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United States Environmental Protection Agency
Ag 101
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Poultry Production

Poultry production is an important and diverse component of American agriculture. Poultry products including eggs, chicken and turkey meat are a healthy part of the diets of most Americans. In 1997, nearly 99,700 farms were producing poultry and poultry products (egg, broiler, and turkey; NASS/USDA). While broiler chicken production is concentrated primarily in the southern and southeastern U.S., turkey production occurs primarily in the Corn Belt and in North Carolina. Egg production is distributed throughout the U.S.

Modern poultry production occurs primarily in enclosed buildings to protect the birds from weather, predators, and the spread of diseases from wild birds. This has allowed farmers to greatly increase production efficiency while significantly reducing the amount of labor required. As with pork production, this has resulted in environmental challenges with production of larger volumes of manure in much smaller areas.

This module will cover the modernization of poultry production over the past 60 years, different phases of production and the production systems in which they occur.


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