Poultry Terms: From Auto-sexing to Broiler.

Cock, Cockerel, Rooster, Chicken, Hen, Pullet, Layer, Capon, Broiler are all terms used to describe a chicken, some are often used in the wrong context, so I thought i would put the definitions I use in my blog.  Nerdy I’m sure, but I’m also sure people will find this useful 🙂

Autosexing: Term used to describe chicks than can be sexed at hatched based on their colouring/markings. An example of this is the Cream/Crested Legbar (see picture above)

Broiler: A bird bred for meat, generally applied to those under 14weeks.

Broody: A female chicken that is ready to sit on/hatch some eggs.

Capon: This is a male chicken castrated before sexual maturity, use to raise bigger birds. This process is currently illegal under animal welfare standards in the UK.

Chick: a baby chicken, generally used for birds less than 4 weeks

Cock: A male chicken over a year old

Cockerel: A male chicken less than a year old

Dual Purpose: used to describe breeds that can be used for egg production or meat, the Ixworth is an example.

Fowl: General term used to describe domestic birds

Grower: A young chicken, typical lets than 14weeks

Hen: A female chicken older than a year

Hybrid: A bird bred from two (or more) different chicken breeds, sometime refereed to as Cross-breed

Layer: A Chicken used for Egg Production

Pullet: A female chicken under a year of age.

P.O.L: Point of Lay, term used to refer to a female pullet who is just coming into lay. For hybrids this is typically 18-20 weeks, often later in pure breeds. However this term is over used in poultry sales and applied to birds as young a 14 weeks.

Purebreed : A Chicken who’s parentage comes from the same breed line.

Rooster: Another term for a Cock, more wideless used in the US.

I hope you found this useful, I am open to feedback, so please feel free to leave comments.

Andrew