Poultry Science Terms - H

Hackles: rooster's cape of long feathers over a the neck and back which are pointed on males; hens have similar feathers but with rounded tips 

Hackle feathers: see Hackles

Hair Cracks: fine cracks of hair size in egg shell that can only be seen with the help of candling when eggs are fresh may develop due to thin shells, and rough handling 

Hard chilled product: has been held from 0 degrees Fahrenheit – 26 degrees Fahrenheit

Hard scald: higher water temperature removes the waxy cuticle of the epidermis

Hatch: process by which the chick comes out of the egg; collective group of freshly hatched poultry in incubator just born from eggs roughly the same time or under broody hen

Hatch of Fertile (HOF): number (percentage) of viable chickens that hatch from all eggs classified as fertile; measure of hatchery efficiency

Hatchability: number (percentage) of fertile eggs that hatch when incubated; measure of breeder and hatchery efficiency 

Hatcher: after being incubated and turned for 18 days, a chicken egg goes into a hatcher for three days and is not turned any more. The hatcher is the area where the chicks are actually hatched

Hatchery: place where eggs are incubated artificially and chicks hatched. Hatcheries are generally on large industrial poultry farms that produce thousands or hundreds of thousands of chicks weekly. Hatcheries are cost effective manner way to get specific types of baby chickens or other poultry

Hatching: act of a chick coming out of an egg

Health: state of being where physiological homeostasis is maintained, absence of disease

Heat increment: energy used up in the consumption, digestion, and metabolism of a feed 

Helminthes: category of parasitic worms 

Helminthiasas: parasitic worm infestation 

Hemorrhage: heavy or uncontrolled bleeding

Hen: adult female poultry after the first molt and usually more than 11 to 12 months including: chicken, turkey, duck, pigeon, and pheasant. Describe female birds after they begin to lay

Hen day average: progressive egg production record calculated on a survivor basis and expressed as a percentage

Hen feathered: characteristic of a rooster having rounded rather than pointed hackle feathers

Hen housed average: progressive egg production record calculated on the basis of the number of birds placed in the laying house at point of lay

Hen feathered: characteristic of some breeds of chickens where the male has rounded feathers (rather than pointed) like those of a female 

Hepatitis: inflammation of the liver

Heritability: ability of measurable traits to be transferred from parents to offspring

Heritage:valuable breeds that need to be preserved for the future. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy defines heritage terms for turkeys, chickens, and other livestock and eventually will define the terms for ducks and geese. The breed must naturally mat, have an outdoor lifespan that is long and productive, and have a slow growth rate

Hock: knee joint of the leg between the lower thigh and the shank; the region where the feathered portion of the leg ends and the scaly shank of the lower leg starts

Homeostasis: maintenance of physiological stability even though environmental conditions may change

Homeothermic animal: animal that utilizes or dissipates energy to maintain body temperature

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP): plan for monitoring food safety by setting potential points of cross contamination

Horizontal transmission: disease transmitted from one bird to another 

Horn: term used to describe various color shadings in the beak of some breeds of fowl such as the Rhode Island Red

Host: bird (or other animal) that has a parasite or an infectious agent living on or in it 

Hover: canopy type brooding system stoves to direct the heat downwards and hold it near the floor when brooding young stock

Humidity: amount of moisture (water) in the environment (usually measured with a wet bulb thermometer); commonly associated with the air in the incubator; 50 - 55% relative humidity is ideal the first 18 days of incubation and about 65% the last three days

Hybrid: offspring of parents (hen and rooster) from different breeds (also referred to as crossbred); the artificial crossing of two different species 

Hybrid vigor (heterosis): tendency of crossbred offspring to outperform their parents



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