Eggcited About Poultry

Middle School Curriculum

By: Jennie Simpson and Dr. Frank Flanders
Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office
Georgia Department of Education
May 2003

What is poultry used for, what types of poultry are there?
Breeds of Chicken.
Differences Between White and Brown Eggs.
Poultry Terms to Know.
Broiler Production.
Layer Production.

Click on a topic of interest below or go through the entire presentation by clicking on the arrows.

What do we use poultry for?
Thanksgiving Turkey
Feathers-Down pillows
Feathers-Fish lures
Eggs- Angel Food Cake
Chicken Nuggets

What types of poultry are there?
Ratites-Ostriches, Emus
Game Birds

Pigeons Are Also Poultry
There is a hobby called Pigeon Racing and hobbyists take it very seriously!
The pigeons are released and use their “homing” instinct, to return home to their “lofts”.
Pigeons are also known as “Thoroughbreds of the Sky”

Chickens make up the largest sector of the poultry industry.
Consumption of chicken in the U.S. is rising every year.

Chicken is LOW in fat, HIGH in protein and LOW in cholesterol when compared to meats such as pork and beef.
There are several breeds of chicken used to produce different products and types of eggs.

Breeds of Chicken
White Leghorns
Used for egg production and produce white eggs

Breeds of Chicken
Barred Plymouth Rocks
Used for meat and eggs, produce brown eggs
New Hampshire Reds
Used for meat and eggs, produce brown eggs
White Plymouth Rocks
Used for meat and eggs, produce brown eggs

What is the Difference Between Brown Eggs and White Eggs?
White and brown eggs taste the same and have the same nutritive value. Brown eggs are not healthier!
The color difference is due to the breed of the hen.
You can tell what color egg a hen will lay by looking at her feathers and ear lobes.
A hen with WHITE earlobes and feathers will lay WHITE eggs.
A hen with RED feathers and matching earlobes will lay BROWN eggs.
The difference is purely cosmetic….usually, people in the North prefer brown eggs while people in the South like white eggs.

Broiler- used mainly for meat. A broiler is a chicken is 6 to 7 weeks of age and weighs 4 pounds when it is sent to market.
Poultry Terms to Know

Layer-a mature female chicken that produces eggs. Most can lay 300 eggs/year.

Pullet- a young female chicken

Capon- a male chicken that has been neutered/castrated, usually 5 to 7 months of age and weigh about 6 pounds. By castrating these males when they are 3 weeks old, their meat is more tender and more flavorful when the bird matures.
Poultry Terms to Know

Rooster/Cock- a mature male chicken

Cockerel- a male chicken that is less than 1 year old

Spent hen- a hen that is no longer laying

Poultry Terms to Know

Vertical Integration-raising, processing, and distributing poultry is now one continuous chain. A large company is composed of smaller companies that carry out all the processes from manufacturing to distributing. For example, Con Agra is one large company, but they hire growers, hatcheries, distributors, and processors.
1. Hatchery
2. Growout
3. Processing
4. Distribution
Photos courtesy of USDA

Broiler Production
Broilers are raised for their meat and they make up most of the chicken products that we eat.
A Broiler’s Story:
I was born in a hatchery…then I was placed in an open chicken house where I ate and drank at free will. The chicken house is big, warm, and well ventilated. I ran around on a big open shavings floor. I was fed a diet that made me grow as efficiently as possible so that the grower wouldn’t waste money on me. My diet has yellow corn, soy, other grains, minerals, vitamins, and medicine to keep us from getting sick. My brothers,sisters, and I were all kept very healthy. When I turned six weeks old and weighed 4 pounds I was sent to market so you can enjoy chicken nuggets and other chicken products.

Which three states in the U.S. lead in broiler production?
Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas
Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida
Arkansas, California, and Michigan
Most farmers grow chickens on a contract.
What does growing on contract mean?
The Grower Supplies:
Cleaning Supplies

Company (Con Agra, Perdue,etc.)
The Company Supplies:

Layer Production

Layer Production
Did you know?
A layer hen in production can lay almost 300 eggs/year and this number is rising! In 1900, hens only laid 100 eggs/year!

Are the eggs you buy in the store fertilized or unfertilized?
They are unfertilized! Hens do not need a rooster to lay eggs.

Can you name some foods that have eggs in them?
Angel food cake, mayonnaise, egg nog, bread, and noodles are just a few products with eggs!
What are the parts of an egg?

Eggs can be Grade AA, A, or B
Small, Medium, or Large

Eggs that are misshapen, cracked, or dirty are not sold to the consumer. These eggs are classified as LOSS.







Spent Hen
Photo courtesy of CAA


A silkie chick-10 weeks old

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