Poultry Science Terms - A

American Bantam Association (ABA): group that promotes the breeding and exhibiting the different breeds of bantam poultry

Abscess: pocket filled with pus

Abdomen: area between the keel and the pubic (hip) bones 

Abdominal capacity: distance between the two public bones (width) and between the pubic bones and the tip of the keel (depth) 

Abdominal Depth: distance between the pubic bones and the keel bone. 

Abdominal Width: distance between the two pubic bones

Acariasis: mite infestation

Acquired immunity: immunity to a disease from the maternal side by transmission of immunity through the yolk of the egg

Active immunity: immunity to a disease developed by exposure to the disease or by receiving a vaccine for the disease

Acute: description of a disease with a severe or short development, often measured in hours and ending in death or recovery; opposite of chronic

Acute disease: diseases that are sharp or severe in onset and effect on the animal

Addled: egg where the contents are decomposing

Air cell: air space between the two shell membranes, usually at the large (blunt) end of the egg and easily seen when an egg is candled

Air chilling: less efficient alternative chilling method preferred in Europe and Canada

Air sacs: structures that replace the diaphragm increase buoyancy in the avian respiratory system

Albumen: protein source for developing embryo commonly known as the the white of the egg and consisting of outer thin, firm, inner thin, and chalaziferous layers

Alektorophobia: fear of chickens 

Allantois: embryonic membrane (sac) connected to the embryo's abdomen and involved in making respiration by the embryo possible. It also stores excretions, absorbs albumen (food) used by the embryo, and absorbs egg shell calcium for the structural needs of the embryo during incubation

Ambient temperature: Temperature of the surrounding environment

American Breeds: breeds developed in the United States and have common characteristics including: yellow skin, non-feathered shanks, and red earlobes. All American breeds lay brown eggs except Lamonas, which lay white eggs

American Poultry Association (APA)oldest poultry organization in the North America and is responsible for sanctioning breed shows and publishing breed standards

American Standard of Perfection: book published by the American Poultry Association describing in detail each breed recognized by that organization

Amino acids: the simpler building units of protein composed of an amine portion (NH2) a carboxylic acid portion (COOH), and a functional side chain. They can be broken into two groups: non-essential and essential amino acids

Ammonia: nitrogen gas produced by the bacterial breakdown of protein in fecal matter

Amnion: transparent embryonic membrane (sac) surrounding and protecting the embryo and is filled with colorless amniotic fluid which protects the developing embryo from shock and provides a medium for the develop embryo to exercise their muscles   

Anemia: deficiency of the blood in quantity or quality due to blood loss or disease, characterized by weakness or pale skin

Antibiotic: soluble chemical produced by a microorganism or fungus and used to destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. 

Antibiotic Resistance: bacteria’s ability to mutate in order to survive treatment with antibiotics. Over time, bacteria are able to change their characteristics so that antibiotics cannot kill them. This process happens faster when antibiotics are used very frequently, especially at low doses over long periods of time, which is common on factory farms where antibiotics are added to feed

Anticoccidial: drug used to treat or prevent coccidiosis

Anatomy: structure systems of an animal (skeletal, muscular, digestive, etc.) 

Anthelmintic: medication used for treating birds with internal parasites; anti-worm drug

Antibiotic: chemical produced by a microorganism or fungi and used to destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms 

Antibodies: natural chemical substances, in circulating fluids, blood, colostrums, and milk, that contributes to immunity against disease or infection; they recognize and destroy foreign invaders and that causes an immune response to vaccination or infection

Antigen: foreign protein in the blood that differs from natural body proteins and, as a result, stimulates the natural production of antibodies 

Antiseptic: anything that destroys or inhibits microorganisms responsible for disease, decomposition or fermentation

Antitoxin: antibody that neutralizes toxins produced by bacteria

AOSB: any other standard breed 

Arthritis: inflammation of the joint and surrounding tissue

Artificial incubator: used to hatch large numbers of offspring at the same time maximizing hatchability through precise control of the hatching environment to encourage embryonic growth

Artificial insemination: placing semen into the reproductive tract of a female; for poultry, introduction of semen into the female oviduct by methods other than by natural mating

Ascaridiasis: roundworm infestation

Ascites: accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity 

As hatched: description of a group of chicks that have not been sorted 

Attenuated: weakened so as not to produce disease but still induce immunity when used as a vaccine (said of viruses)

Atrophy: shrinking or wasting away of a body part

Auto-sexing: sex differentiation at day-old age on the basis of some visual characters such as color of down (fluff), and early feathering

Aves (Avian): class of animals composed of species of birds including domestic fowl

Avian: characteristic of birds; derived from birds

Avian egg: mass of material constituting the bird egg including: the shell, shell membranes, albumen, and yolk; it is designed by nature to nourish and protect the true egg

Avian Pox: viral disease of Poultry - varieties: wet or dry (also called Fowl Pox or Pox)

Aviary: large enclosure for holding birds in confinement; 

Aviary system: litter system of housing where a number of “mezzanine” floors are installed to increase the available floor space and, in doing so, provide the space for more birds in the poultry house

Aviculture: science of raising avian species (birds)

Axial feather: short wing feather separating the primary and secondary flight feathers in the middle of wing; index feather



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