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Poultry: try something new

Published: June 21, 2019

[1: right] Poultry has made a significant contribution to the North American diet for decades if not centuries.

While the term ‘poultry’ encompasses several species of domesticated birds which are raised for the production of meat and eggs, only chicken and turkey have become firm favourites in the North American diet.
Until relatively recently, turkey was mostly consumed at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but commercial farming and processing has improved the availability of turkey both in terms of quantity and affordability. 
Chicken and turkey are now frequently consumed as alternatives to red meat.
Other domesticated fowl such as duck, goose, Cornish hen, quail, pheasant, guinea fowl and squabs are available for purchase, but these less common breeds have not been commercially farmed in North Ameria to the same extent as chicken and turkey.
As such these fowl tend to be more expensive and not as easily purchased. Game birds, or wild birds that are hunted, are not considered poultry.
Squab, quail, pheasant and guinea fowl are only considered as poultry if they are bred in captivity.
Unfamiliarity with the taste, texture, cooking requirements and nutritional information may influence your choice. 
Poultry production
Domestication of wild ancestors of chicken, turkey, ducks, and geese to today’s intensive commercial systems has occurred over hundreds of years.
The first intensive commercial poultry system was established in the UK in 1920s and in the late 1940s early 1950s in the US.
While the majority of poultry, particularly chicken and turkey, are produced in large commercial systems, smaller quantities are produced in small flocks under extensive systems or free range.
Ducks and geese are not as adaptable to intensive production.
Quail domestication was initiated in Japan, but commercial quail farming industries have now been established in other countries. Guinea fowl domestication originated in Southern Africa.
Over the centuries poultry species have been selectively bred depending on characteristics required for meat or egg production: such as fast.. .link to the full artile to learn more about poultry.

Related Topics

Diet  Food Choices  Nutrients 


Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
Wikipedia: Poultry