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Poultry


What behaviors should we consider for Poultry?
Poultry are a prey animal and have a flight response, therefore move quietly and slowly around them.  The claws and beak are used for defense and males have fighting talons that can be dangerous.  Sexually mature males will fight with each other, causing severe injury.

Restrained rooster
Restrain the rooster so he cannot use his talons

What environmental conditions should we consider for Poultry?
Many birds, including chickens that are shown at fairs can fly. Make sure that birds are restrained or caged at all times and prevented from flying out of the poultry facility or into the rafters. Poultry need to be in a cool environment to reduce overheating, with plenty of fresh water and food available. The poultry house should be kept free from predators.

Comfortable chickens
Comfortable chickens

What is the proper way to hold or restrain Poultry?
Restrain chickens by gaining control of the legs with a finger between the legs.   Make sure your hand is against the base of the body, not at the end of the legs otherwise they can be injured when they struggle.   Remove chicken from cage supporting the breast of the chicken with your other hand and place it against your body.    Restrain ducks by gaining control of the wings placing your hand around the wings against the body of the animal, fingers toward the head. Cradle the animal against your body, head under your arm. Restrain turkeys by gaining control of their wings and support the breast, if they are to heavy to pick up, support them between your legs.  Make sure that poultry are not held too tightly, this can result in the bird becoming physically unable to breathe.  

Place fingers between chicken legs
Place a finger between the the legs and at the base of
the chicken so as not to cause injury if they struggle.

What should we look for to identify sick Poultry?
Observe the poultry in the cage for dullness or panting suggestive of heat stress. Check the head, eyes, nasal passages for any signs of discharge or swelling. Observe for feather loss and part the feathers around the head, neck and the cloaca looking for parasites, especially lice. Also check for signs of diarrhea. Check the legs and wings for signs of injury or damage

Comfortable turkeys
Observe Poultry in the cage for signs of stress
Turkey restraint
Turkey restraint

Duck Retraint
Duck restraint