Poultry farms are commercial facilities where various types of poultry are bred and raised. It is not unusual for a poultry farm to raise different types of poultry and fowl at the same location. Usually, the farms focus on raising poultry for eggs as well as for meat.
Today’s poultry farm is in contrast to the family farm of yesteryear. While in the past, a single family farm would often sell eggs and raise chickens for sale, this function was often one of many ways the farm produced both food and revenue. The commercial farming efforts of today tend to be more focused and use sophisticated technology to track the status and rate of production.
At any given poultry farm, it is highly likely that visitors will see several different types of fowl in addition to hens and roosters. A farming operation of this type may include turkeys, ducks, and pheasants among its residents. In some operations, the fowl range freely on the farm. This is often true for organic farming facilities. With other commercial farming efforts, the fowl are segregated and rarely if ever are allowed to roam outside an area set aside for a given type of poultry.
It is not unusual for a poultry farm to also raise chicks for sale to pet shops and family farmers. Many farms also offer ancillary services such as debeaking in order to attract a wider clientele. Each of these additional services is usually not included in the basic unit fees, but are available at an additional charge.
One of the major expenses with any large poultry farm is food for the stock. Often, the feedlot is composed elements such as corn, ground soybeans, grain cereals, and rice products. Along with food, care for the stock is also a significant expense. Larger operations often carry a full time veterinarian on the payroll, effectively providing the chickens, ducks and other fowl with around the clock medical attention if necessary.
Along with meat and eggs, the poultry farm often makes use of everything that has to do with the fowl. Feathers stripped from carcasses are cleaned and sold for use in pillows, sleeping bags, and winter coats. Manure is collected and converted into fertilizer. Even by products such as the beaks and talons can be ground and used as ingredients in various types of pet food.
The poultry farm of today is one of the more profitable operations within the farming industry. Some of the older farms have been in operation for decades and show no evidence of slowing down.