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Glossary of Poultry Terms

Broiler
A chicken raised for meat. Are about 5 to 8 weeks* of age, have carcass weights of 0.8 to 1.8 kg, and may be males or females.

Brooder
A heated, enclosed place where baby chicks are kept during the first weeks of their life while they’re growing their feathers (until then they can’t keep themselves warm)

Capon
A castrated male chicken over 9 weeks* of age and with carcases over 1.8 kg.

Cornish Hen
A young immature chicken (usually 5 to 6 weeks of age), weighing not more than 2 pounds dressed weight, which was prepared from a Cornish chicken or the progeny of a Cornish chicken crossed with another breed of chicken. (USDA)

Debeaking & Beak Trimming
The partial removal of the beak of poultry, especially chickens and turkeys but also ducks, pheasants and quail. In the United States, beak trimming is common in egg-laying strains of chickens and turkeys as a preventive measure to reduce the incidence of cannibalism and feather pecking and improve livability, however, commercial broiler chickens are sometimes debeaked. In close confinement, cannibalism and aggression is common among turkeys, ducks, pheasants, quail, and egg laying strains of chickens of many breeds (including both heritage breeds and modern hybrids). Mortality mainly due to cannibalism can be up to 15% in egg laying flocks housed in aviaries, straw yards, and free-range systems. KOL Foods Poultry is never subjected to debeaking.

Fillet

A boneless and skinless cut of meat from the breast or thigh.

Fryer
Another name for a broiler, or chicken raised for meat. Are about 5 to 8 weeks* of age, have carcass weights of 0.8 to 1.8 kg, and may be males or females.

Hen
A female chicken that is at least 1 year old

Pullet
An adolescent female chicken

Roaster
Male or female chickens older than 9 weeks* with carcasses over 1.8 kg.

Rooster
An adult male chicken


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* Age estimations are for industrial birds raised in CAFOs.  For age estimates for pasture-raised birds double listed age estimate.

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