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#1 2011-04-09 14:45:41

I Love A.C.E.
From: Terrace, BC
Registered: 2010-01-13
Posts: 3018

Glossary of common poultry words and terms.

I found this list and thought it was pretty good.  I was thinking that if anyone has words, or abreviations that they want to add it might be a good idea.  (I added a couple to it)

Alektorophobia . Fear of chickens.

Auto-sexing . An auto-sexing breed is a breed in which the male and female day-old chicks can be distinguished. Some physical characteristic must be observable that is different in males than females. The important difference between a sex-link hybrid and an auto-sexing breed is that the auto-sexing breed is a pure, true-breeding strain and not a hybrid.

Avian . Pertaining to birds.

Barred.  Having alternate bands of different color on a bird's feathers, usually black and white.

Bean.  A raised, hard, bean-shaped swelling on the end of a bill on a waterfowl.

Bantam . A miniature chicken, about one-fourth the size of a full size chicken.

Banty . Affectionate word for bantam.

Barnyard chicken. A chicken of mixed breed.

Beard . The feathers ( always found in association with a muff) bunched under the beaks of such breeds as Antwerp Belgian, Faverolle, and Houdan.

Bill Out . Use of beak to scoop feed out of feeder onto floor.

Blade.  The portion of a single comb below the points.

Blastodisc. The tiny white spot on the surface of the yolk. It contains the single female cell. When the yolk enters the infundibulum, a sperm penetrates the blastodisc and fertilizes it. The blastodisc then becomes a blastoderm.

Bleaching . The fading of color from the beak, shanks, and vent of yellow skinned laying hens.

Bloom . The moist, protective coating on a freshly laid egg the dries so fast you rarely see it: also the peak condition of a show bird.

Blowout . Vent damage caused by an over sized egg.

Booted. Having feathers on shanks and toes.

Break up . To discourage a hen from setting.

Breed . A population of a species that have distinct characteristics that differentiate them form other populations in that species. Individuals within that population that reproduce with another individual of the population will produce offspring that are recognizable as members of that population. Breeds can further be subdivided into varieties based on differences within the breed.

Breeders. 1. Mature chickens from which fertile eggs are collected. 2. A person who manages chickens.

Breed true. The characteristic of purebred chicks whereby they resemble both parents.

Broiler . A young, tender meat chicken also called fryer.

Brood . To care for a batch of chicks, also the chicks themselves.

Brooder . A mechanical device used to imitate the warmth and protection a mother hen gives her chicks.

Broody . A hen that covers eggs to warm and hatch them.

Candle . To examine the contents of an intact egg with a light.

Candler . A light used to examine the contents of an egg.

Cannibalism . The bad habit chickens have of eating each others flesh, feathers or eggs.

Cape . The narrow feathers between a chickens neck and back.

Capon . A castrated rooster.

Cestode. Tapeworm.

Chalazae. Two white cords on each side of a yolk that keep the yolk properly positioned within the egg white; singular: chalaza.

Chook . Slang for chicken.

Clean legged. Having no feathers growing down the shanks.

Clutch. 1. A batch of eggs that are hatched together, either in a nest or in an incubator (from the Old Norse word "klekja," meaning to hatch), also called a "setting". 2. All the eggs laid by a hen on consecutive days, before she skips a day and starts a new laying cycle.

Coccidiasis. Infection with coccidial protozoa without showing any signs.

Coccidiosis. A parasitic protozoal infestation, usually occurring in damp, unclean housing conditions.

Coccidiostat. A drug used to keep chickens from getting coccidiosis.

Cock . A male chicken, also called a rooster. One year old or more.

Cockerel . A male chicken under one year old.

Comb . The usually red or purplish fleshy out growth on top the head.

Coop . The house where a chicken lives.

Crest . A puff of feathers on the heads of breed such as Houdan, Silkie, or Polish, also called topknot.

Crop. A pouch at the base of a chicken neck that bulges after a chicken has eaten, also to trim a chickens wattles.

Crossbreed. The offspring of a hen and a rooster of two different breeds

Cull . To eliminate a non-productive or inferior chicken from the flock also the non-productive or inferior chicken itself.

Cushion.  The feathers on a female chicken's back, called a saddle on a male chicken.

Dam . Mother

Dam family. Sibling chickens that all have the same dam as well as sire.

