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Poultry is the class of domesticated fowl (birds) farmed for food or for their eggs. These most typically are members of the orders Galliformes (such as chickens and turkeys), and Anseriformes (waterfowl such as ducks and geese).The word poultry is often used to refer to the meat of these birds. In a more general sense, it may refer to the meat of other birds, such as pigeons or doves, or game birds like pheasants.

                                                 Types of poultry


Wild Ancestor




Red Jungleflow
















Wild Turkey



Cuts of poultry
The meatiest parts of a bird are the flight muscles on its chest, called breast meat, and the walking muscles on the first and second segments of its legs, called the thigh and drumstick respectively.White meat has less oxygen-carrying myoglobin than the walking muscles, and are thus lighter in color. This is the distinction between "white meat" and "dark meat".

Poultry Development in India

Poultry Development in India has made impressive progress during the last three decades evolving from backyard ventures to a full-fledged commercial agro industrial business mainly due to comprehensive research and development initiated by the Government and subsequently taken up by the organized private sector.  At present India ranks among the top 5 nations in egg production in the world with the total annual egg production of about 40.4 billion in 2003-04.

Now the private organizations are very well placed to meet the requirement of high producing birds suited only for the intensive organized poultry sector, but the unorganized sector which contributes a substantial proportion of egg production is still neglected.

1. Central Poultry Development Organizations

During the 10th Plan it was decided to club all the existing 13 Central Poultry Development Organizations region-wise into 4 Centres so as to conver the poultry developmental activities in a single window system. Their major mandate now is only to encourage backyard/rural poultry.

These Centres are now being used for diversification production program as one of the thrust area by taking up duck, turkey, Japanese quail and Guinea fowl etc. They are taking up development of least cost feed formulation based on locally available ingredients in collaboration with ICAR mainly. They will assess the residual effect of various toxic substances in poultry feed including poultry products etc. New activities like Poultry Training are being taken up at all these Centers for all categories of farmers and new activities like adoption of villages to boost rural poultry through extension wing of these organizations are being taken up.

During 2004-05, the CPDOs have supplied about 0.82 lakh parent chicks, 0.76 lakh ducklings, 8.52 lakh Commercial chicks 7.58 chicken hatching eggs, 1.16 lakh duck hatching eggs and 5.03 lakhs Turkey poults/ Guinea Fowl / Japanese Quil Keets. These organizations also analysed about 4560 feed samples and trained about 1650 persons and 240 trainers during the year.

2. Assistance to States Poultry Farms

During the X Plan, the Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Assistance to state poultry farms” was launched in all the States and UTs to strengthen existing poultry farms including other species like ducks, turkey, quails, guinea fowl etc. The pattern of assistance is 100% for North Eastern States and 80:20 for other States. The scheme will also apply to the farms of the State Governments who may run in collaboration with cooperatives/private sector/NGOs etc. One time assistance is provided to suitably strengthen hatching, brooding and rearing operations with feed mill, quality monitoring and in-house disease diagnoses provisions. Breeding stock to be maintained is stipulated to be strictly of low input technology. Target group should be as far as possible, marginal farmers, landless labourers, women in groups only and from other socially backward sections of the society. A provision of Rs.15.00 lakh as revolving fund for making the Scheme self-sustainable is also made. During 2003-04, 30 farms were assisted for strengthening and total sanctions worth Rs.14.37 crores were released for the same. 

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