What Are the Different Types of Poultry?

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There are different kinds of poultry, including chicken, pheasant, turkey, duck, goose, pigeon, partridge, quail, ostrich, emu and rhea. Poultry is the term used for any domestic fowl that is raised for its feathers, eggs or meat or works as a guard animal or a homing animal.

Poultry is used as a common source of protein in the American diet and in other countries throughout the world in the form of meat and eggs. All of the various chicken breeds that are present today originated from the red jungle fowl of East Asia. The specialized breeds of chicken used for meat and for eggs were developed through years of different generations undergoing genetic selection.

There are several varieties of the turkey but only one actual breed of this bird. Turkeys are raised for meat and not for eggs. Ducks are descendants from wild mallard and are used for their meat and eggs. The ostrich is also raised primarily for meat, though it can also be raised for leather and feathers or even eggs. Pigeons are often raised for meat production or as passenger pigeons (also known as homing pigeons.

Other avian species raised domestically are not considered poultry. These include swans, pet birds and ornamental birds.