What is a Poultry Farm?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Poultry farms are commercial facilities where various types of poultry are bred and raised. It is not unusual for a poultry farm to raise different types of poultry and fowl at the same location. Usually, the farms focus on raising poultry for eggs as well as for meat.

Silkie chickens may be raised on a poultry farm.
Silkie chickens may be raised on a poultry farm.

Today’s poultry farm is in contrast to the family farm of yesteryear. While in the past, a single family farm would often sell eggs and raise chickens for sale, this function was often one of many ways the farm produced both food and revenue. The commercial farming efforts of today tend to be more focused and use sophisticated technology to track the status and rate of production.

Laying hens may be kept in battery cages on a commercial poultry farm.
Laying hens may be kept in battery cages on a commercial poultry farm.

At any given poultry farm, it is highly likely that visitors will see several different types of fowl in addition to hens and roosters. A farming operation of this type may include turkeys, ducks, and pheasants among its residents. In some operations, the fowl range freely on the farm. This is often true for organic farming facilities. With other commercial farming efforts, the fowl are segregated and rarely if ever are allowed to roam outside an area set aside for a given type of poultry.

Modern poultry farms used computers to track production and financial data.
Modern poultry farms used computers to track production and financial data.

It is not unusual for a poultry farm to also raise chicks for sale to pet shops and family farmers. Many farms also offer ancillary services such as debeaking in order to attract a wider clientele. Each of these additional services is usually not included in the basic unit fees, but are available at an additional charge.

Poultry farms may produce a variety of eggs.
Poultry farms may produce a variety of eggs.

One of the major expenses with any large poultry farm is food for the stock. Often, the feedlot is composed elements such as corn, ground soybeans, grain cereals, and rice products. Along with food, care for the stock is also a significant expense. Larger operations often carry a full time veterinarian on the payroll, effectively providing the chickens, ducks and other fowl with around the clock medical attention if necessary.

Along with meat and eggs, the poultry farm often makes use of everything that has to do with the fowl. Feathers stripped from carcasses are cleaned and sold for use in pillows, sleeping bags, and winter coats. Manure is collected and converted into fertilizer. Even by products such as the beaks and talons can be ground and used as ingredients in various types of pet food.

The poultry farm of today is one of the more profitable operations within the farming industry. Some of the older farms have been in operation for decades and show no evidence of slowing down.

The poultry industry produces whole raw chickens for cooking.
The poultry industry produces whole raw chickens for cooking.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

LisaLou

@golf07 - I have found the prices to be very comparable and many times they are even cheaper! Since I don't live too far away I only buy a couple dozen at a time, but I know they can last up to 4-5 weeks if you keep them refrigerated.

I know what you mean about the yolks. I have also noticed that the shells seem to be much stronger and not so fragile. It takes a little more effort to crack them than the ones I buy in the store.

This time of year, you should also be able to find them at farmers markets. They might be a little higher priced than a local poultry farm, but I think is well worth it.

golf07

@sunshined. I would love to be able to buy farm fresh eggs. Is that something that you usually have to pay more for, or are they about the same price?

I remember growing up we had farm fresh eggs, and the yolks always seemed to be so much brighter. Whenever we had company and my mom served eggs, everyone would comment on how they looked different! Now that I am older, I realize that they must be so much better for you.

sunshined

I am very fortunate to live a few miles from an organic poultry farm. Whenever I need eggs I just make a quick drive and am able to purchase eggs from chickens that are free range.

There was a big salmonella scare in our community a few months ago, and this really increased the awareness and business for these type of poultry farms. When this happened, I had to wait a few weeks to get eggs because one man came and purchased everything they had for several days!

If you live anywhere near farming communities, you will probably have access to this type of farm. I love being able to eat eggs from a place that I can see the chickens and know what they are being fed.

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