Understanding Poultry Terminology

by Anne C

Published April 20, 2024

You probably know that a baby chicken is called a chick and a baby duck is called a duckling, but did you know that a baby guinea fowl is called a keet? There is a lot of terminology that is unknown with poultry, and generally, most people call babies chicks whether raised in the wild or on a farm. Here are just a few names you might hear while raising your birds.

Poultry Terminology - Life Stages Juvenile poultry, peafowl, chicken, guineafowl, turkeys

Terminology by Life Stages

Adult female chickens are hens, and the males are roosters or cocks. The juveniles, anything between 4-18 weeks, are called pullets for females and cockerels for males. And the babies, regardless of sex, are called chicks or peeps. Guinea fowl are similar to chickens in terminology, except their babies are called keets. Peafowl, often mistakenly referred to as peacocks, follow a similar pattern. Peacocks are the males, peahens are the females, and their babies are called peachicks. Other birds that share these terms include quail and pheasants.

Turkey and Waterfowl Terminology

Turkeys and waterfowl terminology are not as commonly known. Adult male turkeys are called toms or gobblers. Females are hens, and their babies are called poults. Like chickens, they also have juvenile names: jakes for males and jennies for females. Waterfowl differ from their land-based counterparts in terms of what they are called. The female duck is a hen, but the male is a drake, and the babies are ducklings. The female goose is simply a goose, males are ganders, and their babies are goslings. Swan babies are called cygnets (pronounced “signet”). Males are cobs, and the females are pens.

Turkeys, ducks, geese, swans, poultry terminology, cygnet, gosling, duckling, gobbler

Group Terminology

What are they called when they are all flocked together? Well, chickens are a flock or a brood, and all the chicks together are a clutch. If you’ve ever owned guinea fowl, it should come as no surprise that a group of them is called a confusion. The most common name for a group of peafowl is a muster or a pride. Groups of quail are a bevy or covey, turkeys are a rafter, ducks are a flock, raft, or a waddling, and the ducklings together are a brood.

Groups of poultry terms, brood, flock, blutch, confusion, rafter, bevy, covey, quail, ducks and ducklings

We hope you learned something new today! Let us know your favorite poultry term in the comments!

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