type of poultry

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The word "fowl" was once used to describe any bird, but today the word is more specific. It describes birds in the order Galliformes and Anseriformes, which includes waterfowl, wildfowl, and landfowl. Typically, farmers raise poultry for meat, eggs and feathers. Explore nine bird species and learn about their appearance, diet and habitat.


Types of poultry birds 1
The domestic chicken is one of the most widely distributed domesticated animals in the world, with a population of nearly 24 billion.

© Katrin Friedl Fotografie/Shutterstock.com

The domestic chicken is a species of jungle fowl from Southeast Asia whose ancestors can be traced back 6 million years. Chickens often roam farms and homesteads, where farmers raise them for meat and eggs. However, some people keep chickens as pets! They are one of the most widely distributed domestic animals in the world, numbering close to 24 billion individuals. They are gregarious birds, living in groups and brooding together. While most chickens live in confinement, these birds prefer areas with open tree canopies and shrubs underneath. They are omnivores, and their diet usually consists of fruits, vegetables, grains, and table scraps.


best farm animals
They are primarily water birds and live in both fresh and salt water.

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"Duck" is a general term for many waterfowl of the same family as swans and geese, except that they are smaller and have shorter necks. They are primarily water birds and live in both fresh and salt water. Ducks are domesticated and wild and live on every continent except Antarctica. Many species in warmer regions are permanent residents, but those in the northern hemisphere migrate in winter. These birds have a wide-ranging diet including aquatic plants, grasses, insects, fish, amphibians, worms and molluscs.


canada goose, canada goose
Geese are found in captivity and in the wild, usually in permanent pairs. These birds usually live near bodies of water.

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Goose can refer to several species of waterfowl in the family Anatidae (snow geese, Canada geese, etc.). These birds live in captivity and in the wild, often forming permanent pairs. Those who have ever encountered a protective mother goose know that these birds are territorial during nesting season. They migrate according to food and water availability, flying in V-shaped formations. Geese typically live around bodies of water, such as ponds, swamps, and lakes. You can also find them on golf courses, campuses, and other cities and suburbs.

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wild turkey
Domesticated turkeys live on farms, while wild turkeys inhabit forests, mountains, woods, swamps and grasslands.

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Turkeys are large ground-dwelling birds native to North America. They are one of the largest birds in their range, with a wattle hanging from the top of their beak. They belong to the order Galliformes and are close relatives of the grouse. Native Americans of North America bred wild turkeys, and the earliest recorded fossils date back 20 million years. Domesticated turkeys live on farms, while wild turkeys inhabit forests, mountains, woods, swamps and grasslands. These birds eat fruits, nuts, plants, seeds and insects.


Two whooper swans swim in a Finnish lake
These graceful birds live in temperate environments, inhabiting ponds, lakes, slow-flowing rivers and swamps.

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Swans are another waterfowl closely related to ducks and geese. There are six living swan species, and many more have become extinct. These birds are popular for their graceful stature and their preference for lifelong mating, only with another bird when a long-term mate dies. Swans live in temperate environments and generally avoid the tropics. You are more likely to find these birds in the wild than in captivity. They inhabit ponds, lakes, slow-flowing rivers and swamps. They mainly eat aquatic plants, but also molluscs, fish, frogs and worms.

guinea fowl

Birds That Eat Ticks: Guinea Fowl
Guinea fowl typically travel all day in flocks of animals, eating pests such as ticks, grasshoppers and other invertebrates.


The guinea fowl is endemic to Africa and one of the oldest animals in the galliformes. They were introduced to most other parts of the world as poultry. In the United States, they live on farms and homesteads, where farmers process their meat and eggs. Their meat is firmer and leaner than chicken, but has a more intense game flavor. These ground-nesting birds feed on insects and seeds and are usually monogamous. They travel all day behind hordes of animals, eating pests such as ticks, locusts, and other invertebrates. Guinea fowls in the wild are highly fliers and can maintain considerable distances in the air while avoiding predators. In their sub-Saharan African environment, they live in savannas, semi-deserts and forests.

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Blue-headed Quail Pigeon or Blue-headed Partridge Pigeon - Starnoenas cyanocephala walking on the ground. Photo via Cueva de los Peces Cuba.
You can find quail in the wild, but people also keep them in captivity and raise them for meat and eggs.

©Piotr Poznan/Shutterstock.com

Quails are medium-sized birds in the order Galliformes, and you can recognize them by their mottled plumage and the nodules on their heads. You can find quail in the wild, but people also keep them in captivity and raise them for meat and eggs. Those in the wild live in woodlands, croplands, grasslands, and croplands. Many are kept on game farms specifically for people to hunt. To increase their wild populations, many farms and homesteads breed them, releasing them back into their natural habitat. These birds are omnivores, eating grains, seeds, berries, plants and insects. They are opportunistic eaters in the wild, but will eat store-bought feed in captivity.


Gray partridge walking on the beach
Some people prefer to leave these birds on the lawn for maintenance, as they are quick to devour unwanted garden weeds, such as dandelions.

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The partridge is another ground-dwelling medium-sized bird in the order Galliformes. This bird is smaller than a pheasant but larger than a quail. They have a wide native distribution in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and some species are now in the Americas. They live in the wild in forests or farmland. But the American species is primarily used as a game bird. Farmers raise them in captivity for meat, or release them into hunting grounds where others can hunt them. Their meat is lean, with an aromatic, mild game flavor. Some people like to keep these birds around to tend their lawn because they are quick to gobble up unwanted garden weeds like dandelions and their seeds.


Many keep them as guards because, interestingly, these birds scream when they see intruders.

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Peacock is a term used to describe three species in the pheasant family. Male peacocks are called peacocks. However, most people refer to both male and female peacocks as "peacocks". You know them because of the fanning and quivering of their magnificent, brightly patterned plumage. Males display ornate plumage to show their masculinity and attract females. They are not the most common birds, but this species lives in captivity and in the wild. While it is possible to eat peacock meat, it is not common. Many keep them as guards because, interestingly, these birds scream when they see intruders. In the wild, they prefer open lowland forests and farmlands.

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Niccoy is a professional writer and content creator focusing on nature, wildlife, food and travel. She graduated from Florida State University with a business degree before realizing that writing was her true passion. She lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and loves hiking, reading and cooking!

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