Poultry
Overview
Poultry are domesticated bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

, meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

, and/or feather
Feather
Feathers are one of the epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds and some non-avian theropod dinosaurs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates, and indeed a premier example of a complex evolutionary novelty. They...

s. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae (fowl)
Fowl
Fowl is a word for birds in general but usually refers to birds belonging to one of two biological orders, namely the gamefowl or landfowl and the waterfowl...

, especially the order Galliformes
Galliformes
Galliformes are an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding domestic or game bird, containing turkey, grouse, chicken, New and Old World Quail, ptarmigan, partridge, pheasant, and the Cracidae. Common names are gamefowl or gamebirds, landfowl, gallinaceous birds or galliforms...

 (which includes chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

s, quails and turkeys) and the family Anatidae
Anatidae
Anatidae is the biological family of birds that includes ducks, geese and swans. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring on all the world's continents except Antarctica and on most of the world's islands and island groups...

 (in order Anseriformes
Anseriformes
The order Anseriformes contains about 150 living species of birds in three extant families: the Anhimidae , Anseranatidae , and the Anatidae, which includes over 140 species of waterfowl, among them the ducks, geese, and swans.All species in the order are highly adapted for an aquatic existence at...

), commonly known as "waterfowl
Waterfowl
Waterfowl are certain wildfowl of the order Anseriformes, especially members of the family Anatidae, which includes ducks, geese, and swans....

" (e.g. domestic ducks and domestic geese). Poultry also includes other birds which are killed for their meat, such as pigeons or dove
Dove
Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near passerines. In general terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used somewhat interchangeably...

s or birds considered to be game
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

, like pheasant
Pheasant
Pheasants refer to some members of the Phasianinae subfamily of Phasianidae in the order Galliformes.Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. Males are usually larger than females and have...

s.
Encyclopedia
Poultry are domesticated bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

, meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

, and/or feather
Feather
Feathers are one of the epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds and some non-avian theropod dinosaurs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates, and indeed a premier example of a complex evolutionary novelty. They...

s. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae (fowl)
Fowl
Fowl is a word for birds in general but usually refers to birds belonging to one of two biological orders, namely the gamefowl or landfowl and the waterfowl...

, especially the order Galliformes
Galliformes
Galliformes are an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding domestic or game bird, containing turkey, grouse, chicken, New and Old World Quail, ptarmigan, partridge, pheasant, and the Cracidae. Common names are gamefowl or gamebirds, landfowl, gallinaceous birds or galliforms...

 (which includes chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

s, quails and turkeys) and the family Anatidae
Anatidae
Anatidae is the biological family of birds that includes ducks, geese and swans. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring on all the world's continents except Antarctica and on most of the world's islands and island groups...

 (in order Anseriformes
Anseriformes
The order Anseriformes contains about 150 living species of birds in three extant families: the Anhimidae , Anseranatidae , and the Anatidae, which includes over 140 species of waterfowl, among them the ducks, geese, and swans.All species in the order are highly adapted for an aquatic existence at...

), commonly known as "waterfowl
Waterfowl
Waterfowl are certain wildfowl of the order Anseriformes, especially members of the family Anatidae, which includes ducks, geese, and swans....

" (e.g. domestic ducks and domestic geese). Poultry also includes other birds which are killed for their meat, such as pigeons or dove
Dove
Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near passerines. In general terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used somewhat interchangeably...

s or birds considered to be game
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

, like pheasant
Pheasant
Pheasants refer to some members of the Phasianinae subfamily of Phasianidae in the order Galliformes.Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. Males are usually larger than females and have...

s. Poultry comes from the French/Norman word, poule, itself derived from the Latin word Pullus, which means small animal.

Poultry is the second most widely eaten meat in the world, accounting for about 30% of meat production worldwide, after pork
Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

 at 38%.

Examples

Bird Wild ancestor Domestication Utilization Picture
Chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

Red Junglefowl
Red Junglefowl
The Red Junglefowl is a tropical member of the Pheasant family. They are thought to be ancestors of the domestic chicken with some hybridisation with the Grey Junglefowl...

/Grey Junglefowl
Grey Junglefowl
The Grey Junglefowl , also known as Sonnerat's Junglefowl, is a wild relative of domestic fowl that is endemic to India. This species is found mainly in peninsular India and where it overlaps with the distribution of the Red Junglefowl, it is known to form hybrids...

Worldwide meat, feathers, eggs, ornamentation,leather
Duck
Domesticated duck
Domesticated ducks are ducks that are raised for meat, eggs and down. Many ducks are also kept for show, as pets or for their ornamental value...

Muscovy Duck
Muscovy Duck
The Muscovy Duck is a large duck which is native to Mexico and Central and South America. A small wild population reaches into the United States in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas...

/Mallard
Mallard
The Mallard , or Wild Duck , is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia....

various meat, feathers, eggs
Emu
Emu
The Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae) is the largest bird native to Australia and the only extant member of the genus Dromaius. It is the second-largest extant bird in the world by height, after its ratite relative, the ostrich. There are three subspecies of Emus in Australia...