Debeak . To remove a portion of a birds top beak to prevent cannibalism.

Droppings . Chicken manure.

Dub . To trim a comb.

Dual-purpose. Chickens used for both egg and meat production.

Dust or dust bath . The habit chickens have of thrashing around in soft soil to clean their feathers and discourage parasites.

Ear lobe.  Fleshy patch of skin below ear. It may be red, white, blue, or purple, depending upon the breed of chicken.

Egg tooth . A horny cap on a chicks upper beak that helps the chick pip through the shell.

Enteritis . Inflammation of the intestine.

Fecal . Pertaining to feces.

Feces . Droppings or body waste.

Feral . Wild, untamed, not domesticated.

Flock . A group of chickens living together.

Fowl . Domesticated birds raised for food; also a stewing hen.

Free range . To allow chickens to roam pasture at will.

Frizzle . Feathers that curl rather than laying flat.

Fryer. A tender young meat chicken; also see "broiler."

Germinal disc, or blastodisc. Site of fertilization of the egg yolk.

Gizzard . An organ that contains grit for grinding up grain or plant fiber a chicken eats.

Grit . Sand and small pebbles eaten by chickens and used by its gizzard to grind food.

Hackles . A roosters cape feathers.

Hen . A female chicken. One year old or more.

Hen feathered. The characteristic of a rooster having rounded rather than pointed sex feathers.

Hock . The joint between the lower thigh and shank, sometimes incorrectly referred to as the knee.

Hybrid . A cross breed - typically used for a purposeful crossing of two species to produce offspring with a unique set of characteristics. Mating two hybrid birds will not produce offspring with the same characteristics of the parents. (See Breed)

Keat.  A Guinea Fowl chick.

Keel . The breast bone.

Litter . Bedding. Also used to collect and hold droppings.

Leaker. An egg that leaks because the shell is cracked and the shell membrane is broken.

Mite. A tiny jointed-legged body parasite

Molt or moult . The annual shedding and renewing of a birds feathers.

Mottled. An arrangement of colored spots or blotches

Muff. The feathers (always found in association with a beard) sticking out from both sides of the face, under the beak, of such breeds as Ameraucana, Faverolle, and Houdan; also called "whiskers."

Necropsy . A postmortem examination. Equivalent to a human autopsy.

Nematode. A parasitic roundworm.

Nest. A secluded place where a hen feels she may safely leave her eggs; also, the act of brooding.

Nest egg. A wooden or plastic egg placed in a nest to encourage hens to lay there.

Nest run. Ungraded eggs.

Oil sac, or uropygial gland. Large oil gland on the back at the base of the tail - used to preen or condition the feathers.

Pasting . Loose droppings sticking to vent area.

Peck order . The social rank of chickens.

Pen. 1. A group of chickens entered into a show and judged together. 2. The outside area around a coop.

Perch. The place where chickens sleep at night; the act of resting on a perch; also called a "roost."

Persistency of lay. The ability of a hen to lay steadily over a long period of time.

Pickout. Vent damage due to cannibalism.

Pigmentation. The color of a chicken's beak, shanks, and vent.

Pinfeathers. The tips of newly emerging feathers.

Pip . The hole a newly formed chick makes in its shell when its ready to hatch; also the act of making the hole.

Point of Lay.  Pullets that are at the "point of lay", or that they will lay very soon. This is usually somewere around 5-7 months of age.

Pullet . A female chicken less than one year old.

Rooster . Male chicken.

Saddle . The part of the chickens back just before the tail.

Sex-link A genetic trait that creates a difference (usually in color) between males and females. Most often this is used to refer to traits that make chicks of different genders visibly distinct for ease of sexing. The term may apply to the gene or characteristic, or is often applied to hybrid crosses that display this characteristic such as the Golden Sex-link.

Sickles . Long curved tail feathers on some roosters.

Sire . Father.

Sire family. The offspring of one cock mated to two or more hens, so that all are full or half siblings.

Smut. Black feathers that are uncharacteristic for the breed, such as black body feathers in a Rhode Island Red.

Snood. tube-like fleshy growth near the front of the top of the head in turkeys.

Spent. No longer laying well.

Spurs. The sharp pointed protrusions on a rooster's shanks.

Stag. A cockerel on the brink of sexual maturity, when his comb and spurs begin to develop.

