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A place to find tried and true answers to questions on raising and breeding purebred poultry.

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Poultry Care

Showing Poultry

Breeding Poultry

Glossary of Common Poultry Terms

  • ABA- The abbreviation for the American Bantam Association, an association that represents the Bantam Breeds of Chickens and Ducks.

  • APA- The abbreviation for the American Poultry Association, the oldest poultry association in the U.S.A.

  • A.O.V. – short for Any Other Variety, this is a class for any variety of bird in a recognized breed that is not yet recognized by the APA or ABA.

  • Bantam- Small breeds of chickens that are under three pounds, there are hundreds of breeds and varieties of Bantams, some Bantam breeds have no Large Fowl counterpart.

  • Beard- (1) A tuft of feathers growing from the chin/throat area of a chicken. (2) a cluster of long black bristle like hairs that grow from the chest of a Tom Turkey, Hen Turkeys can be bearded as well.

  • Breed- A Group of Birds having a distinctive appearance developed by deliberate selection to meet a Standard as set forth by the APA or ABA.

  • Caruncles- The red warty growth above the beak and around the eyes of a Muscovy duck.

  • Chick- A baby chicken.

  • Cock- A male chicken over 1 year of age.

  • Cockerel- A male chicken under 1 year of age.

  • Comb- The fleshy growth on the top of a chicken’s head.

  • Covey- A group of quail.

  • Crest- A globe shaped tuft of feathered on top the head of certain breeds of chickens and waterfowl.

  • Culling- Is a term that means you are removing a bird from your flock this can be done by selling, giving away, or killing it.

  • Defect- A imperfection, or flaw, a bird with a defect will have points docked in a show.

  • Disqualification- A Deformity or Serious Defect that will cause a bird to be ineligible for competition, Disqualifications are often genetic and birds with them should not be used for breeding purposes.

  • Drake- A male duck.

  • Duckling- A baby duck.

  • Flock- A group of chickens, turkeys, or ducks.

  • Gaggle- A group of geese.

  • Gander- A male goose.

  • Goose- (1) A Large waterfowl with an elongated neck. (2) A female goose.

  • Gosling- A baby goose.

  • Hen- A female chicken, turkey, or duck over 1 year old.

  • Knob- A large bump at the top of the bill where it meets the head on African and Chinese Breed Geese.

  • Large Fowl- The large sized chickens, they typically range in size from four pounds to thirteen pounds. They encompass most of the varieties of chicken’s people are familiar with but are often larger than many people realize. Light breeds of large fowl primarily used as egg layers. Heavy breeds include the dual purpose and meat breeds.

  • Molt- The process all birds go thru once or twice a year where they shed old feathers and replace them with new ones.

  • Muffs- Thick feathering around a chicken's face.

  • Pair- A male and a female.

  • Poult- A baby turkey.

  • Pullet- A female chicken under 1 year old.

  • Quad- A male and three females.

  • Rooster- The common name for a male chicken, this is considered a slang term and is NOT to be used at a show if you want to be taken seriously.

  • Set or Setting- Are terms that describe a hen who may or is trying to hatch her own babies.

  • Snood- The fleshy appendage that is on top the turkey’s beak when toms get excited it stretches and hangs down.

  • Tom- A adult male turkey.

  • Trio- One male and two females.

  • Variety- A subdivision of any recognized breed they differ in color from other subdivisions of the same breed. 

  • Wattles- The fleshy appendages that hang down from under the chicken’s chin., Not all Chicken breeds have wattles.

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