Emu various, 20th century meat, leather, oil
Goose Greylag Goose
Greylag Goose
The Greylag Goose , Anser anser, is a bird with a wide range in the Old World. It is the type species of the genus Anser....

/Swan Goose
Swan Goose
The Swan Goose is a rare large goose with a natural breeding range in inland Mongolia, northernmost China, and southeastern Russia. It is migratory and winters mainly in central and eastern China...

various meat, feathers, eggs
Indian peafowl
Indian Peafowl
The Indian Peafowl or Blue Peafowl is a large and brightly coloured bird of the pheasant family native to South Asia, but introduced and semi-feral in many other parts of the world...

Indian Peafowl
Indian Peafowl
The Indian Peafowl or Blue Peafowl is a large and brightly coloured bird of the pheasant family native to South Asia, but introduced and semi-feral in many other parts of the world...

various meat, feathers, ornamentation, landscaping
Mute swan
Mute Swan
The Mute Swan is a species of swan, and thus a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae. It is native to much of Europe and Asia, and the far north of Africa. It is also an introduced species in North America, Australasia and southern Africa. The name 'mute' derives from it being less...

Mute Swan various feathers, eggs, landscaping
Ostrich
Ostrich
The Ostrich is one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa, the only living member of the genus Struthio. Some analyses indicate that the Somali Ostrich may be better considered a full species apart from the Common Ostrich, but most taxonomists consider it to be a...

Ostrich various, 20th century meat, eggs, feathers, leather
Turkey Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey
The Wild Turkey is native to North America and is the heaviest member of the Galliformes. It is the same species as the domestic turkey, which derives from the South Mexican subspecies of wild turkey .Adult wild turkeys have long reddish-yellow to grayish-green...

Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

meat, feathers
Guineafowl
Guineafowl
The guineafowl are a family of birds in the Galliformes order, although some authorities include the guineafowl as a subfamily, Numidinae, of the family Phasianidae...

Helmeted guineafowl
Helmeted Guineafowl
The Helmeted Guineafowl is the best known of the guineafowl bird family, Numididae, and the only member of the genus Numida...

Africa meat, pest consumption, and alarm calling
Common pheasant
Common Pheasant
The Common Pheasant , is a bird in the pheasant family . It is native to Georgia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe , it is simply known as the "pheasant"...

Common pheasant
Common Pheasant
The Common Pheasant , is a bird in the pheasant family . It is native to Georgia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe , it is simply known as the "pheasant"...

Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

meat
Golden pheasant
Golden Pheasant
The Golden Pheasant or "Chinese Pheasant", is a gamebird of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae...

Golden pheasant
Golden Pheasant
The Golden Pheasant or "Chinese Pheasant", is a gamebird of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae...

Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

meat, mainly ornamental
Rhea
Rhea (bird)
The rheas are ratites in the genus Rhea, native to South America. There are two existing species: the Greater or American Rhea and the Lesser or Darwin's Rhea. The genus name was given in 1752 by Paul Möhring and adopted as the English common name. Möhring's reason for choosing this name, from the...

Rhea various, 20th century meat, leather, oil, eggs

Cuts of poultry

The meatiest parts of a bird are the flight
Flight
Flight is the process by which an object moves either through an atmosphere or beyond it by generating lift or propulsive thrust, or aerostatically using buoyancy, or by simple ballistic movement....

 muscle
Muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

s on its chest
Chest
The chest is a part of the anatomy of humans and various other animals. It is sometimes referred to as the thorax or the bosom.-Chest anatomy - Humans and other hominids:...

, called breast meat, and the walking
Walking
Walking is one of the main gaits of locomotion among legged animals, and is typically slower than running and other gaits. Walking is defined by an 'inverted pendulum' gait in which the body vaults over the stiff limb or limbs with each step...

 muscles on the first and second segment
Segment
Segment may mean:*The divisions found in the internal section of a citrus fruit* Market segment, the smaller subgroups comprising a marketComputing*Segmentation , the division of computer memory into segments...

s of its legs, called the thigh and drumstick, respectively. The wings are also eaten, usually (in the United States) without separating them, as in Buffalo wings; the first and second segment of the wings are referred to as drumette (meatier) and flat when these need to be distinguished, though these are technical terms. In Japan, the wing is frequently separated, and these parts are referred to as 手羽元 (teba-moto "wing base") and 手羽先 (teba-saki "wing tip").

Dark meat, which avian myologists refer to as "red muscle," is used for sustained activity—chiefly walking, in the case of a chicken. The dark color comes from the protein myoglobin
Myoglobin
Myoglobin is an iron- and oxygen-binding protein found in the muscle tissue of vertebrates in general and in almost all mammals. It is related to hemoglobin, which is the iron- and oxygen-binding protein in blood, specifically in the red blood cells. The only time myoglobin is found in the...

, which plays a key role in oxygen uptake within cells. White muscle, in contrast, is suitable only for short, ineffectual bursts of activity such as, for chickens, flying. Thus the chicken's leg and thigh meat are dark while its breast meat (which makes up the primary flight muscles) is white. Other birds with breast muscle more suitable for sustained flight, such as ducks and geese, have red muscle (and therefore dark meat) throughout.

