentation, so they can not eat high fiber diets. Just down the esophagus is the crop, a pouch for temporary food storage where some softening and predigestion takes place. Then on to the proventriculus (stomach) which provides acid digestion and pepsin (a stomach enzyme for protein break down). Food then moves to the ventriculus (gizzard), a muscular lined organ that grinds up food like teeth would (often chickens are fed oyster shell to add grit to this grinding process - in the wild chickens will ingest small pebbles). Food then moves to the small intestine for absorption, into the large intestine and out the cloaca (the common junction of the digestive tract, urinary tract and genital tract). Note - chickens don’t urinate, the white portion of the feces is uric acid, and represents the bird’s system of urinary excretion.

Broiler Industry:

What's the cross?

Objective? How many pounds on how many weeks with how many pounds of feed

Feed ratio?


Laying Industry:

Egg production begins when?


What is layer housing?

a) The Broiler Industry: Commercial birds are a cross of White Cornish and White Plymouth Rock cross. Objective is to produce a 4.5 lb bird (live weight) in 7 weeks on 9 lbs of feed (goal is a 1.9:1 feed:gain ratio). Birds are raised on the ground, on rice hull bedding; each bird has approx .75 ft2 of floor space; one person can manage approx 35,000 to 45,000 birds with mechanization of feeding and watering systems.
b) The Laying Industry: Egg production begins in the 20 wk old bird, with peak production at 29 weeks of age (95% production, which means 95 out of 100 birds at 29 weeks of age will lay an egg on a given day). This drops to 65% by week 80 of age; where after 80 weeks of age birds are either force molted or sold for soup. The molt is the shedding of feathers and growing new ones while the bird rests until the next egg production cycle. Selection of layers has bred out ‘broodiness’ - the desire to sit and hatch a clutch of eggs. Layer housing has controlled lighting (14 to 16 hrs light per day), with approx 64 in2 per bird for birds raised in stacks of cages.

Name two diseases?

Possibly what they do?


Two tumor diseases, Marek’s and lymphoid leukosis, are the most critical viral diseases in production birds. Marek’s usually strikes young, growing chickens (although adults are not immune, with key symptoms of paralysis and possible blindness; vaccines for Marek’s are available. Lymphoid leukosis is principally a condition of layers older than 18 weeks, with symptoms of weight loss, enlarged liver and eventual death. Newcastle’s disease, an infectious disease of the respiratory tract, can lead to high death losses in broilers and a cessation of egg-laying in layers. Control by vaccine is possible.


Problems? Name three dealing with Animal rights?

Food safety?


 Animal rights complaints lead the list, with concerns for over-crowding, battery cages and de-beaking. Next is food safety - are poultry slaughtered and marketed in a sanitary fashion? Increasingly, salmonellosis (salmonella food poisoning) has been a common complaint of consumers and government inspectors. Finally, as production facilities increase in size, pollution of air, soil and water increases as well.
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