domesticated birds kept by humans for their eggs, meat, or feathers

Poultry are a form of domesticated bird kept by humans for their eggs, their meat or their feathers.[1] These birds are most typically members of the superorder Galloanserae (fowl), especially the order Galliformes (which includes chickens, quails, and turkeys).[2] The term also includes birds that are killed for their meat, such as the young pigeons (known as squabs) but does not include similar wild birds hunted for sport or food and known as game. The word "poultry" comes from the French/Norman word poule, which itself is derived from the Latin word pullus, which means small animal.[3]

Ducks amongst other poultry.
Poultry, on an image by Otto Scheuerer.

Poultry as Food


Poultry is the second most widely eaten type of meat in the world, accounting for about 33% of total meat production all around the world compared to pork at 36%.[4][5]

World production of duck meat was about 4.2 million tonnes in 2011. China was producing two thirds of that total which means around 1.7 billion birds.[6]

Chicken and duck eggs on sale in Hong Kong

Global egg production reached 76.7 million tonnes in 2018, a huge 24% growth since 2008.[7]



  1. "Consider These 6 Types Of Poultry For Your Farm". Hobby Farms. 2017-08-14. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  2. "Fowl". HowStuffWorks. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  3. "Our Poultry". Poule D'or Chicken. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  4. "What is the most consumed meat in the world?". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  5. "What are the Most Consumed Meats Around the World?". steakholderfoods.com. 14 April 2022. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  6. "USDA International Livestock & Poultry: World Duck, Goose and Guinea Fowl Meat Situation". The Poultry Site. 19 December 2013. Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  7. "Global Egg Production Continues to Grow". International Egg Commission. 19 June 2022. Retrieved 22 January 2024.

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