Common Poultry Terms

There are a lot of specific terms about poultry you might not be familair with.  If you’re thinking about getting chickens, ducks, geese, or other fowl, it’s good to get used to these common terms.  Here are some of the farmyard poultry terms you might come across.

Bantam – A smaller variety of chickens and ducks.  Some chicken breeds are available in both a standard and bantam size, while others are only bantam. There are a few breeds which are “true bantams”, meaning they only occur in smaller sizes, as well as varieties that have standard size chicken equivalents.  While the exact history of bantams is up for debate, it’s said they developed through a combination of natural selection and careful breeding.  Bantams are particularly popular as pets because of their size and wide variety of fancy color and feather patterns.


Beard – The most common term for the bunch of feathers under some chicken’s chins.  Varieties that display beards include Americanas and varieties of d’Uccles.  This unique feathering gives these breeds a very distinct appearance.

Bloom - The natural coating an egg is laid with.  Not to be confused with the shell, bloom is a thin film that seals the pores on the eggshell, helping them stay fresh. Washing removes the bloom, so store bought eggs will not have this natural layer.

Broiler – Chicken breeds which are bred and raised specifically for meat production.  These breeds will gain weight faster than other chicken breeds.

1/24/2019 9:39:12 AM

Thanks for this informative glossary. I have a good handle on the vegetable garden and am in my second year of canning. Just started research to add chickens for eggs. The glossary is really helpful.

4/3/2016 3:59:39 PM

This is a great resource, particularly for the inexperienced poultry keeper. One of the terms in your glossary is "broody hen". Can I draw your readers' attention to an article that I wrote about broody hens? It is over 6000 words long, links to the thoughts of some of the top practitioners in the chicken keeping niche, answers 61 of the most important questions that are asked about broody hens. I have made it as reader friendly as possible by using lots of graphics and splitting it into different sections. I think that it could be a very useful source of information to your readers. You can Thanks

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