Glossary of Commercial Poultry Terms

By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This article contains a collection of terms commonly used in the poultry industry.
calendar icon 8 August 2003
clock icon 6 minute read
Commercial Glossary - By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This article contains a collection of terms commonly used in the poultry industry.

before skippable link groupA B C D E F G H I L M N O P R S T U V W Y



Additive to vaccine to enhance its effectiveness.


The white portion of an egg. In liquid form, the albumen is composed of water and proteins. In dry form, it is composed of proteins.


A protein molecule capable of combining specifically with an antigen.


A substance foreign to the host animal, commonly a disease agent or vaccine.



A killed bacterial vaccine, consisting of a suspension of whole bacteria.


A 15-dozen shipping container made of plastic or wire used by shell egg producers and packers for packaging of cartoned eggs. Cardboard box 15-dozen shipping containers are also referred to as baskets.


The industry practice of injecting a specific volume of liquid into raw poultry and poultry parts to improve tenderness, juiciness, or flavor and to improve cooking time. The basting solution may be broth, butter, or vegetable oil.


A verifiable price that a buyer is willing to pay to secure product.


A management system to minimize the disease exposure of flocks.


A person, firm, or other business unit that cracks (breaks) shell eggs to produce egg products.

Breaking Stock

Shell eggs designated for cracking (breaking) to produce egg products.


A person or firm that negotiates transactions between buyers and sellers and charges a fee for the brokerage services. The broker does not receive, or take title to, or possession of the product involved in the transaction. However, the broker may assure delivery of the product to the buyer and guarantee payment to the seller.


Young chickens less than 12 weeks of age. After processing, ready-to-cook broiler/fryers are directed to one of several market channels based primarily on dressed weight.


A person or firm that acquires possession, ownership, or rights to the product by payment of money, goods, and/or services.


A neutered male chicken produced for the specialty and holiday meat markets.


A shell egg packaging container, generally made of cardboard or foam, that encloses the egg on all sides. Cartons are designed to protect and restrain the movement of individual shell eggs during shipping and handling. The standard sized egg carton holds 12 eggs, referred to as a dozen eggs, the smaller sized carton holds 6, and the larger version holds 18 eggs.


A container used in commercial practice for packaging eggs. The standard sized case will hold 30-dozen of eggs, however, case sizes range from 12-dozen to 40 dozen units.

Ceiling Price

The highest price a buyer has agreed to pay for the volume of product involved in the transaction. Ceiling prices protect the buyer in an advancing market.


Eggs that have a broken shell or crack in the shell but has its shell membrane intact and the contents are not leaking.

Chill Packed

A form of refrigeration in which processed raw poultry products are chilled to 26 - 32 degrees Fahrenheit and packed in containers without being covered with ice.


Any subdivision of a product based on physical characteristics that differentiate between major groups of the same kind or type. For example, small, medium, large, extra large, and jumbo are different classes of shell eggs.


An obligation or pledge to sell or purchase a specified quantity of product.


Whole fresh or frozen young ready-to-cook poultry which have little or no values added and are generally prepared for the retail and consumer markets.


A natural decomposition process for organic wastes.

Consumer Sizes

A term used primarily to describe whole ready-to-cook young turkeys that weigh between 8 and 24 pounds, which are marketed to retail grocery stores for sale to the ultimate consumer.


A binding agreement or business arrangement between two or more parties for the supply of specified goods or services at a fixed price.

Contract Grower

The person that provides housing, equipment, labor, litter, power and heat, and cares for the poultry during growout. The contract grower does not own the poultry, but receives a stipulated fee for the services.

Cornish game hen

A young chicken (usually 4 to 6 weeks of age) not more than 2 pounds in dressed weight.

Current Negotiated

To arrange for the purchase or sale of products through discussion and agreement on transaction terms. Generally, agreement to buy or sell has occurred within the previous 24 hours.


Small particles of dead skin or feather particles.


A person or firm that negotiates to purchase product from suppliers; accepts, receives, and takes possession of the product; and negotiates with customers to sell the product at a profit.

Deboning Size Broiler/Fryer

Young chickens with live weights of 5.26 pounds and heavier. As W.O.G.s these birds should weigh between 3.60 and 5.50 pounds and are further processed.


A bid, offer, or quoted market which includes the cost of loading, transporting, and unloading the product at the location specified by the buyer.


The peninsula of land where Delaware (3 counties), Maryland (9 counties),and Virginia (2 counties) converge. This area is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, which is also referred to as the "Eastern Shore."


The desire to possess a commodity coupled with the willingness and ability to pay for the commodity.

Very Good - Offerings or supplies are rapidly absorbed. Good - Firm confidence on the part of buyers that general market conditions are good. Trading is more active than normal. Moderate - Average buyer interest and trading. Light - Demand is below average. Very Light - Few buyers are interested in trading.


Removal of all animals from a premise.


A feed prepared from a mixture of ingredients.


A person or firm that delivers product to customers.


Egg Sizes

Shell eggs are divided by size (class) according to weight. Minimum net weight per dozen:

Jumbo - 30 ounces. Extra Large - 27 ounces. Large - 24 ounces. Medium - 21 ounces. Small - 18 ounces.


Toxins produced by bacteria.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.