How much do you know about poultry farming and consumption?

jwblackwell avatar
By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is poultry?

When did the domestication of chickens occur?

What is pollotarianism?

What is cockfighting?

What is a squab?

What is the most intensive system for egg-laying chickens?

What are chickens raised intensively for their meat known as?

What is the largest producer of foie gras in the world?

How do poultry products become contaminated?


Poultry: Domesticated Birds Kept for Food and Other Purposes

  • Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for their eggs, meat, or feathers, and most belong to the superorder Galloanserae, especially the order Galliformes.

  • Domestication of chickens, the most populous poultry species, occurred around 8,000 years ago in Southeast Asia through hatching and rearing young birds from eggs collected from the wild.

  • Selective breeding for fast growth, egg-laying ability, conformation, plumage, and docility took place over the centuries, and modern breeds often look different from their wild ancestors.

  • Poultry is one of the two most widely-eaten types of meat globally, with over 70% of the meat supply in 2012 between them, and provides nutritionally beneficial food containing high-quality protein accompanied by a low proportion of fat.

  • Semi-vegetarians who consume poultry as the only source of meat are said to adhere to pollotarianism.

  • Poultry can be defined as domestic fowls, including chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks, raised for the production of meat or eggs, and the flesh of these birds used as food.

  • Chickens are medium-sized, chunky birds descended mainly from the wild red junglefowl of Asia, and various breeds have been developed for egg-laying ability, fast growth, and a well-covered carcase.

  • Cockfighting, a sport where two mature males (cocks or roosters) fight each other, is said to be the world's oldest spectator sport and has been banned in many countries during the last century on the grounds of cruelty to animals.

  • Ducks are medium-sized aquatic birds farmed mainly for their meat, eggs, and down, and various breeds have been developed for egg-laying ability, fast growth, and a well-covered carcase.

  • Domestic geese are much larger than their wild counterparts, and their meat is dark-colored and high in protein, but they deposit fat subcutaneously, which contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids.

  • Over 75% of the world's production of foie gras, which is considered a luxury in many parts of the world, occurs in France, with lesser industries in Hungary and Bulgaria and a growing production in China.

  • Turkeys are large birds, and various breeds have been developed for meat production, and males have spreading, fan-shaped tails and distinctive, fleshy wattles used in courtship display. Wild turkeys can fly.Poultry Farming and Consumption

  • The modern domesticated turkey is descended from one of six subspecies of wild turkey found in Mexico. Pre-Aztec tribes in south-central Mexico first domesticated the bird around 800 BC.

  • Commercial turkeys are usually reared indoors under controlled conditions, often in large buildings with low light intensities and ventilation.

  • Guineafowl originated in southern Africa, and the species most often kept as poultry is the helmeted guineafowl. They are hardy, sociable birds that subsist mainly on insects, but also consume grasses and seeds.

  • A squab is the name given to the young of domestic pigeons that are destined for the table. Special utility breeds with desirable characteristics are used.

  • Worldwide, more chickens are kept than any other type of poultry, with over 50 billion birds being raised each year as a source of meat and eggs.

  • Poultry can be kept in free-range husbandry, yarding, or a barn system, but the most intensive system for egg-laying chickens is battery cages, which have been illegal in the EU since January 1, 2012.

  • Chickens raised intensively for their meat are known as "broilers". Breeds have been developed that can grow to an acceptable carcass size in six weeks or less.

  • Poultry is the second most widely eaten type of meat in the world, accounting for about 30% of total meat production worldwide.

  • Global broiler meat production rose to 84.6 million tonnes in 2013. The largest producers were the United States, China, Brazil, and the European Union.

  • Global egg production was expected to reach 65.5 million tonnes in 2013, surpassing all previous years.

  • Poultry meat and eggs provide nutritionally beneficial food containing protein of high quality, accompanied by low levels of fat that have a favorable mix of fatty acids.

  • Poultry products may become contaminated by bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter during handling, processing, marketing, or storage, resulting in food-borne illness if the product is improperly cooked or handled.


Test your knowledge about poultry farming and consumption with this quiz! Learn about the domestication of chickens, selective breeding, different poultry species, and their uses. Explore the different systems for raising poultry, from free-range to battery cages, and discover interesting facts about the most widely-eaten type of meat in the world. Find out about the global production of broiler meat and eggs, and the nutritional benefits and potential health risks associated with consuming poultry products. Take the quiz now and see how much you know

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