Health

Consumption
Ingestion
Ingestion is the consumption of a substance by an organism. In animals, it normally is accomplished by taking in the substance through the mouth into the gastrointestinal tract, such as through eating or drinking...

 of large quantities of meat, including poultry, like overconsumption of any caloric food, has certain adverse effects which can include: obesity
Obesity
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems...

, heart disease
Heart disease
Heart disease, cardiac disease or cardiopathy is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases affecting the heart. , it is the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales, accounting for 25.4% of the total deaths in the United States.-Types:-Coronary heart disease:Coronary...

, and constipation
Constipation
Constipation refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass. Constipation is a common cause of painful defecation...

. In recent years, health concerns have been raised about the consumption of meat increasing the risk of cancer. Bird and animal fat, particularly from ruminants, tends to have a higher percentage of saturated fat
Saturated fat
Saturated fat is fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds between the individual carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. That is, the chain of carbon atoms is fully "saturated" with hydrogen atoms...

 vs. monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat when compared to vegetable fats, with the exception of some tropical plant fats; consumption of which has been correlated with various health problems. The saturated fat found in meat has been associated with significantly raised risks of colon cancer, although evidence suggests that risks of prostate cancer are unrelated to animal fat consumption. USDA claims (see Dietary Guidelines for Americans) that consumption of meat as a source of protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 in the human diet is crucial have been resoundingly contradicted by recent studies.

The correlation of meat, including poultry, consumption to increased risk of heart disease
Heart disease
Heart disease, cardiac disease or cardiopathy is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases affecting the heart. , it is the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales, accounting for 25.4% of the total deaths in the United States.-Types:-Coronary heart disease:Coronary...

 is controversial. A survey conducted in 1960 of 25,153 California Seventh-Day Adventists found that the risk of heart disease is three times greater for 45-64 year old men who eat meat daily, versus those who did not eat meat. In another study in 2010 involving over one million people who ate meat found that only processed meat had an adverse risk in relation to coronary heart disease. The study suggests that eating 50g (less than 2oz) of processed meat per day increases risk of coronary heart disease by 42%, and diabetes by 19%.

Chicken meat contains about two to three times as much polyunsaturated fat
Polyunsaturated fat
In nutrition, polyunsaturated fat, or polyunsaturated fatty acid, are fatty acids in which more than one carbon–carbon double bond exists within the representative molecule. That is, the molecule has two or more points on its structure capable of supporting hydrogen atoms not currently part of the...

 than most types of red meat
Red meat
Red meat in traditional culinary terminology is meat which is red when raw and not white when cooked. In the nutritional sciences, red meat includes all mammal meat. Red meat includes the meat of most adult mammals and some fowl ....

 when measured as weight percentage.

A recent study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute
Translational Genomics Research Institute
The Translational Genomics Research Institute , is a non-profit genomics research institute established in 2002 by Jeffrey Trent, the founding Scientific Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute , in Phoenix, Arizona, United States.TGen seeks to employ genetic discoveries to improve...

 showed that nearly half (47%) percent of the meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

 and poultry in U.S. grocery stores were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus
Staphylococcus aureus
Staphylococcus aureus is a facultative anaerobic Gram-positive coccal bacterium. It is frequently found as part of the normal skin flora on the skin and nasal passages. It is estimated that 20% of the human population are long-term carriers of S. aureus. S. aureus is the most common species of...

, with more than half (52%) of those bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

See also

  • Amenable species
    Amenable species
    Amenable species is a term used within the context of USDA’s meat and poultry inspection program to signify exotic species that might be added to the laws and thus be eligible for mandatory federal inspection, which is taxpayer-funded...

  • Chicken (food)
    Chicken (food)
    Chicken is the most common type of poultry in the world, and is prepared as food in a wide variety of ways, varying by region and culture.- History :...

  • Domestic turkey
  • Duck (food)
    Duck (food)
    Duck refers to the meat of several species of bird in the Anatidae family, found in both fresh and salt water. Duck is eaten in many cuisines around the world.-Types of ducks:The most common duck meat consumed in the United States is the Pekin duck...

  • Oyster (fowl)
    Oyster (fowl)
    Oysters are two small, round pieces of dark meat on the back of poultry near the thigh, in the hollow on the dorsal side of the ilium bone. Some regard the "oyster meat" to be the most flavorful and tender part of the bird, while others dislike the taste and texture.Compared to dark meat found in...

  • Poultry farming
    Poultry farming
    Poultry farming is the raising of domesticated birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese, for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food. According to the Worldwatch Institute, 74 percent of the world's poultry meat, and 68 percent of eggs are produced in ways that are described as...

  • Pollotarianism
  • Roast goose
    Roast goose
    Roast goose is a dish found within Chinese and European cuisine.-Southern China:In southern China, roast goose is a variety of siu mei, or roasted meat dishes, within Cantonese cuisine. It is made by roasting geese with seasoning in a charcoal furnace at high temperature. Roasted geese of high...


External links

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