Discover your career path

Poultry Breeder

Breed chickens or turkeys for food.

What does a Poultry Breeder do?

A Poultry Breeder finds ways to make chickens the best they can be. While they’re not recruiting them to serve in the military, Poultry Breeders use their expertise in genetic selection and animal sciences to breed improved chickens. The meat industry wants chickens that are lean and healthy, while egg producers want hens that produce the most eggs. If you’re a Poultry Breeder, that’s where you come in.

You identify which type or breed of chicken consistently produces the same results, and you capitalize on those traits. For example, if you want a lean chicken that grows really big, you use genetics and biological profiles to attempt to create that chicken. Let’s say breed A is known for lean, muscular animals, and breed B is known for its sheer size. Crossbreeding these two chickens may result in exactly what you want – a lean, big chicken.

Your work is mostly completed in a laboratory setting rather than in the hen house, but you may take a field trip on occasion, such as when new chicks are hatched and you need to tend to their every need. Caring for the new chicks provides the opportunity to document your findings and gauge the results of the crossbreeding. You may immediately notice that the chicks are slightly larger than normal, indicating that your efforts were successful.

The rest of your duties encompass the care and feeding of the animals. Just because your chicks hatched doesn’t mean you’re done. Even though a Lab Assistant may actually feed the chicks and record the data, you’re responsible for analyzing the data and determining the outcome.

And always be nice to the Lab Assistant! Unless you can genetically design a self-cleaning chicken, you may end up cleaning the cages.