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How to Be a Poultry Farmer

Three Methods:Raising Poultry for MeatRaising Chicken Eggs for ConsumptionRaising Chicks for Breeding or Egg-Laying

If you want to be a poultry farmer, you must decide what type. Another consideration is where you live, as most poultry farms are in the eastern portion of the U.S. and California. Poultry farmers typically raise a single type of poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, geese or ducks. More than half of the poultry farming industry raises chickens for broilers. The two other main types of poultry farming produce chicken eggs and turkeys. Some poultry farmers raise chicks into egg-laying hens or breeders. Once you have determined that type of poultry farmer you want to be, you need to get a job working on that type of farm. Here's a description of the job duties of each type of poultry farmer.

Method 1
Raising Poultry for Meat

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    Use blowers to automate the process of feeding the poultry in cages.
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    Clean beneath the cages. Again, this is usually automated with machines and conveyor belts.
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    Inspect the flock daily and contact a veterinarian at any sign of illness. Since the poultry houses are crowded, disease can spread quickly.
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    Monitor feed consumption and egg production. Use this data to track expenses and select breeders.
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    Transport poultry to processing plants.

Method 2
Raising Chicken Eggs for Consumption

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    Breed or purchase hens that are good egg layers.
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    Collect the eggs soon after they have been laid.
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    Clean the eggs by sending them through automatic washers.
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    Check each egg against a light to make sure it is suitable for sale.
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    Send the eggs through an automatically sorter, which groups them by size.
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    Place the eggs into cartons and refrigerate them.
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    Transport the eggs to a distributor.

Method 3
Raising Chicks for Breeding or Egg-Laying

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    Collect eggs after they are laid. (Few modern poultry farmers leave eggs under a hen until it hatches.)
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    Transfer the eggs in an incubator, where they are kept warm until they hatch. The incubators must be closely monitored to maintain the ideal temperature and moisture level.
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    Keep the newly hatched chicks in the incubator for a few days.
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    Feed and care for the chicks until they are grown.
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    Sell or keep the grown poultry for breeding or as egg-layers.

Tips

  • An education in agriculture can prepare you to become a farm manager or eventually run your own farm. Some colleges offer an associate's degree in poultry production.
  • If you are going to agricultural school, look for a part-time or summer job as a poultry farmer. Your school may be able to help you get a job as a laborer or technician on a poultry farm.

Warnings

  • Poultry farmers on a small farm may need to work 7 days a week.
  • Although automated machines have reduced much of the physical labor of poultry and chicken farmers, the work environment is noisy and has unpleasant smells.

Article Info

Categories: Farming | Chickens