Farmyard Breeds

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Chickens are not the only kind of poultry reared by humans. Many other types of birds are domesticated for food and other products currently and have been at different points in our history. A small sampling of these birds includes ostrich, turkey and duck, although poultry of large and small sizes such as pheasants, guineafowl and rhea, a large bird resembling an ostrich, are also commonly found on poultry farms in different parts of the world.

Ostrich, as mentioned above, is popular for both its lean meat and as a material for clothing and shoes. Ostriches originated in Africa and extremely large and powerful. Ostrich leather is generally considered as good or superior to high grade leather from cows. It is not uncommon for male ostriches to weigh more than most large humans, in excess of 300 pounds. Ostrich feathers can be used for ornamentation or luxurious feather dusters. However, ostrich eggs are not often eaten, although they can be. For the purposes of adjusting for recipes, an ostrich egg is approximately equivalent to two dozen medium chicken eggs. One of the reasons they are not as widely consumed is that ostriches lay eggs much less frequently than chickens and therefore their eggs are proportionately more expensive. One ostrich egg costs about fifteen dollars, directly from a farm, prior to any transportation costs or grocer profit, whereas two dozen chicken eggs can generally be purchased for two or three dollars at any supermarket. Moreover, you'd need quite a good group of diners to eat the equivalent of two dozen chicken eggs!

Turkey is also a widely domesticated bird. Turkey is an especially popular meat for sandwiches and is world renowned for being the main course of choice at Thanksgiving, which although a traditionally American holiday is becoming more widely celebrated in other parts of the world. Turkey is also a popular dish for Canadian Thanksgiving, which is held earlier than American Thanksgiving, on the 2nd day of October. However, turkey, many side dishes and of course football are all to be found on Thanksgiving no matter the country. Turkey eggs are much less commonly eaten than chicken eggs, as turkeys only lay about one third as many eggs as chickens and must reach a larger weight before they start to produce a significant number of eggs. However, the eggs of turkeys are only slightly larger than extra large chicken eggs.

Ducks are an excellent choice of animal for high end poultry farmers. Since chickens are more common, duck meat generally sells for more money by weight. The dark meat of the duck is considered quite delicious by many, and although duck eggs are not commonly eaten in the United States, they are eaten in many parts of the world as a delicacy. It is reported that duck farmers in China often rear ducks and chickens together. Duck feathers are prized for their softness and duck feathers are the most frequently used feathers in down pillows and mattresses, which are marketed and sold across the world.


If you employ staff in the UK you may need to know about employers liability insurance details or perhaps you are worried about your public liability obligations? Without them you may be breaking the law and you are certainly putting your business at risk.


Copyright Peter Garrey 2009