Standard. The description of an ideal specimen for its breed; also, a chicken that conforms to the description of its breed in the American Standard of Perfection, sometimes erroneously used when referring to large as opposed to bantam breeds.

Starve-out . Failure of chicks to eat.

Straight run . Newly hatched chicks that have not been sexed.

Vent . The outside opening of the cloaca, through which the chicken emits eggs and droppings from separate channels.

Wattles . The two red purplish flaps of flesh that dangle from under a chicken's chin.

So many different terms for the Comb that I put it by it's self. 

Comb: The fleshy prominence on the top of the head of fowl.

Chickens have different types of combs. There are 8 recognized kinds of combs. Those are the Cushion, the Strawberry, the Silkie, the Single, the V-shaped, the Rose, the Pea and the Buttercup. Some are shaped in interesting manners. There is also a "walnut" comb (see below).

The Buttercup is set right on top and in the middle of the head and it is actually a clearly outlined high-point scalloped circular structure, which is highly reminiscent of a crown.

The Single comb is a strong, smooth, fleshy formation with deep and wide serrations. The tips of the scallops are arranged in a bow-like fashion, being low at the anterior and the posterior positions. The comb of a cock is much bigger than that of a female and is always erect.

The Rose is a strong comb, which features a sharp spike-like element. The spike may be held in different positions according to the breed. The top is curved up-wards and is speckled with tiny prominent growths.

The pea is a low comb with three wavy or serrated ridges, the middle one being higher than the two other ones.

The Cushion comb is relatively small. It lies flat on the skull and it has no scalloped pattern.

The Silkie comb is wide and lumpy and corrugated on top.

The Strawberry comb bears resemblance to a strawberry, which hangs down the forehead and close to the beak.

The V-shaped comb of chickens is very much like a pair of horns diverging from the base.

The Walnut comb is a solid, moderately broad comb resulting from the combination of two dominant alleles for the Rose and Pea comb, with a surface that shows some furrowing reminiscent of a walnut half.

Last edited by silkiebantam (2011-04-09 22:59:34)

Have you squeezed your Cochin today?



#2 2011-04-09 15:54:31

I Love A.C.E.
From: Crossfield AB
Registered: 2010-02-10
Posts: 2456

Re: Glossary of common poultry words and terms.

What about POL - point of lay

<")3 quiet hen      >")3 noisy hen



#3 2011-04-09 16:15:07

Island Girl
From: Qualicum Beach VancouverIsland
Registered: 2010-11-15
Posts: 4185

Re: Glossary of common poultry words and terms.

nice job   clpz

Raising quality EOs



#4 2011-04-09 22:56:07

I Love A.C.E.
From: Terrace, BC
Registered: 2010-01-13
Posts: 3018

Re: Glossary of common poultry words and terms.

Thanks, I added on some more.  Also I added on, Point of Lay.  Which was great, because, I'm ashamed to say, I didn't know exactly what Point of Lay was.  But now I do!  I alway thought it was a run of the mill layer chicken.  lol.  :blushing:

Have you squeezed your Cochin today?



#5 2011-04-11 01:51:15

Martin Grove Farm
From: Waterloo/St. Jacobs, Ontario
Registered: 2009-11-02
Posts: 19607

Re: Glossary of common poultry words and terms.

clpz  Great list Silkie.

"I never learned from a man who agreed with me".~~Robert A. Heinlein.
“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you.” - John Wooden
May every word that we speak, and every word that we type, be words that lift up and never words that tear down



#6 2013-02-16 22:31:37

Rachel's Roost
Growing Member
From: Horsefly, BC
Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 19

Re: Glossary of common poultry words and terms.

great idea ... thank you !



Member of Chantecler Fanciers International (CFI)



#7 2013-02-17 00:14:17

Active Member
From: Neebing, Ontario
Registered: 2012-03-07
Posts: 260

Re: Glossary of common poultry words and terms.

Thank you :goodpost:



#8 2016-02-23 14:31:48

Martin Grove Farm
From: Waterloo/St. Jacobs, Ontario
Registered: 2009-11-02
Posts: 19607

Re: Glossary of common poultry words and terms.


"I never learned from a man who agreed with me".~~Robert A. Heinlein.
“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you.” - John Wooden
May every word that we speak, and every word that we type, be words that lift up and never words that tear down



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