Poultry Science Terms - B

Baby chick: newly hatched chick before it has been fed or watered

Bacteria: class of single-celled microscopic organisms which may or may not produce disease (pathogenic); Singular: Bacterium

Bactericide: substance that kills bacteria

Bacterin: vaccine produced from bacteria or other products

Bacteriostat: substance that inhibits or retards bacterial growth 

Ballooning: distention of the intestine or ceca due to accumulated blood, mucus or other materials

Balanced: term that is applied to the ration or feed containing all the known essential nutrients in proper proportions

Banding: putting a tag or band with identification on it to the wing or leg of a bird 

Bantam: small, miniature domestic  chicken or duck, usually one fourth to one half of a standard breed chicken or large fowl; frequently called "bantie" or "banty".   Most, but not all, bantams are the likeness of a larger variety of domestic chickens

Banti: non-technical term sometimes used to mean 'bantam' 

Bantam standard: book published by the American Bantam Association describing each of the bantam breeds recognized by that organization

Barbicels: tiny hooks that hold a feather's web together 

Barnyard chicken: chicken of mixed breed

Barring: alternate markings of two distinct colors on a feather 

Battery: shelter for most of commercial egg type birds in the form of small compartments of wire netting arranged one above the other in vertical configuration in 2-4 tiers

Bay: light golden brown in color 

Beak: hard protruding mouth part of a bird consisting of an upper and a lower part (mandibles)

Beak conditioning: trimming of the beak

Beak trimming: removal of the tip of the beak of poultry by specially designed equipment to prevent cannibalism and its associated vices

Bean: hard protuberance on the upper mandible of waterfowl

Beard: coarse hairs protruding from the breast of turkeys; feathers bunched together under the beak of some breeds of birds including: Antwerp Belgian, Faverolle, and Houdan, always found in association with 'muffs'

Bedding: absorbent material scattered on the floor of a coop, nesting box, and poultry house to absorb moisture and manure; usually shredded paper, straw, hay, or wood shavings are used and is also called litter

Benign: not likely to recur or spread

Biddy: non-technical term for a laying hen that is over one year of age; term for chicks or baby chickens

Bill: upper and lower mandibles (beak) of waterfowl

Billing out: act of chickens using their beaks to scoop feed out of a feeder and onto the floor 

Biosecurity: disease transmission prevention management program where measures are taken to protect chicks, staff, and flocks from contracting and spreading harmful poultry diseases from outside and inside a production unit and also monitor health and reporting sick birds

Blade: lower, smooth part of a single comb 

Blastoderm: fertilized nucleus of the true egg from which the chicken develops

Blastodisc: unfertilized nucleus of a true egg. No chicken can develop from a blastodisc; site of fertilization on the egg yolk

Bleaching: fading of color from the face, beak, shanks, and vent of a yellow-skinned laying hen

Blood spot: tiny red spot in a freshly laid egg caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the hen's ovary usually during ovulation and is a common fault in the contents of egg frequently noticed among the eggs of pullets coming into lay in the form of blood clots and appear pinkish while candling. The clot may be attached to vitelline membrane of yolk, to chalazae, or to the albumen clue to small hemorrhage of blood vessel during transit of egg contents, down of the oviduct

Bloom: moist protective coating on a freshly laid eggs that partially seals the pores of the egg shell to prevent penetration by bacteria (also called the cuticle) 

Blowout: when there is vent damage, typically caused by laying a very large egg; often referred to as a prolapse

Blue: slate gray feather color 

Bobwhite: species of new world quail native to the United States

Booster: vaccination other than the first in a series

Booted: having feathers on the shanks (legs) and toes 

Botulism: disease caused by the ingestion of a toxin produced by the (Clostridium botulinum) bacterium

Break up: discourage a hen from setting a nest

Breast: forward part of the body between the neck and the keel bone 

Breast blister: enlarged, discolored area or sore on the breast or in the area keel bone often seen in heavy birds 

Breed: group of chickens having a distinctive body shape and the same general features and weight; also a term used when group male (roosters) and female birds (hens) for mating and obtaining fertile eggs 

Breed True: characteristic of purebred chicks whereby they resemble both parents

Breeder: person who raises poultry for reproduction. For domestic poultry it is a person breeding for exhibition quality poultry

Breeder chicken: mature chickens from which fertile eggs are collected

Broiler: meat-type chicken bred and raised specifically for meat production, historically, these birds were a cross of the White Plymouth Rock and Cornish breeds. Their meat is tender with soft, pliable, and smooth textured skin and flexible breast bone and is suitable for broiling or frying

Broiler house: building in which broiler-type chickens are raised

Broiling: cooking by applying direct heat with burning of charcoal or cooking in oven, it is also called as grilling

Brood: group of baby chicks hatched at the same time; care for a batch of chicks 

Brooder (Brooder box): temperature-controlled, appliance to supply supplementary warmth to newly hatched and early stage of the poultry; device used to imitate the warmth and protection a mother hen gives her chicks

Broodiness: tendency of a hen continually sit on a nest; to behave as if she were in an attempt to naturally incubating an eggs

Brooding: practice of raising baby chicks with careful management from day-old up when it requires a very high standard of care including the provision of special diets and supplementary warmth. It usually 3 - 4 weeks in broilers and 6/7 weeks in layer type chicks whether by a mother hen or by artificial means

Brooding period: period in a young fowl's life between hatching until they become fully feathered and can be on their own without any heat

Broody (Broody Hen): instinct controlled by maternal hormones causing a female to set or want to hatch eggs and to care for the chickens that hatch 

Buff: orange-yellow color in feathers that is not shiny or brassy 

Buttercup comb: A comb that has a single leader near the bear that leads into a comb with evenly spaced points that looks like a crown on the bird's head



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